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, Summit Lake, John Muir Trail

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

At a Glance

Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at Recreation.gov
Rentals & Guides:  Bishop Pack Outfitters is located at North Lake.  For information call 760-873-4785 or visit http://www.bishoppackoutfitters.net/
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Permits to start on this trail are issued at Inyo National Forest visitor centers. Quota of 30 people permitted to start overnight trips each day from May 1 to November 1.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: - No campfires from the trail head to Piute Pass; and no campfires above 10,000 ft north of Glacier Divide.
- 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.
- Groups cannot be larger than 15 people (includes day use).
- Check the area map for the correct trail name. Trips going toward Lamarck Lakes are a different permit.
- John Muir Wilderness regulations apply.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon wilderness regulations apply if entering the National Park (includes no night box permit pickup; no pets; Cross Country permit type for Darwin Canyon or Dusy Basin areas).
Closest Towns:  Bishop, 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: Wilderness permit information (760) 873-2483
Area information call White Mountain Visitor Center ( 760) 873-2500

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.



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