Marvin Pass Trailhead

Area Status: Open

The Marvin Pass trailhead is a popular route for backpackers heading through Sequoia National Forest and into or out of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. It is a common stock route as well for horse use and packers. From here you can easily make the day hike up to the spectacular views offered by Mitchell Peak, the highest point in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness.

In the winter and early spring the Big Meadows Road (FS 14S11) may be closed due to snow and access to this trailhead is closed to vehicle traffic. During this time of year trails and roads system are open to foot traffic even when the gate is closed. Typically the roads can open in late May, but this is all weather dependent. 

At a Glance

Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Summer.
Busiest Season: Summer.
Water: Limited water sources nearby. Bring water and a filter.
Restroom: No.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Please contact the Hume Lake Ranger District at (559) 338-2251 for updates.

General Information


 The FS road (13S12) to this trailhead is washed out and very rough. Low clearance vehicles are not advised on this road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

The very popular day hike up to Mitchell Peak starts here. At 10,365 ft. Mitchell Peak is the highest point in the JLW and offers spectacular 360 degree views of Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park, as well as the heart of the wilderness. It is a very moderate hike but there are no water sources on the way, so make sure to bring some with you!

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate


From the trailhead, the hike begins with a slow, steady climb of about a mile up through Red and White Fir trees up to the trail junction at Marvin Pass, where you can head south towards Rowell Meadow and the Seville Lake Trail, or continue east on the Kanawyer Gap Trail towards Mitchell Peak and the National Park boundary. The trail sign at the junction was recently stolen, so please pay attention to your map and the trail so you head the proper direction. Heading east, look for the new trail sign directing you up to Mitchell Peak, at 10,365 feet the highest vista point in the JLW, and a good stop coming into or out of the backcountry. After that junction, the Kanawyer Gap Trail goes a short ½ mile or so into Kings Canyon NP, heading down towards Roaring River. From this area, there are numerous options to head into both the National Forest and National Park backcountry.

In 2015 the trails were cleared of all downed trees and are in good condition, with only minor water bar work needed. Note that stock use has created a few user trails in near Marvin Pass and over towards Rowell Meadow - please stay on the original trail! These trails receive a lot of stock use heading in and out of the Park and there is a High Sierra camp nearby, so you can expect to run into day hikers and horses on this trail. Note that the road sign directing you up the dirt road to the trailhead from Big Meadow Road was also stolen – look for a small ‘hiking’ sign on Big Meadows Road pointing to the turn off to your right (south). The dirt road to the trailhead is fairly well maintained and most cars will easily make it.

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate

Horse Riding

This is a very popular area for horseback riding and the nearby pack station at Rowell Meadow offers rentals and rides. Please stay on established trails as you ride through the wilderness.

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,405 ft.