Bloody Canyon Trail

This route was used to cross the Sierra before wagon roads were built and is named for the injuries to stock that made this rugged crossing. This trail is still not recommended for stock. The trail climbs over a ridge to view Walker Lake and goes up Bloody Canyon past Lower and Upper Sardine Lakes. At the head of the canyon the trail crosses Mono Pass into Yosemite National Park, and continues toward the Kuna Crest or Parker Pass Creek areas of the park. Do not confuse this with the Mono Pass that goes to Pioneer Basin and the Recesses in the Rock Creek and Little Lakes Valley area.

Yosemite wilderness regulations do not allow camping in Parker Canyon.

Common Destinations: Lower and Upper Sardine Lakes, Mono Pass, Parker Creek trail to Dana Meadows

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

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Road to Bloody Canyon Trail is closed. The avalanche slide has been cleared above Walker Lake but some work is still needed as of 9/28/23.
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Rentals & Guides: Special approval is required for commercial use.
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permit required year round for overnight trips.
  • Day use does not require a permit.
  • May 1 through November 1 quota limits visitors to 8 people per day.
  • No campfires at Lower Sardine Lake; and no campfires at all locations above 10,000 ft. Maps of Campfire Restrictions.
  • Food, trash and scented items must be stored in bear proof containers or counter balanced.
  • This permit does not give access to the John Muir trail at Tuolumne Meadows; does not go to Pioneer Basin and the Recesses.
  • Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
  • Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep habitat, do not disturb this recovering species.
  • Special approval is required for commercial use.
  • Stock is not recommended beyond Lower Sardine Lake.
  • Ansel Adams Wilderness regulations.
  • Yosemite wilderness regulations apply when visiting the National Park (no camping in Parker Canyon).
Closest Towns:
  • Lee Vining CA (food, gas, lodging)
  • June Lake, CA (food, gas, lodging)
  • Mammoth Lakes, CA ( full service, hospital)
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:

General Information


Leave Hwy 395 at the north end of the June Lake Loop, Hwy 158. Just North of Grant Lake, follow dirt road1S23 along Sawmill Creek to the Trailhead. The trail climbs over ridge to cross the inflow of Walker Lake. The road to Walker Lake is private and does not have parking for hikers.


Lake and Pond Fishing

Walker Lake is known for Brown and Rainbow Trout, Use the road to the Trail Head to access Walker Lake, East side of lake is private property. Upper and Lower Sardine Lakes are full of  beautiful Brook Trout.

River and Stream Fishing

The stream entering Walker Lake you can fish for Brown and Rainbow Trout, Between Upper and Lower Sardine Lake try for Brook Trout.

Day Hiking


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Elevation : 
8,171ft. at trailhead - 10,633ft. at Mono Pass