Backpack Evolution Valley

Florence Lake Campground

Distance

15.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1500 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Multiple nights in the High Sierra and the trail follows the South Fork of the San Joaquin. With high sierra meadows and valleys, it's really incredible.

You can get to the Evolution Basin a variety of ways, but the easiest is through the Florence Lake Trailhead. Here, you can choose to either take the Florence Lake Ferry across the lake, or save $25 and hike the extra 4 miles around the lake. Personally, I would choose the ferry.

About five miles from the lake is Muir Trail Ranch. This is a place where many PCT and JMT through hikers stop for a warm meal and comfortable nights rest.

The actual hike to Evolution Valley is beautiful. It follows the south fork of the San Joaquin and Evolution Creek nearly all the way. Depending on your fitness level, you can get to the valley in a day, and choose to go farther to Evolution Lake. Roundtrip mileage to the McClure Meadow Ranger Station from the south end of Florence Lake is about 15.5 miles and 1500 feet of elevation gain.

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

Nearby Lodging

From $170/night

Big Trees Lodge

Fish Camp, California

From $100/night

Starry Night

Squaw Valley, California

From $90/night

Half Dome Village

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Fantastic!

It doesn’t get much better than this. Stop by Muir Trail camp for a dip in the hot springs and you pretty much achieve perfection.

Fantastic times on the gem of the JMT.

I did this backpacking trip this year. The views are amazing and the fishing was in full effect! Check out the few campsites near the back of the valley before the switchbacks up to Evolution Lake.

Yes I did this hike for 5 days and it was amazing adventure ...!!!

Distance

15.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1500 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Backpack to Crater Lake, Sierra National Forest

Adventure

John Muir Trail: Camping at Bear Creek

Adventure

Hike to White Bark VIsta

Adventure

Explore Devils Bathtub

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