Fish for a Sierra Grand Slam in Little Lakes

Rate this Adventure

Added by Jason Fitzgibbon

Great fishing for Brook, Rainbow, Browns, and the coveted Goldens"Sierra Grand Slam" opportunities! Epic views of the lakes and the Sierras. Easy access via Rock Creek Road.

Access to this relatively mellow (for the Sierras) trail can be reached via Rock Creek Road off of Highway 395, north of the town of Bishop, California. Following Rock Creek road southwest until its terminus will take you directly to the parking lot and signed trailhead for Little Lakes Valley.

From the parking lot the trail ascends gently through Little Lakes Valley, following meandering Rock Creek and passing several subalpine lakes along the way. Following the trail completely to the last lakes within the valley, the Gem Lakes, is approximately seven relatively easy miles one way. For those who wish to spend multiple days on the trail, several options to overnight exist as well with permit-required primitive camp areas at nearly every lake along the way.

This particular trip consisted of one day only, as I fly fished the majority of the lakes in the valley. Almost all of the lakes along the Little Lakes Valley trail contain fish, as well as many lakes just off the trail that are accessible by short cross country ventures. The species of fish present in the lakes consist mainly of a healthy mix of brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout, but if you are willing to make the cross country hike up to the Treasure Lakes (slightly farther than the Gem Lakes), you just may catch a coveted California golden trout. Catch all four species and you've landed yourself a Sierra Grand Slam!

Less than one half mile into the hike you will be greeted with grandiose views of the Sierra Crest, lush alpine meadows, and glistening emerald lakes. The scenery along this route is top notch, and the fishing is a blast.

It is also one of the easiest routes into the Sierra Nevada high country, as a result, it can be quite crowded (for the Sierras) during peak hiking season in mid-summer. A short jaunt off trail to one of the many adjacent lakes though will almost always find you seclusion and good fishing.

This trail is located in the John Muir Wilderness and as such, requires that any overnight excursions obtain permits first. Permits can be acquired online ahead of time at or purchased in Bishop at the Ranger Station. Day use does not require a permit. Don't forget that you are at altitude and can be subject to sudden, violent thunder storms during summer months, or massive temperature variances during late Spring and Fall; always bring an insulation layer and rain jacket.

Read More


Dog Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Rock Creek Road

Rock Creek Lake Group Camp

Overview Rock Creek Lake Group Campground is adjacent to the main Rock Creek Lake Campground. This tent-only site is located near Bishop, Tom's Place and Mammoth Lakes, California in Inyo National ...

Rock Creek Road

Rock Creek Lake

Overview This facility does not accept reservations.Recreation Rock Creek and other waterways in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains are known for exceptional trout fishing. A catch from the lake m...

Rock Creek Road

Aspen Group (Inyo)

Overview Aspen Group Campground is a secluded, creek side camp in Inyo National Forest between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, California. The group camping area is primitive and provides spectacular sce...

Tuff Campground Road

Tuff Campground

Overview Tuff Campground is situated along Rock Creek in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It is convenient to Tom's Place and U.S. Highway 395.At an elevation of 7,000 ft., it is l...

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack to Ruby Lake

    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:...

    4 miles 1000 ft gain

  • Hike Morgan Pass to 7 Scenic Lakes

    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 t...

    10 miles

  • Hike to Little Lakes Valley in the John Muir Wilderness

    The Little Lakes Valley located in the John Muir Wilderness provides easy access to spectacular views of High Sierra peaks as well as a long list of beautiful alpine lakes.The area is accessed via the Mono Pass Trail starting from Mosquito Flat/Li...

    3.2 miles 300 ft gain

  • Hike Mosquito Flat to Morgan Lakes

    This trail is best hiked from July through October, due to high levels of snow at elevation in the Sierras. Dogs are allowed in this area.  Mosquito Flat Campground is at the very end of the road - right past Rock Creek Lake off of Rock Creek Road...

    10.7 miles 1725 ft gain