Golden Trout Lakes Trail


Starting from Onion Valley, Golden Trout Lakes Trail ends at Golden Trout Lakes, in the John Muir Wilderness. The distance to the lakes is approximately 2.2 miles, and the elevation gain is approximately 2,200 feet. This trail is steep, rugged and difficult to follow.

Download area map for trail names

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 use is limited to 10 people per day.
Closest Towns: Independence, CA
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.
Information Center:

General Information


From Highway 395, in Independence, CA:

  • Turn west on Market Street.
  • Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet.
  • The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions.

General Notes:

Traveling in Bear Country

Historically, there has been a high level of bear activity in the Onion Valley area. At the trailhead, all food, trash and scented items must be removed from vehicles and placed in the bear proof lockers and trash cans that are located in parking areas.

Along the Golden Trout lakes Trail, 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.

For more information about traveling in bear bear country, click here... 



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Day Hiking


Reservation info: Permits may be reserved up to 6 months in advance.
Permit required?: Y
Permit: Wilderness permits are required for overnight visits. From May 1 to November 1, use is limited to 10 overnight visitors / day.
Areas & Activities


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  Area/Length : 
2.2 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,200 ft. - 11,400 ft


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