Big Pine Canyon

Big Pine, California

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Overview

Big Pine Canyon Recreation Area includes two group campground sites. Named for glaciers that can be seen at the end of the valley, Clyde Glacier Group Site and Palisade Glacier Group Site sit along Big Pine Creek.

Recreation

Fishing is a popular activity in the creek and nearby lakes. Climbers make use of the steep, glacier-carved canyon walls for excellent climbing opportunities.

The North Fork Trail climbs past waterfalls and zigzags through Jeffrey pine, manzanita and sage before it reaches Big Pine Lakes with views of Palisade Glacier, the largest glacier.

The South Fork Trail climbs to small lakes fed by glacial waters from Norman Clyde and Middle Palisade Glaciers, the southernmost glaciers.

Facilities

The Clyde Glacier standard campsite fits up to 25 guests. Parking includes two 35-foot and six 20-foot paved spaces. Palisades Glacier campsite is also paved and can accommodate 25 people for tent camping only.

Campfire rings and grills are provided.

Natural Features

Big Pine Canyon is heralded for having both the largest and southern most glaciers in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Palisade Glacier, the largest, sits above Big Pine Lakes. These impressive glacial lakes at around 10,000 feet elevation are the source of the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. The South Fork is bordered by the Palisade Crest with peaks over 14,000 feet and Middle Palisade Glacier, the southernmost glacier.

Nearby Attractions

The glaciers in the nearby John Muir Wilderness provide an exciting hiking destination. A commercial pack station is within close proximity for horse enthusiasts looking for an outdoor adventure. A general store, pay showers and pond fishing can be found at a nearby resort.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Run or Hike to First and Second Lake via Big Pine Creek North Fork

    The North Fork of Big Pine Creek is often cited as having the most unbelievable scenery reachable in a single day. And it's hard to disagree. The Big Pine Creek North Fork trail is just minutes outside of Big Pine off the 395. If going in the wint...

    10 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Camp and Hike the Big Pine Lakes

    The North Fork Big Pine Creek Trail offers some of the best high alpine scenery in the Sierras. As the peaks of the Palisades pierce the sky with its craggy span of summits you will find it is as picturesque and dramatic as any in California. Nest...

    12.5 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Backpack to Fourth Lake on the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail

    From Big Pine, you'll turn onto Crocker St. to head towards the mountains. Once you are about 11 miles down the road you will see a sign and a turnoff on the right for trailhead parking. That is where you are going to want to park if you are stayi...

    12.5 miles 3000 ft gain