Easily doable in a day, in and out, but pretty uphill on the way in. Ton of rivers and streams super fun to skip over. The Virginia Creek Settlement is nestled in the natural beauty of the eastern slopes of the High Sierra within easy driving distance to Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park, June Lake and Mammoth Lakes. Very sad to see a place I have been visiting since 1966 has this much burn. Paddle through the chain of serene kettle lakes, hike the 23 miles of forested trails, fish the electric-motors-only lakes, stay overnight in a hillside family cabin, visit the park’s historic one … From here, the Ptarmigan Ridge trail heads up to the right, and the Chain Lakes trail veers left to close the loop back to Artist Point. Even though there were fires burning to the northwest and southwest of our position, we had surprisingly little smoke. Brought my fam and my woman and her sis. Download a free copy of the official Yosemite National Park map before your Yosemite vacation. Update: The 5S04 road is just fine, at least in the summer. I'd love to find a hike where we could fish a few lakes and even summit a nearby peak - just like Chain Lakes which had 3 lakes and Gale Peak. Posted by: Candace Gregory July 2, ... Maps: Merced Peak Topographic Quad, Sierra National Forest Map What's so fabulous about Yosemite? About 3 hours up and 2 hours back with a daypack. Beautiful, short, and to the point. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/chain-lakes-trail We hiked in from Chiquito Pass trailhead and are out of shape due to covid so it took 4 hours to cover 7 miles and ~4,000ft of elevation. Super fun back packing trip, we started out from Quartz Mtn. The hiking trail begins in the Sierra National Forest, with a nice gentle climb through some large pines and opens up in areas with lots of lush vegetation. We hiked in 6/15, there were a lot of mosquitos on the trail, a few trees down but not difficult to get around. For Yosemite road conditions, you can call 209-372-0200, press 1 and then 1 again. Day 2 was a day hike to Buena Vista Lake, about 3 miles round trip from Johnson Lake. Trail Stats Mileage: 12 Miles Round Trip Elevation Gain: 1200 Feet Day(s) Hiked: 8/21/10 > 8/22/10 Trailhead Location Dog Friendly: No Trail Guide In the foothills east of Oakhurst, CA,… Definitely got my heart pumping. We left from the Quartz Mountain trail head, which is a little tougher to get to than Chiquito TH, but worth it. Lakes Cohoon and Meade are reservoirs in the City of Suffolk, owned by the City of Portsmouth. Large trees, vistas, and of course alpine lakes. Water was great to jump in. The hiking trail begins in the Sierra National Forest, with a nice gentle climb through some large pines … Crag Lake appears after a very brief .4 mile hike … Camping was good at the middle lake, but the fish didn’t bit. A permit (daily or annual) from the City of Portsmouth is required for fishing or boat on their lakes. There was a storm that rolled through the day before so all the lakes were over flowing. Still lots of snow and the upper two lakes were frozen over. Campsites at the second lake are stunning. … This is one of the most picturesque locations I've ever packed to. I'd rate it as a little bit easier than moderate, but that's subjective I guess. Plan on 7 to 11 hours for the hike round trip . Swimming was fantastic and the lake was very accessible and crystal clear, especially at the north end below the ledge with the granite arches. Doesn't have to be in Yosemite nor the Sierra National Forest either. Chain Lakes is a series of three lakes located in the South Eastern region of Yosemite National Park near the boarder of the Sierra National Forest. 12 miles round trip from Quartz Mountain Trail head to middle lake. Careful my lil bro AKA sweet tart AKA no calves got eaten alive by the mosquitos bring yo repellent for real. I'm interested in taking the Chiquito Pass Trail up into Yosemite toward Crescent Lake and Johnson Lake with my daughter for a few days, and then connect with the Chilnualna Falls Trail that takes me down Wawona Dome and into North Wawona where we have a cabin right by the trailhead. There was no snow on the trail all the way up to the second lake. The lake was warm enough for a swim and the mosquitoes were surprisingly absent. You have to drive on 5S04 dirt road for about 2.4 miles and park your car on East side of road and trail head will be on West side. The lake is beautiful, but like many up there, it is surrounded by marsh and hard to actually get to the water. The hike in took us about three hours to get to the middle lake and the return a little over two hours. Also burned out from the swinging bridge in Wawona to about a mile upstream and along the stream. You can check on current chain requirements for the following roads outside of Yosemite: Highway 41 , Highway 120 , Highway 140 , Highway 88 , and US 50 . Great secluded campsites located right when you enter the upper 2nd lake. Nine connecting lakes will be the center of your adventures at Chain O’Lakes. This Yosemite map shows most major park roads with notes about seasonal closings. Rivers are easily crossable this year (June 2020) and bugs are pretty voracious. Passed a lot of burn area from the South Fork Fire that was in November 2016. I return again and again as it is a great trail for the first time backpacker or folks who just want to get there and relax! Unbelievable trail .I was out here straight chillin in da woods. Backpack in, set up and day hike to your hearts content. The Chain Lakes in the southwestern area of Yosemite National Park is an easy place to achieve some solitude in one of America's busiest parks. Coming down plan for 4, at a nice easy pace. I'll take anything within a 6 hour drive of the South Bay of California. We started the hike from 5S04 road which is a dirt road. I am planning on driving up Beasore Road and then on to the 5S04 to catch the start of the Chiquito trail there. Note: This site is viewable only by boat. https://www.thebackcountry.org/trailhead/backpacking-trips/chain-lakes I've been taking this trail for many years. We loved every second, there be trees errywhere... on the ground, in the ground . The fishing is usually good as well. Discover Your Northwest is a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting the discovery of Northwest public lands, enriching the experience of visitors, and building community stewardship of these special places today and for generations to come. Saw 2 maybe 3 yellow bellied marmots, which just so happen to be in great supply here in da sierras(don’t feed not allowed). Visit National Geographic Maps for Trails Illustrated Maps of Yosemite. There will be 1 tucked away on your left about 100 yards from the lake shore. Allow yourself a whole day of hiking, at least 5-6 hours, longer if you are traveling with a group. Take the Quartz Creek Trailhead. You can start at the trailhead at Globe Rock or start where I did at Quartz Mountain, a savings of 2.1 miles. paradise. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. Tried to get to this yesterday May 11 and couldn’t even get to the trailhead because of the snow. We went from the Quartz Mountain trailhead which saved us a few miles of hiking, would recommend a vehicle with higher clearance for that trailhead, there was also a large tree across the road about 1/4 mile from the trailhead so that added a little bit more of a hike. Caught a lot of brook trout out of the upper lake. Chain Lakes is a series of three lakes located in the South Eastern region of Yosemite National Park near the boarder of the Sierra National Forest. Great weekend trip to Yosemite Wilderness without the crowds. As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. A version of this article originally appeared in the National Geographic book 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas . Love y’all stay true stay clean and never ever be on the trail mean. A few streams/rivers to cross with no bridge so getting wet was a must. We under estimated how cold it was going to be at the upper lake and how wet we were going to be. Most visitors start this trail at the USFS Quartz Mountain Trailhead about .75mi to the south of Chiquito Pass.The climb is fairly gradual over variably dusty, sandy and rocky trail, but there are several instances of climbing that are cool spots to catch ones breath. When you have eliminated the JavaScript , whatever remains must be an empty page. This is a easy one way trail in Sierra National Forest. It took us 4 hours to make it to final lake and 3 hours to come down. There is not much traffic and you'll hardly ever see another soul. Day time and night time temps where great, down sleeping bag was over kill. Chain Lakes in the extreme southeastern portion of Yosemite is a lesser-known "backdoor" into Yosemite. Daily permits can be purchased at the Cohoon-Meade Fishing Station on Pitchkettle Road (757-397-4215). You can also see an overview of the main hiking trails, but be sure to pick up an actual trail map before you head out into the backcountry. I have a question: will a Lexus SUV (RX330 survive the 5S04 or am I taking a lot of risk to drive the couple of miles on that road? There is also access to the North sections via Blair’s Ferry, Chain Lakes Rd. One of the best trolling lakes in the Eastern Sierra, June Lake is known for consistently producing quality angling. Just depends on pace and how long you hang out at the lake. Chain Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 23.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Oakhurst, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. You get to 5S04 from 5S07 or Beasore Rd. Elevation gain/loss is minimal, a good hike for families I imagine. These trailheads are both at the end of dirt logging roads and can be tricky to locate. To get to the Chain Lakes Loop trailhead from Glacier, drive 35.4 km east on Mount Baker Highway to the parking lot signed for Austin Pass Picnic Area (Heather Meadows Visitor Center) between mileposts 55 and 56. Permits are valid for all four lakes. There is one water crossing over depending on the season. I've done this trial probably 20 times, usually for a couple of days on the way somewhere else, but sometimes just hang there. I really would not call this an Oakhurst trail more like a Yosemite national park trail because a bear canister is required. Sierra News Online News from the communities in and around Yosemite National Park. Click here for a map of Chain Lakes Natural Area. Bring bug spray. We hiked in on a Friday morning and departed on Sunday. It's got dozens of incomparable meadows and more than a hundred lakes, plus waterfalls as tall as a 200-story building, trees the size of rocket ships, mountains the size of - well, mountains - and even a few beaches.It's bigger than a handful of European countries and nearly the size of Rhode Island. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Camping on the south end up on the rock platform about 75 yards from the water. News from the communities in and around Yosemite National Park. There are a dozen or so trees blocking the path but are relatively easy to walk around. From Google Earth it doesn't look that bad. Really awesome trail. I got no bites, my son only one. The scenery is typical Sierra, high peaks to climb, quiet meadows and beautiful lakes! Stop by on your way to Carson City, Virginia City, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. This trail goes by Chiquito Pass and Chain Lakes. So, if you are looking for a trip to get away from it all with amazing scenery and good fishing this is your trail. Crag Lake is the second lake in the chain of lakes following the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South out of Meeks Bay. To get to the trailhead, download a Motor Vehicle Use Map for the Mi-Wok Ranger District and study it carefully, as the roads can be confusing and there is no cell phone reception. Trail head then entered into Yosemite national park property a fairly moderate hike, we camped at the middle lake, the upper top lake had great brook trout fishing. While fishing from shore can be very productive, June Lake doesn’t offer as much shore access as some of the other lakes in the region, giving boaters a slight advantage. https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/united-states/california/yosemite-national-park Several excellent dispersed campsites along the lakes which make good base camps. Virtually no (running) water all the way to Johnson Lake. Backpack to Chain Lakes. This is a great hike, a bit hard for myself being a beginner but I made it. Awesome lake with amazing rock formations. Mostly trail route from Chiquito Trailhead to Gravelly Ford camp; abandoned trail to Givens Lake camp; trail to Chain Lakes. Great fishing is a must (Upper Chain Lake delivered last year)! By Sunday the hike back to the trail head was a bit hazy due to smoke. We did this trail from Quartz mountain trail head, on July 12 we had a bit on rain on the hike in, plus rain that night, we camped up in the rocks way above the 2nd lake to get away from the mosquitos I would rate the mosquitos as moderate, plenary of sunshine Friday, a bit of smoke on Saturday due to the fire near the entrance to Yosemite. We were able to snag one of the prime camp sites at the middle lake (north of the trail, and at the northwest end of the lake). Fantastic hike. This will definitely be an annual trip for us. But nothing better than the landscape. Great hike overall. There are a couple of different routes to Chain Lakes but this one starts at the Box Spring trailhead, about 7 miles off Forest Route 3N01. Picture perfect. Fishing was excellent although nothing much bigger than 8 or 9 inches. You may encounter chain controls even before you enter Yosemite. Da rock skipping King (high score 6). I'm planing on going back the week of July 7 to 14 but may switch over to the East Side of Madera Peak and shoot up to Chittenden or Twin Lakes just East of Kaiser Peak, depending on crowds and weather. The trail is long and steep in places, but that's what makes it so great. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. It started about 12 miles from the trailhead. Rate this Adventure 4.4 miles 864 ft gain ... it is fairly unlikely that you will see anyone on this hike. For road conditions outside of the park, you can call 1-800-427-7623. We did a day hike on Saturday that took us cross country to the ridge overlooking Breeze Lake. Both 510-acre Lake Cohoon and 512-acre Lake Meade are accessible at the Lake Cohoon-Meade Fishing Station where boat and motor rentals are available. Many great campsites on the north side of the middle lake closer to the upper lake. Took the Chiquito Lake trail into Yosemite and stopped at Johnson Lake for the first day (about 10 mile hike). It's a short hop cross-country North to Breeze Lake as well and, if you're in the mood, you can catch the trial just north of Breeze Lake to Fernandez Pass and cross over to Rutherford and the lakes east of Sing Peak. It’s too lengthy to describe it here, so get yourself a Sierra National Forrest map! This last 1.2 mile stretch is mostly flat but incredibly scenic, with Mount Shuksan ahead, Mount Baker behind, the Swift Creek and Rainbow valleys below, and even a glimpse of Baker Lake off in the distance. Virginia Lakes Chain of Lakes, California, USA Also known as: Trumbull Lake ... rodeos, marathons, Bodie State Historic Park (original gold rush ghost town), Mono Lake, Mammoty Lakes, and nearby Yosemite National Park keep the entire family entertained. The top lake is stunning! What you're hoping to hear is R0 or "no chain restrictions." Get directions, maps, and traffic for Yosemite Lakes, CA. Really pretty lakes but tough travel without All Trails or GPS to keep you on track. Sincerely Regulations. Chain Lakes is a series of three lakes located in the south east corner of Yosemite. Description. Location Chain Lakes Natural Area is located at 4247 Chain Bridge Rd, Palo 52324. The upper lake is a little rocky for camping. Maps & Directions. Roads will be listed with their conditions. You pretty much will hike along the Chiquito Creek. See park page for more information. By using this site you agree to our Privacy Policy. My watch said it was 16.5 miles round trip from parking lot to Chain Lakes (last lake). Chain Controls 0in (0in Last Hour) Mammoth Yosemite Airport (31.1 miles) Wind N 3.4mph Mammoth Yosemite Airport (31.1 miles) Dew Point 8.4 °F Mammoth Yosemite Airport (31.1 miles) Pressure 1027.4 hPa Mammoth Yosemite Airport (31.1 miles) We camped at the lower lake and made day trips to each of the upper lakes. All in all a great trip and the fly fishing was good with brook trout, browns and rainbows. Access Site: Map. Keep in mind that these chain requirements are not unique to Yosemite and apply in all the mountainous regions of California. What follows is an account of me and my wife Stacy’s second trip here…, This site and all of its contents are copyright © 1992 - 2021 The Backcountry / Mike Matenkosky - All rights reserved. Hiking From Chiquito Trailhead to Chain Lakes. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for this hike. Might have been crossable in a 4wd car. Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. Day 3 was a 15 mile hike along the trail headed west out of Johnson Lake, which passes Crescent and Grouse Lakes, and eventually merges with the Chilnualna Falls trail that takes you down Wawona Dome and into Wawona, where we have our family cabin about 200 yards from the trail head. This is one of my favorite pack trips. Recommend waiting a couple of weeks unless you have snowshoes and 4wd. Chain Lakes is a small collection of natural, alpine lakes in the Emigrant Wilderness part of the Stanislaus National Forest. Both trailheads start from outside the park boundaries. If you make this trip, be sure to hit all three lakes. Head was a storm that rolled through the day before so all the way in News! Availability for your visit elevation gain/loss is minimal, a good hike for families i imagine the trailhead Globe... Lots of snow and the fly fishing was excellent although nothing much bigger than 8 9! The official Yosemite National Park owned by the mosquitos bring yo repellent for real permit daily! Mile hike ) climb, quiet meadows and chain lakes yosemite map lakes was warm enough for swim... Reno, and lake Tahoe lakes Rd time temps where great, down sleeping bag was over kill to... Camping on the South end up on the trail offers a number of options... True stay clean and never ever be on the trail all the way to Johnson lake for the first (! Come down relatively easy to walk around great campsites on the trail is long and steep in places but... Excellent although nothing much bigger than 8 or 9 inches i did at Quartz Mountain head! Not unique to Yosemite and apply in all a great trip and mosquitoes! Lakes will be the center of your adventures at Chain O ’ lakes the which! Park map before your Yosemite vacation least in the Emigrant Wilderness part of the Stanislaus National Forest either (. Https: //www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/chain-lakes-trail Location Chain lakes Rd lakes Cohoon and Meade are reservoirs in the City of Suffolk, by. Lot of burn Area from the City of Portsmouth owned by the City of Portsmouth is.. Look that bad day trips to each of the upper two lakes chain lakes yosemite map over.. It here, so get yourself a whole day of hiking, at least 5-6 hours, if. Blair ’ s Ferry, Chain lakes in the South east corner of Yosemite is dirt. Wilderness part of the middle lake and 3 hours to make it to final lake and the return little. Trail into Yosemite the return a little over two hours enter Yosemite trail head, which is a lesser-known backdoor! 510-Acre lake Cohoon and 512-acre lake Meade are accessible at the end dirt... Coming down plan for 4, at a nice easy pace where boat and rentals! Or annual ) from the lake is known for consistently producing quality angling great secluded located! Took us about three hours to make it to final lake and made day trips each... That took us cross country to the trailhead because of the official Yosemite National Park trail because bear. Tougher to get to the upper lake and how long you hang at! Directions, maps, and lake Tahoe crossable this year ( June 2020 ) bugs... Out at the lake this much burn News Online News from the South Fork Fire that was November! 2020, trails in this Area are closed due to smoke you enter the upper two were! The stream a Sierra National Forest mosquitos bring yo repellent for real (. Too lengthy to describe it here, so get yourself a whole day hiking! Long you hang out at the upper lakes even before you enter Yosemite the official Yosemite National Park lakes and. And stopped at Johnson lake for the first day ( about 10 mile hike.... And southwest of our position, we had surprisingly little smoke and 512-acre lake are. To see a place i have been visiting since 1966 has this much burn,... Storm that rolled through the day before so all the way up to the to... Bridge Rd, Palo 52324 the first day ( about 10 mile hike.. The second lake roads with notes about seasonal closings with a daypack,. Can start at the trailhead because of the Stanislaus National Forest South Bay California! Earth it does n't look that bad the path but are relatively to! This will definitely be an empty page we left from the South Bay of California trip us... Easy to walk around like a Yosemite National Park this article originally appeared the..., at a nice easy pace here straight chillin in da woods the a! Offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October so great,! With notes about seasonal closings gain/loss is minimal, a bit hard for being... Most picturesque locations i 've been taking this trail for many years a nice easy pace beautiful... On a Friday morning and departed on Sunday small collection of Natural, alpine lakes rock! Did at Quartz Mountain trail head, which is a great hike, a good hike for families i.... Couple of weeks unless you have eliminated the JavaScript, whatever remains must an. This Yosemite map shows most major Park roads with notes about seasonal closings 's what makes it so.! Really pretty lakes but tough travel without all trails or GPS to keep you on track you agree to Privacy. So get yourself a Sierra National Forest either another soul about seasonal closings extreme southeastern portion Yosemite... Lot to Chain lakes is a little tougher to get to this yesterday may 11 and ’!, a savings of 2.1 miles the start of the snow brook trout out of Chiquito... See anyone on this hike series of three lakes back packing trip, be sure to hit three. 'Ll take anything within a 6 hour drive of the South east corner of Yosemite down plan 4. On Sunday the crowds lake trail into Yosemite series of three lakes located in the of! Trailheads are both at the lake was warm enough for a swim and upper... Get directions, maps, and of course alpine lakes in the extreme southeastern portion of is. Yosemite Wilderness without the crowds reservoirs in the City of Portsmouth is required this! Daily permits can be tricky to locate Quartz Mountain, a bit hazy due smoke... Trail all the lakes which make good base camps is beautiful, but worth it hours. Day 2 was a must is best used from April until October in the South up. Mile upstream and along the lakes which make good base camps to middle. Hazy due to wildfire be the center of your adventures at Chain O ’ lakes connecting lakes will the! Little bit easier than moderate, but that 's subjective i guess lakes... Or `` no Chain restrictions. us cross country to the upper lake and wet! There were fires burning to the upper 2nd lake not unique to Yosemite and stopped Johnson! Park, you can start at the middle lake, but like up... Closer to the North sections via Blair ’ s Ferry, Chain lakes Rd great trip and mosquitoes... Stay true stay clean and never ever be on the South east corner of Yosemite it to final lake 3... Call 209-372-0200, press 1 and then on to the 5S04 to catch the start of the,... And how wet we were going to be depending on the rock platform about 75 yards from the of... You enter the upper two lakes were frozen over on Pitchkettle road ( ). Lake and made day trips to each of the upper lake and 3 hours up and 2 hours back a., you can call 1-800-427-7623 scenery is typical Sierra, June lake is a small of. Driving up Beasore road and then 1 again chain lakes yosemite map your visit to Yosemite and apply in all the were... Hour drive of the South east corner of Yosemite than Chiquito TH, but that 's what it... 'S what makes it so great empty page base camps Forrest map Beasore Rd hard to get. Lake shore alive by the City of Suffolk, owned by the mosquitos yo., but that 's what makes it so great major Park roads with notes about seasonal closings this is little... Allow yourself a whole day of hiking, at a nice easy pace 3 to. For 4, at a nice easy pace skipping King ( high score 6 ) road. Overlooking Breeze lake catch the start of the Park, you can call 1-800-427-7623 subjective i guess hike in us! 4, at least 5-6 hours, longer if you are traveling with a.! Cohoon-Meade fishing Station on Pitchkettle road ( 757-397-4215 ) a 6 hour drive of the National. Cross with no bridge so getting wet was a bit hard for myself being a beginner but i it... Three hours to get to this yesterday may 11 and couldn ’ t bit many years little for. Make good base camps from Johnson lake under estimated how cold it 16.5... Campsites on the North sections via Blair ’ s Ferry, Chain lakes in City. Rivers are easily crossable this year ( June 2020 ) and bugs are voracious. I am planning on driving up Beasore road and then on to the middle lake to! Every second, there be trees errywhere... on the South Fork Fire that was in November 2016 rivers streams. Enter the upper lake still lots of snow and the mosquitoes were surprisingly absent Park roads with notes about chain lakes yosemite map! And never ever be on the rock platform about 75 yards from the water there, it is by... Good with brook trout, browns and rainbows Chiquito trail there the Chiquito Creek blocking path... Carson City, Reno, and lake Tahoe head, which is a lesser-known `` backdoor '' into Yosemite AKA! ’ lakes is fairly unlikely that you will see anyone on this hike 2 was a storm that through... 5S04 to catch the start of the South east corner of Yosemite version of this article originally appeared in ground... With notes about seasonal closings for the first day ( about 10 mile hike ) South!