Kibbie Lake Trail

El Portal, California 95318

Kibbie Lake Trail

Kibbie Lake Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Were it not for the long drive to the trailhead, Kibbie Lake would be a popular dayhike. At 4 miles distance and only about 700 feet between its trail’s high and low points, Kibbie Lake is a good choice for beginning backpackers. Being the lowest natural lake reached by trail in and around the Yosemite National Park environs, it is one of the warmest, and is great for swimming from about mid-June through August. Not only is this the lowest natural lake, it is one of the largest in the park, measuring barely under 1 mile in length. Therefore, while it can be popular with weekend summer backpackers, there is plenty of shoreline on which to establish secluded camps."

Kibbie Lake Trail Reviews

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Kibbie Lake is a beautiful spot to camp at. You can bring a rod with you and fish for your dinner and take a swim in the lake as well. Getting there is moderately difficult. The trail isn't well marked and there rae some water crossings. Some steep parts too. There was a big fire here a few years back and you can see a lot of destruction along the trail to get to the lake which may be discouraging but don't worry, once you get to the lake it's really a beautiful spot and it's easy to find a camping location. If you camp close to the lake make sure you bring some mosquito protection.
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Kibbie was reported as an easy trail. So I took my 11yr old son who has never been backpacking before. This day it was 98F, the vegetation in area's caused the humidity to be high, the altitude is around 9,000'. All those factors made the first (so called) mile horrendous. After that we only lost the trail at the creek crossing, where we hit the creek in front of us with no obvious dry route, and granite wall on our side (there was a sign there, but it was burnt off). The compass and GPS said we needed to go where the wall was...we should have crossed the creek and we would have been there. My son did great, but it took us extra long because of the first ascent wiped us out. Once there we had a great time. We may try again in cooler weather. Oh, no fires within 1/2 mile of the lake, was a bummer.

Trail Information

El Portal
Nearby City
680 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
3 hours-2 days
Best June to September
5,880 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,560 feet
Top Elevation
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018