The trailhead is out of Big Pine, California, in the eastern Sierras.
Starting at high elevation, you have many good choices of Big Pine Canyon Trails including South Fork Trail, Baker Creek Trail, North Fork Trail to Palisade Glacier.
But I chose to do a lollypop loop of the Lakes.
First, Second, Third, Fourth. With a short detour up to Fifth Lake.
Then looped back via Black Lake, the prettiest section of all.
That was at least 10mi. At least 3000ft of elevation gain.
This area is very popular with fishermen. Rock climbers. And overnight (permit required) backpackers. It’s a bit long for day hikers.
Dudes ride this trail.
Lesson learned = try to get off the trail downhill. Otherwise the beasts fear you may fall down on top of them.
Look for the cabin originally built by actor Lon Chaney.
The best web page I found on the trip is posted by American S.W.
If it’s scorching hot in the valley, this is a good choice, the trail surprisingly shaded for a hike so high up.
Recommended. No permit nor fee required for day hikers.
see more of my photos from this day hike