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. What's so fabulous about Yosemite? If you make this trip, be sure to hit all three lakes. Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. 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. 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! I've been taking this trail for many years. 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) What you're hoping to hear is R0 or "no chain restrictions." paradise. 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. Allow yourself a whole day of hiking, at least 5-6 hours, longer if you are traveling with a group. Really pretty lakes but tough travel without All Trails or GPS to keep you on track. The lake was warm enough for a swim and the mosquitoes were surprisingly absent. Description. 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. 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. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Download a free copy of the official Yosemite National Park map before your Yosemite vacation. Great fishing is a must (Upper Chain Lake delivered last year)! I've done this trial probably 20 times, usually for a couple of days on the way somewhere else, but sometimes just hang there. Location Chain Lakes Natural Area is located at 4247 Chain Bridge Rd, Palo 52324. Careful my lil bro AKA sweet tart AKA no calves got eaten alive by the mosquitos bring yo repellent for real. 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. Chain Controls Backpack to Chain Lakes. Camping was good at the middle lake, but the fish didn’t bit. Take the Quartz Creek Trailhead. Note: This site is viewable only by boat. Chain Lakes in the extreme southeastern portion of Yosemite is a lesser-known "backdoor" into Yosemite. Water was great to jump in. The fishing is usually good as well. 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 . 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. Update: The 5S04 road is just fine, at least in the summer. 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? The hiking trail begins in the Sierra National Forest, with a nice gentle climb through some large pines … This is a easy one way trail in Sierra National Forest. Love y’all stay true stay clean and never ever be on the trail mean. This is one of my favorite pack trips. We camped at the lower lake and made day trips to each of the upper lakes. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. Took the Chiquito Lake trail into Yosemite and stopped at Johnson Lake for the first day (about 10 mile hike). Posted by: Candace Gregory July 2, ... Maps: Merced Peak Topographic Quad, Sierra National Forest Map We did a day hike on Saturday that took us cross country to the ridge overlooking Breeze Lake. Day time and night time temps where great, down sleeping bag was over kill. 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. News from the communities in and around Yosemite National Park. There was no snow on the trail all the way up to the second lake. Doesn't have to be in Yosemite nor the Sierra National Forest either. Awesome lake with amazing rock formations. Unbelievable trail .I was out here straight chillin in da woods. The upper lake is a little rocky for camping. 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. Super fun back packing trip, we started out from Quartz Mtn. Coming down plan for 4, at a nice easy pace. All in all a great trip and the fly fishing was good with brook trout, browns and rainbows. The top lake is stunning! 12 miles round trip from Quartz Mountain Trail head to middle lake. 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). Virtually no (running) water all the way to Johnson Lake. It’s too lengthy to describe it here, so get yourself a Sierra National Forrest map! Just depends on pace and how long you hang out at the lake. Beautiful, short, and to the point. Access Site: Map. Sincerely Maps & Directions. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for this hike. There is also access to the North sections via Blair’s Ferry, Chain Lakes Rd. 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. You get to 5S04 from 5S07 or Beasore Rd. 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. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/chain-lakes-trail 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. Definitely got my heart pumping. Bring bug spray. There are a dozen or so trees blocking the path but are relatively easy to walk around. One of the best trolling lakes in the Eastern Sierra, June Lake is known for consistently producing quality angling. 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. Caught a lot of brook trout out of the upper lake. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Backpack in, set up and day hike to your hearts content. We loved every second, there be trees errywhere... on the ground, in the ground . Rivers are easily crossable this year (June 2020) and bugs are pretty voracious. A version of this article originally appeared in the National Geographic book 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas . 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. The lake is beautiful, but like many up there, it is surrounded by marsh and hard to actually get to the water. Passed a lot of burn area from the South Fork Fire that was in November 2016. Regulations. Picture perfect. You may encounter chain controls even before you enter Yosemite. 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. Click here for a map of Chain Lakes Natural Area. There is not much traffic and you'll hardly ever see another soul. 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. You pretty much will hike along the Chiquito Creek. Roads will be listed with their conditions. Da rock skipping King (high score 6). Campsites at the second lake are stunning. There is one water crossing over depending on the season. … The scenery is typical Sierra, high peaks to climb, quiet meadows and beautiful lakes! Might have been crossable in a 4wd car. We started the hike from 5S04 road which is a dirt road. 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. Camping on the south end up on the rock platform about 75 yards from the water. 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. Nine connecting lakes will be the center of your adventures at Chain O’Lakes. For road conditions outside of the park, you can call 1-800-427-7623. Even though there were fires burning to the northwest and southwest of our position, we had surprisingly little smoke. Fantastic hike. This is a great hike, a bit hard for myself being a beginner but I made it. It took us 4 hours to make it to final lake and 3 hours to come down. 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. We under estimated how cold it was going to be at the upper lake and how wet we were going to be. For Yosemite road conditions, you can call 209-372-0200, press 1 and then 1 again. The hike in took us about three hours to get to the middle lake and the return a little over two hours. This is one of the most picturesque locations I've ever packed to. I'll take anything within a 6 hour drive of the South Bay of California. Recommend waiting a couple of weeks unless you have snowshoes and 4wd. Stop by on your way to Carson City, Virginia City, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. Great hike overall. Great weekend trip to Yosemite Wilderness without the crowds. https://www.thebackcountry.org/trailhead/backpacking-trips/chain-lakes Ton of rivers and streams super fun to skip over. Plan on 7 to 11 hours for the hike round trip . https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/united-states/california/yosemite-national-park Both trailheads start from outside the park boundaries. This will definitely be an annual trip for us. Still lots of snow and the upper two lakes were frozen over. This Yosemite map shows most major park roads with notes about seasonal closings. Fishing was excellent although nothing much bigger than 8 or 9 inches. Very sad to see a place I have been visiting since 1966 has this much burn. I really would not call this an Oakhurst trail more like a Yosemite national park trail because a bear canister is required. Keep in mind that these chain requirements are not unique to Yosemite and apply in all the mountainous regions of California. From Google Earth it doesn't look that bad. There was a storm that rolled through the day before so all the lakes were over flowing. Tried to get to this yesterday May 11 and couldn’t even get to the trailhead because of the snow. It started about 12 miles from the trailhead. There will be 1 tucked away on your left about 100 yards from the lake shore. 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 … Swimming was fantastic and the lake was very accessible and crystal clear, especially at the north end below the ledge with the granite arches. So, if you are looking for a trip to get away from it all with amazing scenery and good fishing this is your trail. Daily permits can be purchased at the Cohoon-Meade Fishing Station on Pitchkettle Road (757-397-4215). These trailheads are both at the end of dirt logging roads and can be tricky to locate. Several excellent dispersed campsites along the lakes which make good base camps. I am planning on driving up Beasore Road and then on to the 5S04 to catch the start of the Chiquito trail there. 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 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. Also burned out from the swinging bridge in Wawona to about a mile upstream and along the stream. Elevation gain/loss is minimal, a good hike for families I imagine. 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. I'd rate it as a little bit easier than moderate, but that's subjective I guess. We hiked in 6/15, there were a lot of mosquitos on the trail, a few trees down but not difficult to get around. Great secluded campsites located right when you enter the upper 2nd lake. Lakes Cohoon and Meade are reservoirs in the City of Suffolk, owned by the City of Portsmouth. 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. 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. When you have eliminated the JavaScript , whatever remains must be an empty page. Chain Lakes is a series of three lakes located in the south east corner of Yosemite. Chain Lakes is a small collection of natural, alpine lakes in the Emigrant Wilderness part of the Stanislaus National Forest. We hiked in on a Friday morning and departed on Sunday. The trail is long and steep in places, but that's what makes it so great. Many great campsites on the north side of the middle lake closer to the upper lake. This trail goes by Chiquito Pass and Chain Lakes. About 3 hours up and 2 hours back with a daypack. 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. My watch said it was 16.5 miles round trip from parking lot to Chain Lakes (last lake). Hiking From Chiquito Trailhead to Chain Lakes. As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. Crag Lake is the second lake in the chain of lakes following the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South out of Meeks Bay. 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. Day 2 was a day hike to Buena Vista Lake, about 3 miles round trip from Johnson Lake. You can start at the trailhead at Globe Rock or start where I did at Quartz Mountain, a savings of 2.1 miles. Visit National Geographic Maps for Trails Illustrated Maps of Yosemite. By using this site you agree to our Privacy Policy. Really awesome trail. 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. But nothing better than the landscape. A permit (daily or annual) from the City of Portsmouth is required for fishing or boat on their lakes. We left from the Quartz Mountain trail head, which is a little tougher to get to than Chiquito TH, but worth it. I got no bites, my son only one. 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). Sierra News Online News from the communities in and around Yosemite National Park. Rate this Adventure 4.4 miles 864 ft gain ... it is fairly unlikely that you will see anyone on this hike. See park page for more information. 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. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Yosemite Lakes, CA. Large trees, vistas, and of course alpine lakes. 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. By Sunday the hike back to the trail head was a bit hazy due to smoke. Easily doable in a day, in and out, but pretty uphill on the way in. Crag Lake appears after a very brief .4 mile hike … 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,… Permits are valid for all four lakes. Mostly trail route from Chiquito Trailhead to Gravelly Ford camp; abandoned trail to Givens Lake camp; trail to Chain Lakes. Brought my fam and my woman and her sis. A few streams/rivers to cross with no bridge so getting wet was a must. 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