road to trail head does require high clearance vehicle. The incline to the first and second Dinkey Lake can be a little challenging at 10,000ft. We headed up towards First Dinkey Lake which has a more continuous gradient than the other branch. Although, I did have a long sleeve and long hiking pants for protection. People say you need a huge high clearance vehicle, but any suv or truck will do. Status Update: Tried to get to the lakes this weekend. Norris Lake Trail to Jackass Lakes 7.5 mi 12.1 km • 1,741' Up 530.66 m Up • 1,740' Down 530.5 m Down. Thanks Sam and Mike. It begins at Dinkey Lakes Trailhead At Willlow Medow and ends at Cliff Lake Trailhead. Got a bit of altitude sickness, and I think I will probably get an inhaler for the next hike. There is a public horseback riding stable available. Seeing four lakes on one loop is really nice. Lots of stream crossings with no water in them. I took my 7 year old son up for two nights the last weekend in June. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Conditions are currently beautiful. If you’re a good fisherman, try for the grand slam: Catch a fish out of all four lakes! We pulled two of them off to the side but there were more when we walked the road. Only saw a few other hikers. 80s during the day, 40s at night. After that the road is crazy. Lastly, There were more Highway Patrol, Forestry Service, Rangers, and Game wardens on the hill than I have ever seen. If you're careful, even a subaru will make it if you go around some of the ruts, but you just need normal off road clearance, nothing spectacular. We went for a day hike mid week and saw a handful of backpacking groups, but that was it. We attempted (and succeeded) at venturing x/c from the Three Sisters back to Cliff. About 5 miles before the trail, the road is closed at Cow Creek because of a damaged bridge. Most of the wilderness is above 8000 feet elevation. great trail highly recommend!! Bugs were bad in pockets, but not at the lakes themselves! Easy hike with big rewards! North Fork, CA 93643, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 877-2218 ex.0, High Sierra Ranger District 2. Another option from First Dinkey Lake is to continue on to Second Dinkey, Rock, and Island Lakes. The trail is a little hard to keep track of in a couple places, but just look for the “i” carved in the trees and the stacked rocks to keep you on track. The bridge may have separated from the road. California Relay Service 711, Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sierra/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=45958&actid=51, Forest Order No. Long drive to access and glad we had 4x4 in a couple of sections. Mammoth…, CA. We don’t fish, so for scenery sake, first Dinkey is the least pretty of the four lakes. It is located just west of the new portion of the John Muir Wilderness and is separated from the John Muir by the Dusy/Ershim Off-Hiway Vehicle Route. Otherwise this trail is great and hardly anyone there! Dinkey Lakes Wilderness This is one of several trailheads leading in to the Sierra National Forest "Dinkey Lakes Wilderness." Made this mistake the first time! TONS OF MOSQUITOES!!! Storm clouds had us retreat and we had to wayfind to get back. After awhile you will come to another fork in the road. Great trek overall. Dinkey Lakes was an absolutely beautiful trail. If fishing is your game, spend a good chunk of time there. Spring = snow in the mountains. I posted a photo of the road map to the trailhead given to us by the forest service. 05-15-00-20-22 Sierra-Creek- Closure. Love love the serenity of the trail and the lakes. Didn't see anything really wrong with the bridge except the guardrail was broken on one side. lots of mosquitoes. We dug several groups out of the snow who were wildly unprepared with no chains, no shovels, no snow tires, no 4 wheel drive (or they had it and didn't use it for some line of reasoning that forsakes all intelligence). Hardly any firewood at South lake campground but it's an excellent spot for group camping. Dinkey Lakes Loop Dinkey Lakes Wilderness in the Southern Sierra . We did not see a cairned trail so we started up the most obvious route we could find. Offices. Go up Dinkey Creek Road about 10 miles until you get to a road sign that says Dinkey Lakes Trailhead to the left (its also the road for Bald Mountain and a few other trails). 10-miles of off-roads to trailhead… We brought mini spikes but we did not need them. Great weather. It's wonderful getting out of the central valley heat up here! We did not read the description of the roads on the app before going; silly us! South lake was our favorite, but sweed is very pretty. The lakes were very picturesque. Great, easy hike. Plenty of shade for the dog throughout the hike. Virtual Tour of Dinkey Lakes Trail. The trout were rising like crazy at about 9:30, but we continued on to Second Dinkey Lake, and then took the more rustic trail up to Island Lake. The road from Tamarack is pretty well marked and fairly easy driving. Buried the soles of my shoes as this was their last hike and duct tape was holding them together. It was tall and the snow was solid ice. The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness lies on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada southeast of Huntington Lake and northwest of Courtright Reservoir. Definitely want to drive something that has some ground clearance that can handle 6-8” road hazards. Less than a mile is the gate and turn-off to the Dinkey Lakes Trailhead. The trail was well marked conditions were pretty good with a few stream crossings and a few muddy areas, but nothing that you have to prepare for. Wilderness permits are required for overnight use but not day-use. Directions: A bridge failure at Cow Creek has blocked the traditional route of taking Hwy 168 to Dinkey Creek Road and the southern portion of the Rock Creek Road (9S09). Sierra National Forest Headquarters tons of peaks to explore, we camped at island lake and spent a day peaking the 3 sisters and doing some exploration of the dinkey lakes wilderness. The snow should be melting soon. The wilderness was established in 1984 of 30,000 acres. The Dinkey Lakes Loop is a favorite hike, as it visits four high Sierra lakes in a fairly easy seven mile trip. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Zumwalt Meadows Loop Trail 1.3 mi 2.0 km • 104' Up 31.7 m Up • 123' Down 37.52 m Down. But, after the second lake, there is nothing but decline to the last 2 lakes! Do yourself a favor and take the loop counterclockwise for a much less steep climb. Took the tamarack snow park road in. Middle of August, 2017. If you are not used to hiking this high up, just remember to drink plenty of water while you're up there so you don't get altitude sickness! As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. It comprises 30,000 acres (12,141 ha) within the Sierra National Forest and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the California Wilderness Act of 1984. But a great group of adventures pulled me out. Contact Information. Sierra Hiking Trails is a collection of past trips taken in the Sierra National Forest over the last eleven years. Once you get into the higher elevations the mosquitoes thin out, but there are still enough to bite and annoy. So I recommended we go to First Dinkey Lake since it is a pretty short and easy hike. Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Prather, CA 93651, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 855-5355 ex.0, Hearing Impaired SoCal to Fresno to Dinkey Lakes. Then if you have time, you can check out Rock & Island lakes as well!! BE AWARE OF THE ROAD CLOSURE! Last hiked in 2014. Rock Creek Road #9S10 becomes dirt and leads up to the Dinkey Lakes hiking trails. Talked to the ranger beforehand, I recommend splurging” for the fishing permit! Follow to Rock Creek Road (National Forest Road 9) turn left. Come along to the Sierra National Forest and see four lakes in one hike! First Dinkey has the largest grassy wetlands of any of the lakes, but a afternoon breeze let us stop for a quick lunch without many mosquitos. Yes the bridge is out. My stock Tacoma 4x4 handled it well, but all the boulders on the road were jarring. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until November. Outside the quota season (September 20, 2020 – May 28, 2021), Wilderness permits are free, self-issued, and are not limited to daily entry quotas.Self-issue wilderness permits are available at the nearest permit-issuing station.There is no fee for self-issue permits. Folks do the Dinkey Lakes Willow Mdws trailhead with passenger cars frequently, but this does risk vehicular damage. The second night got down to about 28-30 and definitely below freezing. You will need a high clearance vehicle to drive all the way to the trailhead. There is a bridge out on the road leading to the trailhead. Enjoy responsibly. 1600 Tollhouse Road Rock Lake was even prettier than Second Dinkey so I figured that Island Lake would be even prettier since it was a little higher in elevation. Very quiet. Many of the small creeks in the area were frozen although the temperature in the sun was still warm. Access the trailheads on the north side of Dinkey Creek Road, a paved route which connects Shaver Lake to the Sequoia McKinley Grove and then on to Wishon and Courtright. It really starts to cool off in the early afternoon. My hope is that someone may find the information useful to help them plan a trip or to just look at some beautiful photos of the Sierra's. Trails were easy to follow and fairly well marked. We tried to hike the remaining 4+ miles to the trail head. Continuing on to Second Dinkey Lake the trail starts to climb steeper, but not for long. Caught some small Brookies in South but none in Swede or Mystery. DINKEY LAKES WILDERNESS Location From Clovis: Take highway 168 toward Shaver Lake. Mammoth…, CA. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness was protected by Congress in 1984 with the passage of the California Wilderness Act. Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness. 24 reviews Parks ... Dinkey Creek Road and Trails End, Dinkey Creek, CA. My go too every year. No one was there! We did a day trip. Some of the trail is wet with water from snow melt. Turn onto that road and dodge the potholes along the way. The elevation at the lake is 9,254 feet and is heavily populated with campers, especially on the north shore. We drove a two week drove SUV and had to stop 3.5 miles short of the trailhead due to snow on the road. Alternatively, hikers can park at the bridge, and walk to the trailhead, adding significant miles to the hike. Spent 3 days 2 nights, ended up staying at Swede lake found an awesome spot around the back off trail. All Reviews. The OHV route turns into a rough, passenger car road and gently winds its remaining two miles to the gate at the west end of the OHV route where it intersects with a main logging road 9S10. Short video review of our hike: great trail highly recommend!! Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 297-0706. Do NOT take Dinkey Creek Rd. I would love to return but probably wont until the bridge is repaired to allow easier access to the trailhead. Just when you think you are lost you will find the trailhead. The trailhead for Dinkey Lakes is hard to find and difficult to get to, but this delightful hike would be worth a drive that was twice as aggravating. the road is closed 8/30 for the last 6 miles of road. Date: August 1, 2018 Place: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, Prather, California Coordinates: 37.154401, -119.057428 Length: 4.5 miles Level: strenuous It was already afternoon when I arrived at the First Dinkey Lake and found a suitable campsite, but way to early to call it a day. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness consists of 16 lakes and numerous streams with Rainbows and Brookies. For a change of pace, try going straight to First Dinkey, then when you come to the junction to take the loop, go straight instead to Second Dinkey Lake. Users have reported that the road to the trailhead can be difficult for 2WD vehicles. There is some large patches of snow in shady areas. Mystery Lake and First Dinkey Lake are about 1.5 miles and 3 miles respectively from the trailhead. Simply put, the Dinkey Lakes loop is a Sierra masterpiece, especially in July when the wildflowers are at their best. Continue14 miles east to Courtright Road, turn left on Road 8S07, west side of the lake. You will not regret it, especially this time of year. Mosquitoes weren't an issue first week of October. Gave up right before the Trail Head. Not many people overall. TTY: (559) 322-0425 tons of peaks to explore, we camped at island lake and spent a day peaking the 3 sisters and doing some exploration of the dinkey lakes wilderness. First things first, take the 168 passed Shaver Lake to Tamarack Snow Park and follow the signs to Dinkey Lakes. There are still patches of snow up to 5 feet deep in some areas. Caught a bunch of brook trout! The Dinkey Lakes trail is 11.3 miles long. I hike every other weekend during the hiking season and I’d rate this trail about a 6 maybe borderline 7 out of 10. Bridge had been out for several years - ranger said they are due to fix it this year (2020) so this adds an extra 5 miles to the trek before you hit the trailhead. I didn't see them hassling too many people but there were a lot of them. First night got down to the upper 30s and windy. The logging co grades the road for their equipment. Upon obtaining a wilderness permit, the ranger have us directions to the trail head. It lies immediately west of the John Muir Wilderness and consists of timbered rolling terrain. Many people have complained about the “ravenous” mosquitoes, but I didn’t see a single one until about 6 pm. Trail was maintained; a little tricky in some areas full of boulders. Would not recommend for anything without decent ground clearance. Will definitely plan future trips out here. This route involves taking the Tamarack Ridge turn off of 168. According to users, there is a driving route that bypasses this bridge, and takes the hiker to the trailhead. The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, USA. Or at least, the bridge is blocked with boulders. https://youtu.be/y1twJ0UMhGg, Always a beautiful hike. An SUV or truck should be fine. Road in was a bit rough, but no problem with a small truck. Took the clockwise route and glad I did. This is marked as not suitable for stock, but it is really only difficult in a short section—one that was also complicated by a massive treefall. Some people we talked to said they had the best luck fishing at First Dinkey but the mosquitoes were the worst over there. Did day hikes to Swede and South. Follow the sign for Dinkey Lakes trailhead (turn right). Clovis, CA 93611, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 297-0706, Bass Lake Ranger District road to trail head does require high clearance vehicle. Fishing was great, caught plenty of Brooks and a couple Goldens. I ended up on the brewer lake ohv road which was pretty gnarly. Lots of mosquitoes (common here). We added 12 miles to the hike! grrrr. Stay out untill bullfrog lake fire is under control! Explore the offshoot roads and discover wild canyonlands and sierra valleys full of majesty, waterfalls, and utter solitude. Did this in the Oct of 2019. A wilderness permit is required and can be picked up at the Ranger Station in Prather. Dinkey Creek is also a popular swimming area with large pools and sandy beaches for swimmers. 05-15-00-20-23 Developed Recreation and Trails Closure, Forest Order No. Trail is well marked. 9 friends. There are several lakes in this region with First and Second Dinkey Lake being only two of them. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Backpacking 2005 Trip Pictures Trip Report (7/15/2005-7/17/2005): The youth group at my church was wondering if I could pick a good place to go backpacking and if I could help lead them. The Dinkey Lakes are located in the Dinkey Wilderness in the Sierra National Forest east of Shaver Lake. Others were could walk across logs and rocks. Sixteen sizable lakes and dozens of smaller ones are this wildernesses highlights. No problem with critters, we used the counter balance method for food. When you come up to the original road (from Dinkey Creek Road) it gets tougher, but my friend made it in her Subaru without a problem. Cliff Lake Trailhead to Helms Meadow Loop [CLOSED], Three Sisters Peak Trail to Cliff Lake, Rock Lake, and Island Lake [CLOSED], Cliff Lake via Dinkey Lakes Trail [CLOSED], Three Sisters Peak Trail to Cliff Lake, Rock Lake, Second Dinkey Lake, South Lake, Swede Lake, Mystery Lake and First Dinkey Lake [CLOSED], Dinkey Lakes and Dusy-Ershim OHV Loop [CLOSED], Dinkey Lakes Loop via Cliff Lake [CLOSED], Upper Dinkey Creek Loop from Cow Creek Quarry [CLOSED], Cliff Lake, Mystery Lake, Black Peak, and Helms Meadow Loop [CLOSED]. Bass Lake Ranger District Went over 4th of July weekend. Dinkey Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Shaver Lake, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, USA. PLEASE NOTE: just because it is 100° in the central valley does NOT mean there is no snow in the mountains. This has been one of my favorite loops to do for years! 57003 Road 225 The Forestry service dropped boulders in front of it to block traffic. 29688 Auberry Road Some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen, no bugs. bridge closed, Loved this short/easy hike with a great view. I hope the forestry service gets that bridge fixed. See park page for more information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7191/ Great views of the three sisters mountain. Rainbow trout and brookies were everywhere and biting like crazy. Norris Lake Trail to Jackass Lakes 7.5 mi 12.1 km • 1,741' Up 530.66 m Up • 1,740' Down 530.5 m Down. There’s a neat creek to explore on the southeast side of South lake which is also the area we had the best luck fishing. Moderate uphill hike (with nice views) for those 5 miles so come prepared. In any case a 4wd with high clearance will be needed to make it to the trailhead. Never got bit, and didn’t even wear a net around my hat. The mosquitos were really bad the first day when the high was in the high 70s but with spray and nets we did fine. Directions: The drive takes 3-4 hours from Bakersfield. The lowest it got was just above freezing. There was one water crossing that we had to wade through. Road was fine all the way back until after the logging landing. Just did this loop with a spur to Island lake. Some trails are not well marked, but you can still navigate your way to which lake you want to go with GPS. We took the tamarack snow park road in just above shaver lake. Road conditions get worse the farther you go. Wind and colder weather moved in the second day, highs in 60s then 50s, which mostly took care of the mosquito problem. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Trail Map Topo Maps by Tom Harrison. Did this loop on the 15th. lots of mosquitoes. It IS doable but be prepared. As indicated, the bridge is out. Grant Grove The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until November. Tom Harrison Trail Map: Dinkey Lake Wilderness , part of Sierra National Forest – Central Sierra California. It’s deep that’s for sure. The road is a constant incline and wouldn't have been bad if it wasn't for the constant large patches of snow covering the road. Trail Map. It was a hot hike, in the low 80’s and zero bugs. Road to trail head wasn't a problem for my stock 4wheel drive truck but I wouldn't recommend a car. Sierra National Forest Headquarters 1600 Tollhouse Road Clovis, CA 93611. Turn east on Dinkey Creek Road. Temp got down to 29° but with no wind I kept toasty. It is approximately 3.5 miles in and climbs about 700 feet. Head north to Road 9S10 then right. Couldn’t believe about 30 trucks and suvs made the drive. Note the swamp lake road from dinkey creek is closed at the cow creek bridge, about five miles short of the trail head, use the foster ridge road. Dogs are also able to use this trail. You cannot depend on other people on the mountain having recovery gear to bail you out. The first Dinkey Lake is the best for fishing. Bass Lake Ranger District 57003 Road 225 North Fork, CA 93643 559-877-2218 Sierra National Forest Headquarters 1600 Tollhouse Road Clovis, CA 93611 559-297-0706 4WD with some ground clearance is recommended. We stayed at Mystery lake at a nice spot on the south side. Continue 12.5 miles then turn right on McKinley Grove Road. Great hike, beautiful lakes for swimming and dog splashing, and no bugs! We ventured from camp at Cliff Lake to do this. Travel 3 miles past Trapper Springs Campground to the trailhead. There were many trees down on the road. Overall great hike and I can’t wait to go back this year! Dinkey Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 10.8 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Shaver Lake, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. My son said it felt like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. This time of year is pretty dry but all four lakes have plenty of water. Please contact Sierra National Forest to get information on this detour. as of 9/13 this area is a high risk. And they were in the back roads patrolling. Other than that - roads are opening up slowly in the area. My Fitbit calculated 8.88 miles and 1360 elevation gain. From tamarack ridge sno park expect 40 - 50 minutes on dirt roads. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Zumwalt Meadows Loop Trail 1.3 mi 2.0 km • 104' Up 31.7 m Up • 123' Down 37.52 m Down. “To reach the Morgan Pass plus all seven lakes with side trails was 8.7 miles total with an 850' elevation gain.” See all Mosquito Flat Trailhead reviews Hume Lake Camps. The trail also leads to another 4 lakes in that area, but our destination was the First Dinkey Lake. Dinkey Creek Recreation Area is a popular area for its campgrounds, picnic areas, cabins, store, fishing, and hiking. You definitely need a high clearance vehicle. Virtual Tour of Dinkey Lakes Trail. They’re all gorgeous as far as I’m concerned! So after pitching my tent and taking out all excess weight from my backpack I was ready to hike the Dinkey Loop Trail. there are loads of camping and hiking treats to be discovered. 6/19 - 6/21/20. If you’re contemplating on hiking Dinkey Lakes; just DO IT! Trail Description. Prior to getting our Pathfinder in '92 I made multiple trips driving either a '79 Corolla or a '87 Celica; the latter really didn't have much clearance at all. The rangers left a map for us with the permit that got us there pretty easily. Second Dinkey Lake and Dogtooth Peak The least attractive of the Dinkey Lakes I have seen, nevertheless, it has a good view of Dogtooth Peak. Turn east on Dinkey Creek Road. (The extra "Shelter in Place" weight caught up to me) The hike was beautiful and there are tons of mosquitoes, so dress appropriately and bring bug spray. Got stuck in my large 4x4 truck on one of the snow patches. We first stayed at First Dinkey Lake and then at Mystery Lake the second night. Highlights: Dinkey Lakes Loop is an easy backpack of 7 to 9 miles (round trip) with walls of glaciated granite, and mountain lakes stocked with trout in a High Sierra setting. If you are not absolutely sure your vehicle and your plan B can get you through a snow bank DON'T DRIVE THROUGH IT. Hike was good. Sam, I still think you have my hitch though. Paved Dinkey Creek Road leads out to the Trails … Took this trail on May 29 - 31. Chunk of time there need a high risk wonderful getting out of all four Lakes we! 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