Backpack to Fourth Lake on the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail

North Fork Trail

Enjoy world class hiking with 6 lakes in close proximity to each other with Temple Crag and Cloudripper looming overhead.

From Big Pine, you'll turn onto Crocker St. to head towards the mountains. Once you are about 11 miles down the road you will see a sign and a turnoff on the right for trailhead parking. That is where you are going to want to park if you are staying overnight but you can continue to where the road dead-ends if you are just doing a day hike. There are bear boxes their to store anything extra you aren't going to be bringing with you and bear cans are required for the area.

Once you start the hike from whichever trailhead, you'll meetup quickly and continue up towards the lakes. When you reach an old cabin, you are about halfway to First Lake. Continue on past Second, Third, and then find a comfortable spot around Fourth lake to set up camp. There are a few sites around the lake and a couple up on the bluffs that overlook the lake. It can get windy, so find a nice protected spot.

For the hike out, take the trail that leads past Black Lake and gives you great views of 1st and 2nd lake from above.

If you're looking for a more established campground and a day hike, check out this adventure.

Pack List

  • Backpacking Supplies
  • Wilderness Permit if you are staying overnight
  • Bear Cans
  • Sunscreen
  • Fishing Equipment
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RT Distance 12.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 3000 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic

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Fourth Lake

Spent 2 nights and 3 days on the Northside of Fourth Lake facing South, beautiful views of the mountains and the top half of Palisade Glacier.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

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