The Chocolate Lakes Loop Trail is a 7.4 mile hike in Inyo National Forest in the Eastern Sierras. The trail features many glorious alpine lakes, hidden gems that are hard to access outside of the summer months.

Begin at the South Lake Wildflower Trail and head toward Chocolate Peak (the brown peak on the horizon). Take note that the trail is not maintained once it leaves the main trail by long lake. Previous hikers have left rock cairns along the path to indicate the proper direction to take. It is suggested to hike the loop in a counter clockwise direction (bear right at the fork).

This trail allows dogs. 

Photos: Lin ChenDustin Blakey and Justin Johnsen

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking boots or trail runners
  • Map
  • If you are spending the night:
    • Permits
    • Water filtration 
    • Sleeping bag
    • Sleeping pad
    • Tent
    • Headlamp
    • Cookware
    • First aid kit 
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RT Distance 7.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1633 Feet
Activities Canoeing, Camping, Fishing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike up to Bishop's Pass

To get to the hike drive twenty miles west from the town of Bishop, California up Hwy 168 to South Lake.

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Backpack Evolution Basin via South Lake

It’s been called the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevada, the highlight of the entire 211-mile John Muir Trail.

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Explore the Treasure Lakes Trail

The Treasure Lakes Trail is dog and kid friendly, just make sure all parties can handle the elevation gain. The scenery throughout the entire hike is amazing, and early in the summer, the creeks roar.

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