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: Baxter Lake, Dollar Lake, Arrowhead Lake, John Muir Trail

Download area map for trail names

Baxter Pass Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)

At a Glance

Reservations: Wilderness permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance at
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips.
  • Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers.
  • May 1 to November 1: Overnight visitors are limited to 8 people per day.
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Independence, CA
Restroom: Bury all human waste away from water sources.
Information Center:

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.



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  Elevation : 
6,000 ft. - 12,250 ft.