Robinson Lake Trail


Starting from the Onion Valley Campground, the Robinson Lake trail is rough and infrequently maintained trail that ends at Robinson Lake, in the John Muir Wilderness. Robinson Lake is a popular destination for day hikers. Onion Valley is an active bear area, at the trailhead all food, trash and scented items must be removed from vehicles and stored in the bear proof lockers located in the parking area. Dispose of trash in bear proof trash cans. For more information about traveling in bear country, click here...

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

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 4/18/2014 Onion Valley Road is open. Snow on trail.
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Day use does not require a permit.
Permit Info: Kearsarge Pass trail quota applies to trips starting on Robinson Lake trail. Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into wilderness areas and National Parks.  Day use does not require a permit. Obtain wilderness permits from any Inyo National Forest visitor center.
Restrictions: - No campfires.
- No Camping at Bullfrog Lake.
- 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 60 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1 for Kearsarge Pass includes Robinson Lake.
- Not recommended for stock.
- 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 Sphinx Creek and Brewer Range, Sixty Lakes and Gardner Basin areas)
Closest Towns: Independence, CA
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. Please Leave No Trace. Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center (760) 876-6200
Wilderness permit information call (760) 873-2483

General Information


From Highway 395, in Independence, CA:

  • Turn west on Market Street.
  • Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet.
  • The Robinson Basin trail begins at the east end of Onion Valley Campground, near Site #8.
  • The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions.



Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW