Backpack Evolution Valley

Yosemite Florence Lake Campground

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.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Snacks
  • Meals
  • Camera
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water
  • Water filter
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

15.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1500 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

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.

about 2 months ago

about 1 year ago

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

about 1 year ago

Added by Christopher Grant

I'm a fourth year mechanical engineering major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I use a Canon 6D and love the outdoors!

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack to Vogelsang and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps

Yosemite / Lyell Canyon Trailhead

If you love the idea of backpacking to remote mountain destinations, but shudder at the thought of carrying a heavy pack and digging a hole to poop in, the High Sierra Camps are a great option.

Julie & Brian
3 Saves

Backpack Gem Lake Loop in Emigrant Wilderness

Yosemite / Crabtree Trailhead

The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain.

Nancy Lappetito
5 Saves

Snowshoe to Dewey Point, Yosemite NP

Yosemite / Dewey Point

Take the one-hour shuttle ride from the Yosemite Lodge to the Yosemite Ski Area, so that you don't have to worry about driving in the snowy conditions, or finding parking.

Julie & Brian
9 Saves