NO SOUND whatsoever from nature. The road is narrow with a sharp drop off and there is no buffers or railings between you and the drop off. The lake at the top was a great reward. The trail is shockingly difficult, and surprisingly steep. Trail head is clearly marked with a couple of parking lots right near the trail head. 1 Recommended Route. The White Chief mine, claimed by James Crabtree in 1873, made Mineral King a household name among miners of that time. This trail follows an old mining route along Monarch Creek before branching off from the trail to Monarch and Crystal Lakes. If you are going to kings Canyon this trail is an absolute MUST! A 9.4-mile round trip hike climbs over 2,500 feet to visit the picturesque pair of high-elevation lakes. The majority of the trail was uphill it was definitely a challenge but so worth it. ~9.5 miles; +4,400 ft / -2,600 ft; Eagle Scout Creek to Sawtooth parking lot. The 2.9 mile one-way trail to the White Chief Bowl is a steep but scenic hike up the west side of the Mineral King Valley. It’s also pretty rough, would definitely recommend taking a vehicle that can handle steep inclines, pot holes, sections of very bumpy dirt road. Reading the reviews had me a little apprehensive but it was so worth it! The road is steep, narrow, and winding. Depending on where you're coming from I would recommend driving in and camping at Cold Springs Campground (which is also in close proximity to the ranger station) the night before you begin your trip. Mile 2 was the most difficult part for me, and there is a rocky portion towards the end that requires some scrambling, but it was a lot of fun. Crabtree's ruined cabin, located near the meadow beyond the junction with the Eagle/Mosquito Lakes Trail, is perhaps the oldest remaining structure in the Mineral King area. Whether you’re looking for crystal-clear lakes, adrenaline-pumping peaks, or awe-inspiring vantage points you will find them! Why you should go: Take in the breathtaking scenery of the high alpine on this leg-busting trek out of Mineral King. Other than that, great hike. The grade on these switchbacks and the climb through the boulder field is so tough that it starts to take away from the … Make your way to the Sawtooth Trailhead near the end of Mineral King and start up the trail. And more. It was really worth it! Took us about 1.5 hours to the trailhead from Visalia. 194 Miles. Eagle Lake Map by (click to enlarge) THE HIKE But we loved the hike and want to do it again. I saw kids doing this hike and I want to personally congratulate them because they have so much endurance and strength that I had to re-find within myself. Make sure to eat a lot of calories and drink plenty of water because you’re going to need it for this hike for sure. The hike up was hot; the hike down was pleasant. It's really diverse going from soft ground in the forest to big rocks that requires small amounts of climbing. Views at the start of the trail are absolutely spectacular, the Mineral King valley is really, really special, it was probably my favorite part of the hike. Beautiful but difficult climb up. This trail can be challenging for some, as it is mostly uphill and it has a rock scrambling section towards the latter half of the climb. Please use caution. The water is really cold, but definitely refreshing after hiking in the summer heat. It was well worth it and will go back. Not too difficult, but drink lots of water cuz you will be up around 11,000 ft!!! Work but good, rain and a hail storm. Monarch Lakes The climb up was SUPER STEEP and I needed to stop every .25 miles to take as much of a breath the nature would allow me. Fishing looks like it would be excellent. During the early summer, mosquitoes can be a particular nuisance. The elevation gain and switchbacks will have you winded quickly but take breaks and bring lots of water and snacks. The gorgeous valley is tucked in the southwestern corner of Sequoia National Park at the head of the East Fork of the Kaweah River surrounded by a stunning cirque. We tarped the undercarriage of the truck the best we could and started the trail. The hike is definitely not something I would recommend for someone new to hiking and I definitely wouldn’t recommend that you take kids. The trail then steeply switchbacks at hillside through a mixture of forest, meadows and rocky slopes before eventually culminating at Eagle Lake. Mineral King will remain closed for the season and some wilderness closures will be in place. From Timber Gap, you can see north to the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River and across to Alta Peak. Three Rivers, CA I took my truck and had no problems, just keep an eye on the road and go slow. The 4.2-mile one-way hike is one of the easier Mineral King day hikes and takes you through meadows, red fir forests, and the Chihuahua Bowl. The open slopes surrounding the Mineral King Valley are kept free of trees by avalanches; Timber Gap itself is protected from avalanches, and is covered with red fir which the miners in the 1800's used for fuel and to shore up their mine shafts. One of the most challenging day hikes I’ve gone on, but definitely rewarding! Mineral King is remote and has no services. 4 Easy Trails. The lake was full of trout which jump out of the water regularly to eat bugs. Mineral King to Whitney Portal, July 2014 Day 1 - 2 I've always liked trans-Sierra crossings. It has a dynamic and changing landscape. That’s usually where we eat our lunch and take a quick dip in the water. Distance: 36.3 miles. If ur into that type of thing.... anyway, the trail was gradually uphill for the majority of the trek and there were some steep parts. The lake was a beauty. 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