Baxter Pass Trail

The Baxter Pass Trail provides access to the John Muir Wilderness. It climbs more than 6,000 feet to Baxter Pass, on the Sierra Crest. The trail continues into Kings Canyon National Park, where it joins the John Muir Trail. Baxter Pass Trail is steep and rugged. In some places it is difficult to locate. It is not recommended for stock.

Common Destinations: Summit Meadow, Baxter Lakes, Dollar Lake, Arrowhead Lake, Woods Creek, John Muir Trail

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

Baxter Pass Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required year round for overnight trips.
  • Day use does not require a permit.
  • May 1 through November 1 overnight visitors are limited to 8 people per day.
Closest Towns:
  • Independence, CA (food, gas, lodging)
  • Lone Pine, CA (full service, hospital)
Restroom: Please Leave No trace. Bury all human waste away from water sources.
Information Center: Maps
  • USDA Forest Service: A Guide to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness
  • USGS Quad: Kearsarge Peak; Mount Clarence King
  • National Geographic: Sequoia Kings Canyon
  • Tom Harrison: Kearsarge Pass Rae Lakes Loop; Kings Canyon High Country

General Information


From Highway 395, approximately 2 miles north of Independence, CA:

  • Turn West onto Fish Hatchery Road.
  • Turn right onto North Oak Creek Road, at the fork about 1 mile from the highway.
  • The Baxter Pass Trailhead is at the end of North Oak Creek Road, about 5 miles from Highway 395.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6,000 ft. - 12,250 ft.