Kings Canyon National Park: Bullfrog Lake Overlook via Kearsarge Pass

Trek along a series of High Sierra lakes nestled in sculpted granite basins below towering alpine peaks on this 11.6-mile out-and-back.
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Trek along a series of High Sierra lakes nestled in sculpted granite basins below towering alpine peaks on this 11.6-mile out-and-back.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.3

Waypoints

KL001

Location: 36.772778, -118.340279

From Onion Valley parking lot, head W on Kearsage Pass Trail

KL002

Location: 36.774349, -118.34243

L onto Kearsarge Pass Trail as marked

KL003

Location: 36.775459, -118.343208

L @ Y. Views of Owens Valley and Inyo Mtns. to E through canyon walls

KL004

Location: 36.769955, -118.34922

R @ intersection. Spur trail to L goes to Little Pothole Lake. Note granite spire of IndependencePeak to SE

KL006

Location: 36.770275, -118.35582

Trail crosses terminal moraine of granite boulders; skirt the placid N shores of Gilbert and Flower Lakes

KL007

Location: 36.770695, -118.366699

Series of short zigzags up steep wall. View of Heart Lake on L

KL008

Location: 36.77322, -118.376694

Final switchback up shale-marked terrain to Kearsarge Pass (11,760 ft.), trail high point and park entrance. Views of Mts. Brewer, North Guard and Farquhar, and glimpses to SE of Panamints

KL009

Location: 36.773735, -118.381912

Keep R to Charlotte Lake and Bullfrog Lake overlook. Option: Veer L to hike N shore of Bullfrog Lake.

KL005

Location: 36.770107, -118.35025

View of Little Pothole Lake, first in a series of glacially deposited watersheds

KL010

Location: 36.774578, -118.40387

To W, foreground views of Kearsage Pinnacles and Lakes, with serrated rampart of Kings-Kern Divide on horizon

View from Trailhead

Location: 36.771957, -118.340904

View of eastern Sierra foothills from trailhead ©Justin Ennis

University Peak

Location: 36.769016, -118.361282

View from trail of University Peak (13,632 feet), which straddles the border between Kings Canyon National Park and the John Muir Wilderness ©Justin Ennis

View West from Kearsage Pass

Location: 36.774742, -118.376656

West from Kearsarge Pass of Mts. Clarence King, Cotter, and Gardiner, and glimpses to SE of Panamints ©Justin Ennis

Bullfrog Lake.

Location: 36.776379, -118.404465

Bullfrog Lake: A sun-dappled jewel nestled in the rugged eastern High Sierra. ©Justin Ennis

Trail and Backcountry

Location: 36.773434, -118.367004

Trail and Backcountry ©Justin Ennis