Piute Pass Trail - North Lake

Beginning in lodgepole pine and quaking aspen, the trail follows the creek at the foot of Piute Crags and Mount Emerson. Climbing glacier carved granite benches, the trail passes Loch Leven, Piute Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds on the way to the pass. Beyond Piute Pass the trail gives access to Humphreys Basin, with an abundance of high alpine lakes and tarns on the north side of Glacier Divide. The Piute Pass trail descends Piute Creek to Hutchinson Meadow and eventually joins the John Muir Trail. Piute Pass trail and Bishop Pass trail are the end points for the popular North Lake to South Lake Loop.

Common Destinations: Piute Lake, Piute Pass, Humphreys Basin, Desolation Lake, Muriel Lake, John Muir Trail North Lake to South Lake loop.

Download area map for trail location.
To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit sierraforever.org

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Weather
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at www.Recreation.gov
Rentals & Guides:  Bishop Pack Outfitters is located at North Lake offering day rides and mule pack trips (760) 873-4785
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 visitors to 30 people per day.
Closest Towns:  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.
Information Center:

General Information


From Bishop go west on Line Street (Hwy 168). Follow Hwy 168 from Bishop in the direction of Aspendell and Sabrina Lake. After Aspendell, turn onto the steep, narrow, mostly dirt North Lake Road. This road is not recommended for trailers. Parking lot for hiking and overnight parking is located near North Lake. Parking in the campground is only for people staying in the campground. The trail starts near the campground restrooms.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Upper and Lower Desolation And Summit Lakes have Californias State Fish the Golden Trout, In Humphreys Lakes try for Brook Trout and Muriel Lake you'll find Brook and Golden Trout, To see what other treasures lakes hold in this area check the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide.

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

 Bishop Pack Outfitters is located at North Lake.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
9,361ft. at trailhead - 11,400ft. at Piute Pass