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
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Backpacking, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



15.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1500 Feet



Easy Parking
Hot Springs

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How to Get There

15 days 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.

15 days 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!

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