Beginning in lodgepole pine and quaking aspen, the trail follows the creek at the foot of Piute Crags and Mount Emerson. Climbing glacier carved granite benches, the trail passes Loch Leven, Piute Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds on the way to the pass. Beyond Piute Pass the trail gives access to Humphreys Basin, with an abundance of high alpine lakes and tarns on the north side of Glacier Divide. The Piute Pass trail descends Piute Creek to Hutchinson Meadow and eventually joins the John Muir Trail. Piute Pass trail and Bishop Pass trail are the end points for the popular North Lake to South Lake Loop.
Download area map for trail location.
To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit esiaonline.com
At a Glance
Reserve up to 6 months in advance at Recreation.gov
Day use does not require a permit.
Rentals & Guides:
Bishop Pack Outfitters is located at North Lake providing wilderness pack trips and day rides by reservation. For information call 760-873-4785.
Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Permits to start on this trail are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers.
- No campfires from the trail head to Piute Pass; and no campfires above 10,000 ft north of Glacier Divide.
- All food, trash and scented items must be stored in bear-proof containers, or counter balanced at least 15 feet above the ground, and 10 feet horizontally from a tree trunk.
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Quota of 30 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1.
- Check the area map for the correct trail name. Trips going toward Lamarck Lakes are a different permit.
- John Muir Wilderness regulations apply.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon wilderness regulations apply if entering the National Park (includes no night box permit pickup; no pets; Cross Country permit type for Darwin Canyon or Dusy Basin areas).
Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Vault toilet at trailhead. Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources.
Wilderness permit information (760) 873-2483
Area information call White Mountain Visitor Center ( 760) 873-2500
From Bishop go west on Line Street (Hwy 168). Follow Hwy 168 from Bishop in the direction of Aspendell and Sabrina Lake. After Aspendell, turn onto the steep, narrow, mostly dirt North Lake Road. This road is not recommended for trailers. Parking lot for hiking and overnight parking is located near North Lake. Parking in the campground is only for people staying in the campground. The trail starts near the campground restrooms.
Upper and Lower Desolation And Summit Lakes have Californias State Fish the Golden Trout, In Humphreys Lakes try for Brook Trout and Muriel Lake you'll find Brook and Golden Trout, To see what other treasures lakes hold in this area check the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide.