“A challenging route to the John Muir Trail at the head of Evolution Valley.”
— Bruce Hope
This trail enters the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park; federal wilderness area and park regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics. Camp 100 feet from fragile areas; bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually closed by snow between November and May. Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in national forest and park wilderness'.
Need to Know
Day running does not require a wilderness permit, but overnight trips do require one. Both the wilderness and the park have permit quotas in effect between May and September (with applications accepted beginning March 1st). In this timeframe, a limited number of people are allowed at each trailhead per day in order to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude during the busy summer months. See the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park website for information on how to apply for a park permit at the reservation.gov website for wilderness permits.
This trail separates from the Piute Pass Trail
not far from the North Lake Campground. Trailhead parking is at the pack station 0.5 miles away.
From the trailhead, the clearly marked sand trail climbs consistently in a series of switchbacks through a pleasant pine forest after separating from the Piute Pass Trail
. After 0.7 miles, you pass a side trail to Grass Lake and, after 1.4 miles, the eastern shore of Lower Lamarck Lake.
After proceeding a short distance along the south shore of Lower Lamarck, the trail angles up to the south, over a small ridge, and down to an unbridged crossing of Lamarck Creek, which flows out of Lower Lamarck Lake. Once across the creek, the trail works its way to the southwest and eventually along the creek linking Upper and Lower Lamarck Lakes.
Near the outlet of Upper Lamarck Lake, the trail ends just past the beginning of the Lamarck Col Trail
on the shore of Upper Lamarck Lake.