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State Lakes Loop

Intermediate
 5.0 (1)

A peaceful and seldom-traveled, wooded route in the heart of the Monarch Divide.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

88%

Runnable

10,490' 3,197 m

High

9,672' 2,948 m

Low

899' 274 m

Up

622' 190 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

The State Lakes Loop is a really beautiful excursion off the Simpson Meadow Trail in the Monarch Divide. Lower State Lake is breathtaking and peaceful with easy access to the off-trail state lakes. It's a beautiful swim with lots of rocks to launch from so you avoid stirring up the muck. Upper State Lake is nice, but brings to mind a giant puddle. After the Upper Lake, the trail can be easy to lose in the rocks so pay attention.

Be very careful in the creek crossings during wet years. The second crossing, right before you start to climb toward the lower lake, is particularly sketchy in the wet season.

Nearby Horseshoe Lakes is an excellent launching point for a cross-country trip to Lakes Basin and the original John Muir Trail route.

Check out the photos here for tips to find the abandoned Shorty's Cabin below lower State Lake.

Contacts

Shared By:

Sophie Carrillo-Mandel

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2618

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#280

in California

#2,618

Overall
16 Views Last Month
798 Since Sep 8, 2015
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Photos

Right after the State Lakes junction.
Dec 22, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
Dry creek bed "flowing" out of Upper State Lake; this is where the trail becomes easy to lose.
Dec 23, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
Upper State Lake with Dougherty Peak in the background.
Dec 23, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
This is sometimes a meadow and sometimes a swamp.
Dec 23, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
The remaining trunk of a dead lodge pole pine with a "candlelight" marks where the trail begins to climb.
Dec 23, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
Lower State Lake.
Dec 23, 2015 near Big Pine, CA

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