Backpacking and Fishing the Meysan Lakes

Meysan Lake Trailhead, Inyo, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Fishing, Photography, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Distance: 10 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 4000ft. Can be done as a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip. Your choice of 3 lakes that are filled with Brook Trout. Views of the surrounding mountains, as well as the view down below looking at Owens Valley. Incredible stargazing and opportunities for night photography.

Trail is hiked from mid-June to end of September most seasons. Once the snow starts to fall, the road to the trailhead will be closed. Permit is require for overnight and day use. You can obtain the permits online or at the ranger station in Lone Pine. Book online if you plan on overnighting. Bear containers are also a requirement if overnighting.

You have the option to camp at Meysan Lake, Grass Lake, or Camp Lake. The hike up is strenuous and takes around 6-8 hours. Start early and take advantage of the cooler weather. The trail is well groomed with gradual elevation gain. Elevation sickness is common on the trail. I've hiked it a couple times now and each time, someone gets ill. If you start to get ill, I suggest turning back.

Once you setup camp, take dip in the lakes if you can handle the chilly water or chill out in a hammock, climb up one of the surround peaks, or bring a fly rod and catch Brook trout all day. The trout flourish in the lakes. They range from 5" to 7".

As always, weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, but for most of the peak season, the weather is sunny, with highs in the low 70's and lows in the mid 40's. Late season may see temps dip lower at night. NO CAMP FIRES allowed.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tent
  • Hammock
  • Stove
  • Headlamp
  • Water filtration
  • Camera
  • Trekking poles
  • Hat
  • Buff
  • Sunscreen and/or UPF shirt
  • Fly Rod (if you want to fish)
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Made it to Grass Lake. The brook trout were biting and I figured that was far enough for my one night of backpacking. I passed a few people day hiking, but no one overnight. Certainly a great spot for stars as well. Instagram: @occasional_hiker

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Mike O'Hara

Photographer. California Native. Avid Adventurer. Ocean Dweller.

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