Backpack Evolution Valley

Florence Lake Campground - Search Nearby - Added by Christopher Grant

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.

Distance

15.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1500 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Housekeeping Camp

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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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 ...!!!

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