"This is a trip that makes great demands—huge elevation gains and losses—and returns equally great rewards: some of the most spectacular scenery in the southwestern Sierra. You’ll see lavish displays of wildflowers, watch morning light over Franklin Lake pick out the marbled colors on Tulare Peak, gasp your way up high passes and then gasp again and again at the panorama revealed at the top, visit remote alpine basins, and see more beautiful lakes than you can count. Make room for a layover day with a great dayhike somewhere, too. For example, you can use the saddle between the highest Little Five lake and the next-to-highest Big Five lake to make a part cross-country loop through both lakes basins. Or, from the bench by Pinto Lake, you can cross-country up Cliff Creek to visit Spring Lake, the lowest of a chain of classic cirque lakes. Yes, by all means, take this trip—but it’s not for beginners, and you’d better be in top shape! There are no easy trails out of Mineral King."