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Mineral King Loop



25.6 mile 41.3 kilometer loop
67% Runnable


Ascent: 9,101' 2,774 m
Descent: -9,091' -2,771 m
High: 11,679' 3,560 m
Low: 7,069' 2,155 m


Avg Grade: 13% (8°)
Max Grade: 56% (29°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Aaron Groves

A challenging yet rewarding loop in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, CA.

Aaron Groves

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

The road to Mineral King has seasonal closures.


This route covers diverse terrain, from granite cirques, verdant meadows, and alpine lakes to high alpine scrambling passes and granite peaks and scree.


From the Timber Gap Trailhead follow the trail to the left to Timber Gap. You'll start out your journey on the Timber Gap Trail, which you'll follow for the first few miles of the outing. Once you arrive at Timber Gap Creek and the junction of Blackrock Pass, take a right and follow the trail towards Blackrock Pass. If you decide partway through the route that the full distance is a bit much, you can bail out on the Sawtooth/Glacier Pass Class III Shortcut. This route is still plenty rugged, so it might stretch the definition of a "shortcut". If your plan is to complete the full loop, continue your journey t Blackrock Pass. After a strenuous climb up to the pass, you'll have earned sweeping views.

Shortly after reaching the pass, you'll come to an intersection with the Big Five Lakes - Buckhorn Pass Trail. Take the cutoff towards the lakes, and you'll be rewarded by the gorgeous lakes known as Little 5 Lakes and Big 5 Lakes. Continue on the Big Five Lakes Trail to Buckhorn Pass and veer right towards Columbine Lake and Sawtooth Pass at an intersection with the Lost Canyon Trail. A beautiful alpine lake and scramble await, before a slippery scree slope descent back to the trailhead from Sawtooth Pass on the Monarch Trail.

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Jun 27, 2018
Karna Chana Blugrind
Oct 7, 2017
Angel Gaines
Timber gap to black rock pass; turned back at top. 25.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 14 votes


in Mineral King


  4.5 from 14 votes
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in Mineral King


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378 Views Last Month
25,193 Since Dec 16, 2015



From the mid-point in Lost Canyon, looking towards Sawtooth Pk. with Sawtooth Pass a little to the right of it.
Apr 19, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Lake 9830, the lowest of the Big 5 Lakes.
Oct 6, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Mt. Kaweah, Red Kaweah, Black Kaweah, and Big Arroyo are beautiful from the trail. It's possible to head down Big Five Creek and up the draw below Mt. Kaweah. It's very steep, but thankfully there's no exposure.
Apr 19, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Morning reflections on pond along Big 5 Lakes Trail
Oct 8, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Glacier Pass, headed toward Spring Lake.
Sep 12, 2016 near Three R…, CA
Lost Canyon toward Sawtooth Pass. This part is a very serene path.
Sep 20, 2018 near Three R…, CA


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