Blog post with trip report is here. Past Hamilton Gorge, the trail continues up to Precipice Lake. Most people stop at Hamilton Lake or go over Kaweah Gap into Big Arroyo to camp (both are also stunning places). From Hamilton Lake, we continued our ascend over the Great Western Divide. There are still plenty of clouds as I set up camp. We found good tent sites, and took a lovely swim in Lake Hamilton. MODERATE 6.0 mi. The snow lessens and we reach a bowl where the trail is invisible. If you are worried about running out, fill up water before you leave Hamilton Lake and when you get to Precipice Lake. As I mentioned, our original hope was to make it to Nine Lakes Basin by nightfall. In winter conditions, when snow is blocking the tunnel or there is ice on the trail this section of the trail is impassable unless you are equipped for winter mountaineering. The lovely Precipice Lake The lake is a marvel. Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is a 8.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. There is a water crossing right past the tunnel (if you’re heading Eastbound). We crossed a snow field on the way to the glacier filled Precipice Lake. This water crossing was the scariest of all of them. Precipice Lake Lake, 1¼ miles southeast; Sequoia National Park Park, 1¼ miles northeast; Other Places. I love how you get views of Precipice Lake on one side and views of the Hamilton Lakes valley on the other side! Day 5: Moraine Lake to Hamilton Lake. The High Sierra Trail leads from Crescent Meadow up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, crossing the Great Western Divide by the 10,700' (3261 meters) pass known as Kaweah Gap. Here is Day 2 of our trip: If you’ve hiked the High Sierra Trail or plan to do so in the future, please join our Facebook Group, High Sierra Trail! You will get a taste of the "high sierra" on your way to a beautiful pristine lake. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Precipice Lake. If I hadn't been in very good shape, I might have passed out on the switchbacks after Hamilton Lake. Precipice Lake, naturally. For energetic hikers who don’t mind an extra ascent, Precipice Lake and Kaweah Gap are excellent day hikes from Hamilton Lake that offer even more panoramic vistas of the Great Western Divide and her many peaks. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until August. Hamilton Lake. This lake sits in a granite bowl at around 10,300 feet entirely fed by snowmelt. There is no guard rail, and if you fall it’s a very steep drop into the gorge. These Peaks(s) apear as one from what you can see from the naked eye at the Big Hamilton Lake unless you've got the most amazing depth perception imaginable. The vegetation in this area has a stunted growth because of the lack of rainfall. This trail goes by Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. After departing the lake, we found our way back to the camp we had passed the day before, which was situated next to a running stream. After your break at Precipice Lake, you climb the last 400 ft to the Kaweah Gap, the official pass over the Great Western Divide. Working forward in the direction we must we find and climb a little ridge --Kaweah Gap, 10,700. The early morning light over that was unreal. Precipice Lake via High Sierra Trail. This lake sits in a granite bowl at around 10,300 feet entirely fed by snowmelt. Welcome to Campsite Vibes! Even late in September, there was some snow lingering on the cliffs that overlook Precipice Lake. Prior to 2014, I had never slept in a tent or even hiked more than a mile or two. You can then follo… The trail passes and climbs above a lower lake before you get to Precipice. It was fantastic, the warmest water so far, so we could actually enjoy it and stay in longer. Hamilton Lakes, Precipice Lake. The Plan June 18 – Hike 9 Mile Creek to Precipice Lake (36.552500,-118.559689) 9 Mile Creek to Bearpaw Meadow Camp (36.565340,-118.620522) … Read More But when we came upon the brilliant reflections emanating from Upper Precipice Lake, all our planning flew out the window. But this was the coldest night on the HST. Middle-Hamilton Lake to Kern Hot Springs ... At Precipice Lake, almost 500' higher we are exhausted but make good time across snowfields and snowbridges across water. When to go: July through end of September. The walls of the cirque surrounding the lake are sheer and steep, and having to construct a trail wide enough for pack trains to navigate in … I created Campsite Vibes as a place to share my story and my adventures to inspire and empower you to go on the adventures you’ve been dreaming of! Be very careful. From the Kaweah Gap, there is a gradual descent over the last 3 miles to the Big Arroyo Junction. The High Sierra Trail has two great ascents – the first one over Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the second over the Eastern Sierra and Trail Crest at Mt. Sawtooth Pass Trail to Columbine Lake [CLOSED], Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass to Timber Gap Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King: Black Rock Pass Loop [CLOSED], Tar Gap Trail to Hockett Meadows [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass and Franklin Lakes Loop [CLOSED], Sawtooth Peak and Columbine Lake to Timber Gap [CLOSED]. Itinerary. And we'll be climbing 3 miles and 2,000 feet for it. Whether you’re spinning, baitcasting or fly fishing your chances of getting a bite here are good. As we start going up the trail, the sun started to raise and we started to see the lower and upper Hamilton lakes from higher up. The hike from Precipice Lake down into the Hamilton Lakes Basin was spectacular. The Great Western Divide acts as a barrier for incoming storms and not leaving much precipitation for this valley. Plus, it passes right by a lake that had been on my dream list for a long time - Precipice Lake. Marmot sunning on the rocks . 9. Big Hamilton Lake to Unnamed Lake at 10,900 feet (11 miles, +4,000/-1,200 feet). As we climbed out of Big Hamilton Lake the views were amazing! The lake that started me planning this trip shenanigan that we embarked on. Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. There is easy access to the river to fill up water, wade in, and wash your clothes in. Even late in September, there was some snow … This section of the trail was very exposed and I suggest getting an early start to beat the heat! The hike begins with a series of switchbacks as you climb up the granite wall that overlooks Hamilton Lake. It’s the last lake in the chain that feeds into Hamilton Lake and others. The trip to Hamilton Lakes is part of the High Sierra Trail. Gil (GoHiker.com) and I hiked the High Sierra Trail to Mt. I suggest filling up water here before continuing to Kaweah Gap. Looking North from Precipice Lake at the prominent Peak(s) that are visible when you look up from the Big Hamilton Lake. But location counts a lot, too, and icy Precipice, which sits at 10,300 feet inside a bowl of sheer granite, couldn’t be better situated: at the end of a 19.5-mile trek through the hot and dusty Sierras. based on 15 tracks & routes | | MODERATE ... Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. Keep walking straight and you will see an old wooden ranger cabin, set up camp near there. In retrospect, this was almost too ambitious. This high alpine lake is tucked away in a spectacular hanging valley at the end of a steep, relentless trail from Emerald Lake. Our final views of Hamilton Lake disappeared behind us as we headed for the ridge up above where Precipice supposedly sat on the other side. The trail gets narrow as you get to the avalanche chute known as Hamilton Gorge. I got frost on the inside of my tent, and even with a 20 degree bag and a sleeping bag liner to add another 15 degrees, I was still cold all night. The trail down from Precipice to Hamilton Lake is really beautiful, snaking along steep, glacier-polished granite an sometimes wandering through little hanging gardens of wildflowers. 8. Nearly the entire stretch of trail between Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake proved to be quite impressive in it’s construction. 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