Pine Creek Pass Trail


Several trails start from the deep canyon cut by Pine Creek between Mount Tom and the Wheeler Crest. The Pine Creek Pass trail gives access to the Pine Lakes, along Pine Creek, and destinations beyond Pine Creek Pass. French Canyon and Humphreys Basin areas are popular destinations for visitors that go over Pine Creek Pass.

Common Destinations: Pine Lake, Upper Pine Lake, Pine Creek Pass, French Canyon

Check the area map for the correct trail. A diffrent permit is required for trips going in the direction of Italy Pass, Gable Lakes or Morgan Pass.
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.
Rentals & Guides: Pine Creek Pack station is located at the trailhead.  For information call 760-387-2797. 
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness. Permits to start on this trail are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. Quota of 15 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1.
Open Season: June
Usage: Light
Busiest Season: July-August
Restrictions: - No campfires above the wilderness boundary in Pine Creek Canyon; and no campfires above 10,000 ft. see Maps of Campfire Restrictions.
- 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).
- Check the area map for the correct trail name. Trips going toward Gable Lakes, Italy Pass or Morgan Pass are a different permit.
- John Muir Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns:  Bishop, 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 White Mountain Visitor Center ( 760) 873-2500.

General Information


From Bishop go north on Hwy 395 (approximately 12 miles), and go west on Pine Creek Canyon Rd.  to the end of the road.  Park in the dirt lot at the end of the road near the Pine Creek Pack Station.  The trailhead is through the pack station at the base of the hill.



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  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,431ft. at trail head - 11,138ft. at Pine Creek Pass