Robinson Lake Trail


Starting from the Onion Valley Campground, Robinson Lake Trail ends at Robinson Lake, in the John Muir Wilderness. It is a popular destination for day hikers. The distance to Robinson Lake is approximately 1.4 miles, and the elevation gain is approximately 1,300 feet.. The trail is rough and infrequently maintained.

Robinson Lake Trail Recreation Guide (pdf)

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 into wilderness areas.
  • Obtain wilderness permits from any Inyo National Forest visitor center.
  • May 1 to November 1: Overnight visitors are limited to 60 people per day
Closest Towns: Independence, CA
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. Along trails, bury human waste away from water sources.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Highway 395, in Independence, CA:

  • Turn west on Market Street.
  • Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet.
  • The Robinson Lake Trail begins at the east end of Onion Valley Campground, near Site #8.
  • The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions.

General Notes:

Area Map

Topographic Maps:

  • USGS Quad: Kearsarge Peak
  • USDA Forest Service: A Guide to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness
  • National Geographic: Sequoia Kings Canyon
  • Tom Harrison: Kearsarge Pass-Rae Lakes Loop

To purchase maps or guidebooks, go to

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 Robinson Lake 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 country, click here... 



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