Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail


Splash of color around Big Pine creek

Going to the popular First through Seventh Lakes up the canyon north of Mount Sill, this trail also offers views of Temple Crag and the Palisade Glacier. The trail that begins at First Falls in the shade of Jeffrey Pine and Aspen. An altrenate trail from the backpackers parking follows a sunny slope and joins the trail above First Falls. The trail goes across sage and Manzanita covered slopes to enter 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

Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Day use does not require a permit.
Rentals & Guides: Glacier Pack Train, located on Glacier Lodge Road offers dunnage, horse and mule pack trips.  Call 760-938-2538 for reservations and information.

Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness. Permits are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. 
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: July-August
Restrictions: - No campfires.
- All food, trash and scented items must be stored in bear-proof containers, or counter balanced at least 15 feet above the ground, and 10 feet horizontally from a tree trunk.
- The South Fork and Baker Lake have separate quotas, check area map for correct trail name.
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Quota of 25 people permitted to start overnight trips each day for the North Fork of Big Pine trail from May 1 to November 1.
- John Muir Wilderness regulations apply.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon wilderness regulations apply if entering the park.(includes Cross Country travel to Dusy Basin / Palisade Basin areas; no night box permit pickup)
Closest Towns:  Limited services in Big Pine, full services in Bishop.
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: For wilderness permit information call (760) 873-2483; or for area information call the White Mt. Ranger Station (760) 873-2500.

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.



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Day Hiking


Permit required?: Y

Horse Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities



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  Elevation : 
7,824ft. at trail head


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