• Activities:

    Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    15.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1500 Feet

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.

Pack List

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

Community Photos

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Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

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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