Lake Kaweah

wildflowers

Sequoia Foothills Reservoir, CA SR 198
Kaweah Lake

Southern Sierra lake located on Kaweah River, near the mouth of Mineral King Canyon. In between the western Sierra foothills and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley. West of Sequoia NP, east of Visalia, California.

Crystal Cave
Mineral King
Sequoia National Park
Three Rivers
Visalia

The small town of Three Rivers is just up the road from this small reservoir & their slogan is the ‘southern gateway’ to the Sequoia National Park.

There are several recreational reservoirs that are situated at the base of the Sierras, along the western slopes. The Kaweah River transports snowmelt deep from the Sierra Nevada mountains, down to the San Joaquin Valley (Central Valley), for human consumption, households, and agriculture.

Lake Kaweah California

elevation: 1945′
surface area: 1200′
vegetation: minimal trees, scrub oak, wildflower foothills

fishing –

  • bass
  • bluegill
  • catfish
  • crappie
  • trout
  • recreation –

  • backpack
  • bike
  • boat
  • camp
  • canoe
  • hike
  • houseboat
  • kayak
  • sail
  • swim
  • waterski
  • CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Horse Creek Recreation Area
    Horse Creek Campground
    76 camp sites

    Kaweah Rentals

    Kaweah Marina has patio boats, fishing boats, and paddle boards available for rent. Reservations are needed in summer for weekends and holidays. 559-597-2526

    Kaweah Houseboats

    Privately owned house-boats can be seen on this lake, although none are available at the marina for rent. Some can usually be found for sale on visalia.craigslist.org

    Weather: Lake Kaweah Dam

    US Army Corps of Engineers
    PO Box 44270
    34443 Sierra Drive
    Lemon Cove, CA 93244
    559-597-2301

    Gateway

    Sequoia Highway 198 has many side routes worth exploring: Mineral King Road will get you to amazing scenery, but there ARE NOT ANY Sequoia groves up that way; Crystal Cave, open for tours is located near the south entrance of the National Park; and a lesser known campground in this area is called South Fork, off on a residential side route canyon – South Fork Drive (Road #348); Located on the quiet South Fork of the Kaweah River.

    Sequoia Maps:

  • Mineral King Map
  • Golden Trout South Sierra Map
  • Golden Trout Trail Map
  • Kings Canyon High Country
  • Sequoia Kings Canyon NatGeo
  • Sequoia Kings Canyon NP Map
  • Sequoia National Forest Map
  • Sequoia Atlas

    1933 River Kaweah
    Three Rivers is small community located along the Kaweah River.

    North Fork Drive: North Fork of the Kaweah River is a seldom traveled dirt back road that leads from the east side of the lake @ Hwy 198, northbound (along the North Fork of Kaweah River), straight into the backdoor of Sequoia National Park’s ridge line highway @ Dorst Campground. The original town of Kaweah (elev 960′) is along this route. Many small dirt roads to explore up this way and a good topo map is advised.

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Eshom Campground (on western border of NP), a small slice of Giant Sequoia National Monument land, Redwood Creek and a trailhead called Redwood Saddle are all back up in here. Have a few good maps to cross-reference while traveling back roads and trails. This major dirt route is often closed and gated by the rangers during wet, winter months.

    Kaweah River Sequoia

    nearby destinations:
    Lemon Cove, CA
    Mineral King, CA
    Sequoia National Park
    Three Rivers, CA

    lake_kaweah

  • 4S12 – Inyo NF

    rockcreekroad

    Rock Creek Road

    Rock Creek Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

    Inyo Forest Road #4S12
    also known as Inyo Road 12, and also Rock Creek Rd.

    Majestic mountain scenery. Popular paved route that leads from US 395 up to Rock Creek Lake, on the edge of granite wild lands; lake is situated above 9000′ elevation and the hiker trailheads are further up, beyond the lake at over 10,000 feet. Steep canyon, large canyon, rocky granite canyon, high elevation.

    Super scenic drive, but open less than half the year, due to deep snow. Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Inyo National Forest

    North of Bishop, CA
    South of Mammoth, CA
    SW of US Highway 395

    hikes horse camp bike

    backpacking
    camping
    fishing
    hiking
    horseback
    trailheads
    wilderness

    A popular and favorite place for summer camping, fishing and hiking. Backpacking, horse trails, high elevation lakes, mountain passes, peaks, wilderness areas. RV campgrounds, tent camping, car camping. Mountain biking in vast canyon, near campgrounds and creek. No bikes in the Wilderness (up and above Rock Creek)

    Autumn colors, aspen groves usually best in early October. Snow closure in winter months (Nov-May).

    snowyautumn

    elevation 7072′ @ Tom’s Place, CA (US Hwy 395)
    elevation 9682′ @ Rock Creek Lake
    elevation 10,272′ @ Trailhead Parking (end of road)

    UP, UP, HIGHER & AROUND LAKE
    One lane, paved route gets narrow, but keeps on climbing. Road #6S05 continues up – past Rock Creek Lake and ends at hiking trailheads, paved parking lot and a few picnic spots.

    iris meadow

    Iris Meadow Campground NFS

    12 NFS Campgrounds in this region, starting with one at the highway, several along the way and the campgrounds at Rock Creek Lake.

    No campfires are allowed in this canyon – outside of a developed campground. Not much in the way of primitive car camping options either, except for strapping on a backpack and heading into high elevation wilderness.

    rockcreeklake

    Rock Creek Lake

    Rock Creek Campgrounds

    Inyo National Forest
    John Muir Wilderness

    Trailheads along Rock Creek Road #4S12

    • Upper Hilton Lakes
    • Tamarack
    • Lakes Valley (Little Lakes)
    • JMT – John Muir Trail

    Rock Creek NFS Hiking Trailheads (download PDF)

    Eastern Sierra Maps:
    Inyo National Forest Map USDA
    John Muir Wilderness Maps
    Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo
    Mono Divide High Country Map

     

    rock creek lake

    Rock Creek Lake, first snowfall (Autumn)


    looking for another place called ROCK CREEK in California? (we are working on that)

    6S05 – Inyo NF

    6S05bridge

    Paved, one-lane extension of #4S12, Rock Creek Road.
    Up above Rock Creek Lake, East Sierra Nevada, California

    High elevation 10,272′ at roads end and parking lot

    Little Lakes Valley Trailhead
    Mono Pass
    Morgan Pass
    John Muir Trail (JMT)
    Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

    Mosquito Flat Picnic Area

    Restrooms, paved parking lot, nature trails, fishing creeks, horseback, wilderness trails.

    hikes NFS camp horse camp

    Mosquito Flat Walk-In Campground is intended for backpackers departing overnight into the backcountry the following day. Single night stay ONLY. Please camp down canyon if you plan to stay for more than one night. Bear lockers are provided at campgrounds for proper storage of food items, so use them!

    No campfires are allowed outside of developed campgrounds. Day use does not require a permit. Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the John Muir Wilderness. Bear containers are required for backpackers. Permits for these trails are issued at Inyo National Forest ranger station in Mammoth, or the Eastern Sierra Visitors Center (ESIA) near Olancha.

    littlelakesvalley

    John Muir Wilderness (JMT) trails, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), epic scenery, alpine lakes, high elevation. Eastern Sierra

    Rock Creek NFS Hiking Trailheads (download PDF)

    Rock Creek Pack Station provides wilderness pack trips on horseback, and day rides too.

    Road and canyon is CLOSED for winter snow approx. NOV-MAY

    snowlane

    Peaks and passes surrounding Rock Creek Canyon, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains –

    Red Mountain 11,472′ (elevation)
    Mount Morgan 13,748′
    Morgan Pass
    Mt Huntington 12,405′
    Mono Rock 11,554′
    Mono Pass
    Mt Starr 12,835′
    Mt Mills 13,451′
    Mt Abbott 13,704′
    Round Valley Peak 11,943′

    Hike or horseback ride to these alpine lakes from Rock Creek Rd trailheads –

    Davis Lake
    Hilton Creek Lakes
    Patricia Lake
    Golden Lake
    Pioneer Basin Lakes
    Trail Lakes
    Summit Lake
    Ruby Lake
    Mills Lake
    Gem Lakes
    Treasure Lakes
    Dade Lake
    Upper Morgan Lake
    Lower Morgan Lake
    Chickenfoot Lake
    Little Lakes
    Box Lake
    Heart Lake
    Marsh Lake
    Serene Lake
    Eastern Brook Lakes
    Tamarack Lake
    Buck Lake
    Francis Lake
    Dorothy Lake
    Kenneth Lake

    1N17 – Inyo NF

    1N17

    Road #1N17 – Inyo National Forest

    Highway 158 @ Grant Lake, North June Lake Loop

    Forest Road 1N17 is a major graded dirt road that connects June Lake Loop to the Lee Vining junction, the back way. West side of US 395; south of Hwy 120.

    At north end of Grant Lake, slow down and look for the signed intersection. Sage brush hills and big drainage, with towering granite peaks above.

    This well-traveled, wide dirt road leads along the base of the mountain range on BLM land, skirting the National Forest. Several side routes head up into numerous canyons, which are part of Inyo NF. Suitable for SUV, passenger cars, camper van and small RVs. Easy access off US Highway 395 and June Lake Loop #1S63

    side routes off #1N17 –

    Parker Lakes Road #1S25A
    Sawmill Canyon #1S24
    Bloody Canyon #1S23
    Walker Lake Trailhead
    Bohler Canyon #1S19
    Gibbs Trailhead #1S106

    walkertrail

    Several hike-in only lakes, creek camping, some seclusion. Great picnic areas, trail head access, short or long hikes. National Forest lands. Backpacking, day hiking and primitive camps, some deep in the aspens. Autumn here can be gorgeous, and these are all prime summer time camp sites, for free. Make sure to get your campfire permit ahead of time, at ranger station in Mammoth. Wilderness permits may also be required for overnight camping in this canyon, so check with the NFS rangers on that issue.

    towns nearby:
    June Lake, CA
    Lee Vining, CA
    Mammoth Lakes, CA
    Mono Lake, CA

    Ansel Adams Wilderness
    Inyo National Forest

    Certain areas back here can be muddy in springtime, other major routes can even be over whelmed with water when creeks swell. Summer thunderstorms are common. One lane bridges should always be driven with caution, especially on dirt roads. Always be extra slow when driving thru water at creek crossings.

    area maps:
    Inyo National Forest USDA
    Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
    Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo

    summerstorm

    Grant Lake California

    grantlakefall

    Grant Lake, California

    elevation: 7,136′
    surface acres: 1000

    Grant Lake is the largest of the lakes on the famous June Lake Loop, the far north end (top) of Hwy 158. Eastern Sierra

    Often windy, barren hills surround much of the lake; Good fishing and easy access all the way around lake. High desert, with big open skies and great views. Public boat ramps (dirt).

    Graded Dirt Road #1S29 skirts the north end of this lake. Dirt Road #1S30 wraps around the back (east) side, while the paved highway skirts the western shoreline.

    Grant Lake Marina
    760-648-7964

    Full service marina, fishing boat rentals, boat launch ramp, gasoline & a market.
    Grant Lake Marina Campground w/ 70 camp sites. Usually open from late April through mid October.

    AUTUMN COLOR: Some pockets of aspen near this lake, but most aspen groves are deeper on the loop.

    curveatlake

    Picnic areas, hiking, back roads.
    Views of Mono Lake.

    Near north end of Grant, a Gravel Road #1N17 leads north from Hwy 158, thru BLM lands. Several short canyons w/ lakes and creeks; fishing, picnic spots, numerous hiking trailheads, some primitive campsites.

    Silver Lake is next door.

    nearby towns:

    June Lake, CA
    Lee Vining, CA

    junelakeloop

    Back of June Lake Loop

     

    area maps:
    Inyo National Forest USDA
    Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
    Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo