Hike Morgan Pass to 7 Scenic Lakes

Yosemite Little Lakes Valley Trail

Added by Tiffany Nguyen

  • Moderate, half day hike with rewarding views
  • Scenic lake views with the Eastern Sierras as a picturesque backdrop
  • Easy terrain and very short distances between lakes make this 10 mile (round trip) hike go by fast
  • Lakes on lakes on lakes - cool down and take a dip!

Take the 395 North for 20 miles past Bishop and make a left on Rock Creek Road. Follow this road for 10 miles until you reach the free parking area at the Mosquito Flats Trailhead. Even on a holiday weekend, finding parking wasn’t a problem. The trailhead offers easy access to bathrooms and bear boxes for anyone in need. Be sure to bring plenty of water or a filter as there is no drinkable water on this trail. The trail starts at 10,000+ feet so be sure to get acclimated before heading into the glacier-carved valley. Make sure to start this hike relatively early in the day to enjoy optimal views of the many lakes that lie ahead.

The hike begins with an easy ascent with Rock Creek by your side. When you reach the first fork in the trail, go left towards Morgan Pass to reach your first lake. Your first stop will be at Mack Lake, one of the most scenic views of the hike. Take some time to explore the rocks to your left to fully appreciate the amazing view of Mack Lake being fed by Rock Creek with the Eastern Sierras as a backdrop. Continue on the trail and go left at the next fork in the road to reach Marsh Lake. Soak in the striking reflection of the Eastern Sierras on Marsh Lake’s surface and the beautiful greenery surrounding the lake. Head back to the main trail to continue to Heart Lake. Some shaded areas next to the lake make for a serene lunch spot.

The lakes keep on coming as you continue past Box Lake and towards Long Lake, one of the largest lakes you’ll encounter on your hike. Next up is Chickenfoot Lake which lies off the main trail so be sure to keep an eye out for a sign on your left directing you to this supremely secluded lake. Head back to the main trail and continue on until you reach the fork in the trail that directs you to either Morgan Pass or Gem Lakes. Go straight towards Morgan Pass and save the oasis that is Gem Lakes for your trip back. The Morgan Pass to Upper Morgan Lake has a steady incline with about 4-5 switchbacks until you’ve reached 11,000+ feet in elevation. Head down into the valley to reach this desolate yet stunning lake.

When you’re ready, head back over the Morgan Pass and take the fork to the left to head to Gem Lakes. Make sure to explore the diverse scenery surrounding this trio of glacier-fed turquoise lakes.

When you can stand to pull yourself away, head back the way you came for the 3.5 mile hike back to the parking area. You’ll have worked up quite an appetite by this point so be sure to stop by Mahogany Smoked Meats for some jerky and Erick Schat’s Bakery for a hefty sandwich on your way back through Bishop!

Pack List

  • Sun Protection
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Daypack
  • Bathing Suit
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Activities:

Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

One of the best trails to get up into the high country

This is one of my go to places to get some amazing views and alpine scenery. Just take it easy because you're at 10,000 feet elevation!

about 1 month ago

Added by Tiffany Nguyen

Email: tiffpenguinphoto@gmail.com

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