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Backpack, Camp, Swim and Explore Caves at Twin Lakes

Lakeshore, California



7 miles

Elevation Gain

2500 ft


Added by Alaina Donovan

Beautiful scenery, meadows, vistas and lakes with ton of activities to do once you arrive. This is a fantastic hike for anyone who has mastered the beginner hikes and wants to amp their backpacking game to the next level.

Twin Lakes is one of the most scenic spots in the Kaiser Wilderness and is an absolute must-do hike if you are in the area. Not only is the view of the granite peaks surrounding crystal clear water spectacular, but there is so much to do once you arrive. Twin Lakes offers those willing to make the trek swimming, caving, camping, cliff jumping and more. It's a peaceful and serene place with blooming wildflowers in the summer and snow dusted peaks in the spring. 

Upper Lake has some amazing spots to set up camp. This is a popular place to backpack to in the summer so arriving early is a good idea to claim a spot. In the summer, the weather is nice enough to sleep right under the stars. This is a fantastic trail for a day hike and picnic but if you are able to, staying overnight is worth it. The Meander Cave is near Upper Lake and is cool to check out if you enjoy caving.

Directions : The best way to reach Twin Lakes is to use the trailhead called 'Potter's Pass.' From Huntington Lake, head up the mountain on Kaiser Pass Road for 4.8 miles to reach a parking lot. There is an information post, bathrooms, and the path is obvious once you arrive.

Trail Notes : The first 2 miles is a steady climb through beautiful Jeffery pines and colorful wild flowers. You then reach Potter's Pass at 8,990 ft. and see a stunning view of Huntington Lake below as well as views of the Sierra Crest in Yosemite. Continue on past Potter's Pass and descend 500 ft in just over 2.5 miles. When you reach a crossroads, stay left and arrive upon Lower Twin lake. Continue .3 miles and finally reach Upper Twin lake at 8,601 ft. It takes about 4-5 hours roundtrip - that includes lunch and pictures!

Extra : If you plan on staying the night, which is highly recommended, permits are required in the Kaiser Wilderness. Luckily, there is a Eastwood Ranger Station at Huntington Lake just before the trailhead.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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