Backpack to Ruby Lake

Yosemite Little Lakes Valley Trail

Added by Sarah Horn

Despite it being only a few miles in from the trailhead, the hike and camp destination will satisfy all of your alpine wishes.

At 10,200 feet, the trailhead (Little Lakes Valley) for Ruby Lake is one of the highest (if not the highest) in the Sierra. Meaning you get right to the heart of the mountains quickly. Ruby Lake itself is at 11,200 feet elevation.

How to get there: At Tom's Place off of Hwy 395, turn southwest into the range on the Rock Creek Road, head 10.5 miles until the road ends at Mosquito Flat.

You start the hike heading into Little Lakes Valley, with a view of Bear Creek Spire, Mount Morgan, Mount Dade and Mount Abbot. After about .5 miles, you'll hit a junction where you'll take the trail to the right heading up to Mono Pass.

Follow that for about 1.5 miles and you're at Ruby Lake. Easy! Now you can set up camp and chill or head farther up Mono Pass Trail or back down and into Little Lakes Valley.

There's tons to explore, climb, fish etc. in this area. This area is in the John Muir Wilderness and you'll need a permit to camp. The Forest Service reserves 60 percent for advanced reservations and the other 40 percent for walk-in available 24 hours before day of adventure.

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Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer

Trail Type:



4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1000 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

7 months ago

Great hike!

I like using Ruby lake as a place to acclimate before heading over Mono Pass to Pioneer Basin or the Muir Divide. Beautiful scenery a short distance from the trailhead.

7 months ago

Added by Sarah Horn

Currently working on ways to keep my toes from freezing and spending more time on the trail. Happy exploring!

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