Brainerd Lake

Big Pine, California

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Alpinists from across the globe are drawn to the beauty and challenge of the bevy of 14,000-foot peaks known as the Palisades. Less-adventurous recreationists can enjoy the splendid alpine scenery found in the Middle Palisades on this journey up the canyon of South Fork Big Pine Creek to Brainerd Lake and the off-trail backcountry beyond. Although the terrain is heavenly, parts of the ascent may seem to have less divine origins.

Brainerd Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Alpinists from across the globe are drawn to the beauty and challenge of the bevy of 14,000-foot peaks known as the Palisades.

Less-adventurous recreationists can enjoy the splendid alpine scenery found in the Middle Palisades on this journey up the canyon of South Fork Big Pine Creek to Brainerd Lake and the off-trail backcountry beyond. Although the terrain is heavenly, parts of the ascent may seem to have less divine origins."

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Trail Running
Nearby City: Big Pine
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 3,750 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 5-6 hours
Season: This is high-alpine country. Consequently, trails don’t shed their snow in these parts until mid-summer, which is usually around mid-July following winters of average snowfall.
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: White Mountain Ranger District

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