George Creek / Mt. Williamson


The George Creek trail is a steep, unmaintained cross-country route that climbs more than 6,000 vertical feet into the area near Mt. Williamson, Trojan Peak, and Mt. Barnard. Access is allowed year-round. Please be respectful of wildlife as you pass through habitat for the endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep. Check guidebooks for route descriptions. Trips up Bairs Creek are included in the George Creek - Mt Williamson quota. Be sure to check avalanche conditions before attempting winter ascents. A high clearance 4x4 vehicle is strongly recommended to reach the trailhead.

Download area map for trail location.
To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit

At a Glance

Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Day use does not require a permit.
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness. Day use does not require a permit. Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers.   
Restrictions: George Creek –Mt Williamson Area: Special approval is required for commercial guide use of this area. Not recommended for stock.
- No campfires above 10,400 ft elevation
- Food and refuse must be stored so that animals cannot get into the food or trash.
- A high clearance 4x4 vehicle is recommended for the approach.
- This area is near Bighorn Sheep habitat. Use of pack goats is not advised in order to protect the health of the wild sheep. Dogs must be kept under control at all times.
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Quota of 8 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1. Access is allowed all year.
- John Muir Wilderness regulations apply.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon wilderness regulations apply if entering the National Park.
Closest Towns: Independence, CA
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: For wilderness permit information call (760) 873-2483; or for area information call the Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center: 760-876-6222

General Information

General Notes:

There are mulitple routes to George Creek Trailhead. The following is the easiest to locate.

From US Highway 395, in Independence, CA:

  • Turn west onto Market Street. Market Street is also known as Onion Valley Road.
  • About 4 miles west of Independence, turn south onto Foothill Road, .
  • Travel approximately 11 miles to the end of Foothill Road.

4 WD and high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended.




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