Monarch Lakes

Three Rivers, California

Monarch Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"This hike takes you through the multicolored Monarch Canyon to serene lakes below Sawtooth Peak and Sawtooth Pass. Follow the trail to Timber Gap (Hike 61) to the junction at 0.6 mile, then follow the trail to Crystal Lakes (Hike 62) to the junction at 3.0 miles. Take the left (northeast) trail fork, and rise up switchbacks in a thinly forested area.

The path nears Monarch Creek’s cascades, and you may see pikas—small relatives of the rabbit—scampering to hide as you pass an area of talus. After rock-hopping two branches of the creek and climbing over a rocky hill, you arrive at the lower Monarch Lake at 4.1 miles. A pretty waterfall splashes down at the far end of the lake, while Sawtooth Peak appears as a nub to the east and Mineral Peak rises to the south. Campsites and bear boxes are just a little farther up the trail, on the northwest side of the lake, and an unmaintained trail travels along the north shore of this lake, leading to an arduous climb to the upper lake."

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Trail Information

Three Rivers
Nearby City
8.2
Distance
2,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
4.5 to 5 hours
Duration
Best July through October
Season
8,000 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,000 feet
Top Elevation
Sequoia National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Mineral King; Sequoia National Park Mineral King
Local Maps
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