Trail Run Project Logo

Hilton Lakes

Intermediate
 3.5 (2)

Relatively easy trail to a basin of high mountain lakes.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

5.2

Miles

8.4

KM

91%

Runnable

10,380' 3,164 m

High

9,846' 3,001 m

Low

723' 220 m

Up

707' 216 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No campfires are allowed. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight stays. Reservations can be made at recreation.gov and some walk-in permits can be obtained from Inyo National Forest visitor centers.

Description

The Hilton Lakes trail starts and ends at just over 9,800 feet, and there is only 750 feet of total climbing over 6 miles. The only steep part is the 500 foot drop in one mile from the high point (10,380) to Hilton Lake 2 (9,850).

The Rock Creek Pack station is located near the beginning of the trail. It provides wilderness pack trips and day rides by reservation.

The trailhead parking is about 100 yards up the road from the signed trailhead. The trail climbs about 150 feet and then contours for nearly 3 miles mostly along the rim of the Rock Creek Canyon, with gradual ups and downs and many flat sections. There are great views in the morning back to the granite crest of the Sierras with 4 peaks over 13,400 feet. In the afternoon, the sun shines across Rock Creek Canyon to the forested slopes that lead up to Wheeler Ridge and the mineral rich, multicolored ridge that leads to Mt. Morgan.

At 1.3 miles, we reach a junction with a trail that climbs up directly from the Pines Creek Campground. Starting from this trailhead saves about 3/4th of a mile, but it adds about 400 feet of climbing. At 3 miles, the trail begins a moderate climb to a low ridge (10,380) and then it drops fairly steeply down towards Hilton Lake 2. At 4.5 miles it passes the signed junction with the trail that leads to Lakes 3 and 4 and the upper Hilton Lakes.

When you get down to the level of Hilton Lake 2 and pass fairly near the lake, there is a trail-of-use- that leads directly to the lake. A little farther on we reach a trail junction. The left trail is the Davis Lake Spur which goes to the end of the peninsula between the two lobes of Davis Lake. A trail of use branches off it to the outlet of Hilton Lake 2 and along the northern shore of the lake.

From the junction, the trail straight ahead is the Hilton Creek Trail, which passes along the eastern shore of Davis Lake and then follows Hilton Creek, first through a gently sloped, forested canyon and then out descends high desert land all the way to a trailhead just above US 395 near the small town of Crawley Lake.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lee Watts

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#23185

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2,440

in California

#23,185

Overall
6 Views Last Month
92 Since Jun 15, 2021
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Morning view of Sierra crest from Hilton Lakes Trail. From left to right: Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade, Mt Abbot, and Mt. Mills, allover 13,000 feet.
Jun 15, 2021 near West Bi…, CA
Looking across Rock Creek Canyon towards Wheeler Ridge and the mineral rich ridge that leads up to Mt. Morgan
Jun 17, 2021 near West Bi…, CA
Hilton Lake 2
Jun 17, 2021 near Mammoth…, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 10, 2021
Dave Chapman
Nice trail mostly runnable, most the hils arent to steep or long. This trail is used a lot by pack animal's most of the trail is soft and very s… 10.3mi