Backpack on the Baker/Johnson Lake Loop

Backpack on the Baker/Johnson Lake Loop

Rate this Adventure Baker Peak Trailhead

Distance

12 Miles

Elevation Gain

3300 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Julie Arsenault

Forest
Lake
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Camp at at the base of a cirque and on the shores of super-clear Baker Lake. This 2-day adventure is a great way to get away from the crowds. You'll enjoy a moderate hike through forests and glacial valleys, and you might find yourself alone at the lake!

Check out a quieter side of Great Basin National Park by spending a night camped at Baker Lake. There are several opportunities to pitch your tent along the way, or you can choose a spot right on the shores of the lake. On the weekend we were there, there was only one other party spending the night. It's quiet and secluded, and the view is gorgeous in the morning!

The hike starts from the Baker Lake trailhead parking lot, at 7900'. It's a moderate hike in, not too step or long, and mainly passes through forested terrain. If you're camping at the lake, you'll be spending the night at ~10,000' so be prepared with extra layers as it can get chilly at night. 

In the morning, you can enjoy breakfast at the lake, or hike over the ridgeline to Johnson Lake and enjoy your meal there. From Baker Lake, you'll follow the signs and begin climbing above treeline. The trail up isn't too difficult, keep an eye out for the cairns to prevent trampling any vegetation that's managed to survive in this difficult environment! Once you are on top of the ridgeline at over 11,000', you'll have a great view of the peaks of Great Basin NP and you can begin the descent down to Johnson Lake. The trail here is steep in places, so watch your footing! Along the way, you'll see remnants of the old mining operations that took place here. These artifacts are now protected by the Antiquities Act. 

When you're ready to head down, follow the Johnson Lake trail. There are several options to return back to the Baker Lake trailhead or extend the hike. We chose to return via the South Fork Baker Creek trail as it looked a little less steep. It's a pretty trail that passes through meadows and quiet forests, following the creek back to the parking lot.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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Distance

12 Miles

Elevation Gain

3300 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Loop

Added by

Julie Arsenault

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Hike to Baker Peak, Great Basin National Park

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Camp at Upper Lehman Creek Campground, Great Basin NP

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Summit Wheeler Peak

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Hike the Alpine Lakes Loop in Great Basin NP

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