Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail

Splash of color around Big Pine creek

Going to the popular First Lake through Seventh Lakes up the canyon north of Mount Sill, this trail also offers views of Temple Crag and the Palisade Glacier.

Day hikers may start on the trail past First Falls where the trail is in the shade of Jeffrey pine and aspen. The trail from the backpackers overnight parking lot follows a sunny slope to enter the North Fork canyon above First Falls. Crossing sage and Manzanita covered slopes the trail enters the wilderness boundary near Second Falls.  As the trail climbs past the chain of Big Pine Lakes there are many opportunities to observe the affects of glacial activity, such as cirques, glaciated granite and glacial erratic.  A side trail loops to Black Lake, offering views of glaciers and the Sierra Crest before rejoining the main trail near Fourth Lake.

Common Destinations: First through Seventh Lakes, Sam Mack Meadow, Pallisade Glacier

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

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Rentals & Guides: Glacier Pack Train, located on Glacier Lodge Road offers dunnage, horse and mule pack trips (760) 938-2538

Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required year round for overnight trips.
  • Day use does not require a permit.
  • May 1 through November 1 quota limits overnight visitors to 25 people per day.
Busiest Season: July-August
Closest Towns:
  • Big Pine, CA (gas, food, lodging)
  • Bishop, 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


From Big Pine go west on Crocker Ave. which becomes Glacier Lodge Rd. and follow to the end of the road. Alternate trail start point at the pack station and large paved backpackers parking lot. Day use parking is near Glacier Lodge, at end of the road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishermen try for Brook, Rainbow and Brown Trout in the lakes along the North Fork Trail.

Day Hiking


Permit required?: Y

Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
7,824ft. at trail head