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The Best Backpacking in Independence

Looking for the best backpacking in Independence? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Independence. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Independence

  • Independence, California

    South Lake via John Muir Trail

    79.36 mi / 21716 ft gain
    South Lake via John Muir Trail is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a lake located near Independence, California.
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  • Seven Pines, California

    Mt. Williamson via Shepherd Pass

    5.0
    26.66 mi / 10653 ft gain
    This trail starts at the lowest, and generally regarded hardest, trailhead in the Southern Sierras. You quickly gain elevation in what many describe as manageable but relentless. The first section of the hike has nice shade and adequate water access. Very enjoyable company to boot! Once you cros...
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  • Independence, California

    Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop

    43.85 mi / 11516 ft gain
    Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Independence, California.
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  • Independence, California

    Bullfrog Lake

    13.17 mi / 3763 ft gain
    Bullfrog Lake is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Independence, California.
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  • Independence, California

    Onion Valley to Mt. Whitney

    47.35 mi / 11745 ft gain
    Trip Guide ***Please note, all images after the first one are arranged in chronological order of the trip so you can easily follow along Day 1 Depending on where you are coming from your day one is most likely going to be setting up your car shuttle from Whitney Portal to Onion Valley.  Our fi...
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  • Independence, California

    Flower Lake from Onion Valley

    5.04 mi / 1352 ft gain
    Make sure to obtain an overnight permit up to 6 months in advance. You will have to pick up your permit at one of the Inyo National Forest Visitor Centers (here) before you begin. Once you have your permit in hand, drive to the Onion Valley Trailhead (see map), which is about 15 miles west of th...
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  • Independence, California

    Charlotte Lake via Kearsarge Pass

    4.0
    16.38 mi / 4078 ft gain
    This adventure begins at Onion Valley Campground outside of Independence, CA. The parking is abundant and the road is snow dependent. Snow will be plowed as long as it is not currently being hit with a massive storm. Dogs are allowed on trail up to Kearsarge Pass (4.5 miles from the trailhead). H...
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  • Independence, California

    Rae Lakes via Glen and Kearsarge Passes

    5.0
    26.02 mi / 7106 ft gain
    The hike starts at Onion Valley campground and includes a good deal of elevation (two passes around 12,000 feet). You start climbing at the outset, and keep climbing for the first couple of hours before hitting Kearsarge Pass. Here you begin a long descent, then traverse above some beautiful lake...
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  • Big Pine, California

    Backpack Atop Sawmill Pass

    20 mi / 6700 ft gain
    At 11,347 ft., Sawmill Pass lies on the Sierra Crest and enters Kings Canyon National Park in the Woods Creek area. Both the John Muir Trail (JMT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) can be accessed through this pass. The Sawmill Pass trail is a steep and arduous climb, gaining over 6700 feet of e...
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  • Big Pine, California

    Sawmill Pass Trail

    23.63 mi / 8255 ft gain
    Sawmill Pass Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Big Pine, California.
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  • Fresno County, California

    John Muir Trail: Middle Rae Lake

    You'll have to deal with some crowds at Rae Lakes but that is because this is an amazing setting to spend the night. If sharing this place with others is the worst of your worries then you're doing pretty well. Hikers flock here for the incredible swimming, views of iconic peaks like Fin Dome and...
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  • Inyo, California

    Backpacking and Fishing the Meysan Lakes

    5.0
    Trail is hiked from mid-June to end of September most seasons. Once the snow starts to fall, the road to the trailhead will be closed. Permit is require for overnight and day use. You can obtain the permits online or at the ranger station in Lone Pine. Book online if you plan on overnighting. Bea...
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  • Inyo County, California

    PCT: CA Section H - Crabtree Meadow to Tuolumne Meadow

    197.53 mi / 38822 ft gain
    PCT: CA Section H - Crabtree Meadow to Tuolumne Meadow is a point-to-point trail where you may see wildflowers located near Lone Pine, California.
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  • Inyo County, California

    Summit Mount Whitney via the Mountaineers Route

    5.0
    5 mi / 6600 ft gain
    With over 6,600 feet of elevation gain and class 4 climbing, this is not for the casual hiker, but can provide an excellent challenge to a budding mountaineer.Park your car at Whitney Portal, 12 miles west of the town of Lone Pine, and start up the main Whitney Trail. After 1 mile you will encou...
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  • Inyo County, California

    Scramble up Mt. Muir

    5.0
    18.5 mi / 6200 ft gain
    From the Whitney Trail - beyond trail crest - you will see a big cairn (right side). If you make it to the first "window of Mt. Whitney" you have gone too far. The cairn marks the start of an class 2 use trail up to the Mt. Muir headwall.The headwall is a fun climb with good handholds and has lit...
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  • Inyo County, California

    Winter Summit Mt. Whitney

    22 mi / 6500 ft gain
    Day 1: We arrived at the Lone Pine Visitors Center at the intersection of HWY 395 and HWY 136 just south of Lone Pine, CA. We issued ourselves our overnight permits to climb Mt. Whitney and picked up our Wag Bags. You can self issue yourself the free permit Nov. 2 through Apr 30. Climbing during ...
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