Red Lake Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Red Lake Trailhead

Infrequently traveled, Red Lake Trail is steep, rugged and un-maintained. At times it is difficult to locate. Be prepared to navigate with the aid of a topographic map. A pre-dawn start is recommended during the summer. The alpine lake at the end of the trail and Split Mountain are popular with mountaineers. The trailhead is accessed by rocky dirt roads, 4WD and high-clearance vehicles are recommended.

Note: You cannot reach Red Lake Trailhead via Tinemaha County Campground. The road beyond travels through private property and is gated. Do not trespass.

Common Destinations: Red Lake

Download area map for trail names

Red Lake Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Expect hazards from high severity fire.
Reservations: Reserve wilderness permits up to 6 months in advance at
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness or Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
  • Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers.
  • From May 1 to November 1 use is limited to 8 people / day.
Usage: Light
Busiest Season: July-August
Closest Towns:  Limited services in Big Pine, full services in Bishop
Restroom: Bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:
  • White Mt. Visitor Center (760) 873-2500.
  • Wilderness permit information call (760) 873-2483
  • Maps and Guidebooks
  • Maps
  • USDA Forest Service: A Guide to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness
  • USGS Quad: Split Mountain and Fish Springs
  • National Geographic: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
  • Tom Harrison: Kings Canyon High Country; Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Pa

General Information


From US Highway 395 in Big Pine, CA:

  • Turn west on to Crocker St. (Glacier Lodge Rd.)
  • In 2.5 miles turn left onto McMurry Meadows Road.
  • Drive on McMurry Meadows Rd. for 7.6 miles and turn left (east) at a junction, onto 33E301.
  • The road continues for 1.5 miles before curving south.
  • After .6 miles, turn right (west) on 33E301. The trailhead is in 2.3 miles.

4Wheel Drive high clearance vehicle are recommended.



Show detail SHOW


Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking


Permit required?: Y
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6,621ft. at trail head.