It’s the last lake in the chain that feeds into Hamilton Lake and others. Now there is a tunnel that was blasted out of rock that takes you around the gorge. Precipice Lake, naturally. Rock tunnel on trail between Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake . Even late in September, there was some snow lingering on the cliffs that overlook Precipice Lake. Although there are a few water crossings long the way, the easiest places to fill up are the two lakes until you get to the Big Arroyo Junction. What a day! After running up the bottom of the Kern Canyon, it turns east, climbing parallel to Wallace Creek up to the junction with the John Muir Trail, 49 miles (79 km) from the starting point. MODERATE 5.8 mi. As we climbed out of Big Hamilton Lake the views were amazing! DIFFICULT 9.9 mi. When to go: July through end of September. The trail passes and climbs above a lower lake before you get to Precipice. Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Precipice Lake is absolutely stunning. But this was the coldest night on the HST. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Great Western Divide acts as a barrier for incoming storms and not leaving much precipitation for this valley. It was another long day of hiking, but after seeing both Precipice and Hamilton lake, we felt a huge sense of success – it was all worth it. The trail gets narrow as you get to the avalanche chute known as Hamilton Gorge. You descend downhill from 1.5 miles and climb up to the lake the last 1.5 miles. Precipice Lake via High Sierra Trail. Luckily I had an additional pair. Marmot sunning on the rocks . I suggest filling up water here before continuing to Kaweah Gap. Precipice Lake is a lake located just 20.6 miles from Three Rivers, in Tulare County, in the state of California, United States, near Mineral King, CA. This high alpine lake is tucked away in a spectacular hanging valley at the end of a steep, relentless trail from Emerald Lake. Precipice Lake via High Sierra Trail . The first 11 miles are relatively easy as elevation gain is slow. These Peaks(s) apear as one from what you can see from the naked eye at the Big Hamilton Lake unless you've got the most amazing depth perception imaginable. The walls of the cirque surrounding the lake are sheer and steep, and having to construct a trail wide enough for pack trains to navigate in … Day 5: Moraine Lake to Hamilton Lake. Start: Moraine Lake. Hamilton Lakes makes a great lunch spot and the lakes have plenty of trout for fishing. The early morning light over that was unreal. Most of the time it has snow, even until mid-summer, but by early September, all the snow was gone except for an ice cap above the granite face. Our day 3 hike on the HST was arguably the most beautiful stretch on this 72 mile journey. Welcome to Campsite Vibes! This U-shaped valley was carved by glaciers as they plowed through. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until August. The lake that started me planning this trip shenanigan that we embarked on. After many years in the High Sierra I was looking forward to finally seeing Precipice Lake and Hamilton Lake, two of the beautiful lakes along the High Sierra Trail. The High Sierra Trail has two great ascents – the first one over Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the second over the Eastern Sierra and Trail Crest at Mt. In retrospect, this was almost too ambitious. Big Hamilton Lake to Unnamed Lake at 10,900 feet (11 miles, +4,000/-1,200 feet). Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. Today was a really big day for me. Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. Past Hamilton Gorge, the trail continues up to Precipice Lake. Whitney.From the grandeur of Hamilton Lakes Basin and Precipice Lake, to the awe inspiring Big Arroyo and Kern River Valley, the High Sierra Trail is some of the best that Sequoia National Park has to offer. Just one look at it and we all instantaneously agreed this would be the perfect place to … Looking North from Precipice Lake at the prominent Peak(s) that are visible when you look up from the Big Hamilton Lake. But when we came upon the brilliant reflections emanating from Upper Precipice Lake, all our planning flew out the window. Sawtooth Pass Trail to Columbine Lake [CLOSED], Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass to Timber Gap Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King: Black Rock Pass Loop [CLOSED], Tar Gap Trail to Hockett Meadows [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass and Franklin Lakes Loop [CLOSED], Sawtooth Peak and Columbine Lake to Timber Gap [CLOSED]. Streaked vertical granite dives directly into the azure lake creating and amazingly photogenic environment. And it's Precipice Lake Day! I got frost on the inside of my tent, and even with a 20 degree bag and a sleeping bag liner to add another 15 degrees, I was still cold all night. Sure, Precipice Lake is a beauty—Ansel Adams agreed when he made it famous in his iconic photograph. After your break at Precipice Lake, you climb the last 400 ft to the Kaweah Gap, the official pass over the Great Western Divide. And we'll be climbing 3 miles and 2,000 feet for it. You will get a taste of the "high sierra" on your way to a beautiful pristine lake. We crossed a snow field on the way to the glacier filled Precipice Lake. But location counts a lot, too, and icy Precipice, which sits at 10,300 feet inside a bowl of sheer granite, couldn’t be better situated: at the end of a 19.5-mile trek through the hot and dusty Sierras. MODERATE 6.0 mi. The campsites are more South and off the trail. Past Hamilton Gorge, the trail continues up to Precipice Lake. There are still plenty of clouds as I set up camp. Hamilton Lakes, Precipice Lake. As we start going up the trail, the sun started to raise and we started to see the lower and upper Hamilton lakes from higher up. The hike from Precipice Lake down into the Hamilton Lakes Basin was spectacular. And you have officially hiked 20 miles Eastbound on the High Sierra Trail! Prior to 2014, I had never slept in a tent or even hiked more than a mile or two. It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. This lake sits in a granite bowl at around 10,300 feet entirely fed by snowmelt. Middle-Hamilton Lake to Kern Hot Springs ... At Precipice Lake, almost 500' higher we are exhausted but make good time across snowfields and snowbridges across water. That's Mr. Pika to you! When you’re ready to head home, simply turn around the way you came and follow the long trail back to Crescent Meadow. The hike begins with a series of switchbacks as you climb up the granite wall that overlooks Hamilton Lake. If I hadn't been in very good shape, I might have passed out on the switchbacks after Hamilton Lake. Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is a 8.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. From lake Hamilton, it is a straight 2,000 feet climb to Kaweah gap via Precipice lake. It’s the last lake in the chain that feeds into Hamilton Lake and others. Today’s hike went from our campsite at 9-Mile to Precipice Lake, an over 4000 ft climb in about 10 miles. Plus, it passes right by a lake that had been on my dream list for a long time - Precipice Lake. In winter conditions, when snow is blocking the tunnel or there is ice on the trail this section of the trail is impassable unless you are equipped for winter mountaineering. As I mentioned, our original hope was to make it to Nine Lakes Basin by nightfall. We found good tent sites, and took a lovely swim in Lake Hamilton. Precipice is a beautiful place – probably my single favorite place on the High Sierra Trail, but it is not friendly to camping. 10. But we all start somewhere. Itinerary. There is no guard rail, and if you fall it’s a very steep drop into the gorge. There were times where we thought we could have been in Yosemite instead of Sequoia NP. Here is Day 2 of our trip: If you’ve hiked the High Sierra Trail or plan to do so in the future, please join our Facebook Group, High Sierra Trail! There is easy access to the river to fill up water, wade in, and wash your clothes in. Especially in early to mid summer conditions when there is a lot of snow melt. Finally. From there there were only a few more switchbacks spread out over the next 1.2 miles up to Precipice Lake. The challenge of hiking to Hamilton Lake might scare some people off, but we think the extra work is worth it. You will also see a communal bear box in that area. Then descending all the way down to Hamilton Lake with a view of the vertical wall of Valhalla. You can then follo… The sun shines today! The Plan June 18 – Hike 9 Mile Creek to Precipice Lake (36.552500,-118.559689) 9 Mile Creek to Bearpaw Meadow Camp (36.565340,-118.620522) … Read More Working forward in the direction we must we find and climb a little ridge --Kaweah Gap, 10,700. The vegetation in this area has a stunted growth because of the lack of rainfall. Day two - I follow the increasingly steep switchbacks above Hamilton Lake and arrive at Precipice around 11AM. This trail goes by Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake. I created Campsite Vibes as a place to share my story and my adventures to inspire and empower you to go on the adventures you’ve been dreaming of! Precipice Lake is a lake in Tulare County and has an elevation of 10,308 feet. The trip to Hamilton Lakes is part of the High Sierra Trail. Precipice Lake . Don’t rush by this lake either – if the weather seems like it might cooperate, chill and wait for some reflection shots. For energetic hikers who don’t mind an extra ascent, Precipice Lake and Kaweah Gap are excellent day hikes from Hamilton Lake that offer even more panoramic vistas of the Great Western Divide and her many peaks. It sits in a granite bowl, with Eagle Scout Peak looming above it, and Hamilton Lake and the River Valley below. Prepare for scenic views from start to finish. I love how you get views of Precipice Lake on one side and views of the Hamilton Lakes valley on the other side! The trail down from Precipice to Hamilton Lake is really beautiful, snaking along steep, glacier-polished granite an sometimes wandering through little hanging gardens of wildflowers. Whitney, June 17-22. The High Sierra Trail leads from Crescent Meadow up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, crossing the Great Western Divide by the 10,700' (3261 meters) pass known as Kaweah Gap.