photo of Hilton Lakes, John Muir Wilderness, CA






  Hilton Lakes
  Trail

  John Muir Wilderness

Third Hilton Lake


Hiking the Trail to Hilton Lakes

Trail to Hilton Lakes, John Muir Wilderness, CA

Hilton Lakes Trail


Hilton Lakes Trailhead to Hilton Creek, 4.1 miles

Be sure to carry plenty of water as sources are very limited. Begin with a short climb. After a quarter mile the trail levels off into gently rolling terrain. Along the way you will cross a small creek, the only water available until you reach Hilton Creek. Pass the steep side-trail coming up from Pine Grove Campground.

Soon climb gradually up a sandy hillside to a ridge and begin a switchback descent to a trail junction near Hilton Creek. Upper lakes are to the left and the second lake and Davis Lake are downhill to the right.

Hilton Lakes trail, John Muir Wilderness, CA

Hilton Lakes Trail


Hilton Creek to Third Hilton Lake, 0.5 miles

Turning left at the trail junction leads to a short series of switchbacks. After a moderate climb the third lake appears before you. Take time to glance back down the valley for views of Second Lake and Davis Lake.

Continuing on either of the two trails which diverge from the third lake will lead you to an upper lake. Both are about ½ mile away. The southern lake includes a 400-foot climb while its larger companion to the west is nearly level with the third lake.