BACKPACKING TRIP AT JENNIE LAKES WILDERNESS

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SUMMARY

TRIP · 3-day backpacking trip
FOR · Friends & first-time backpackers
DISTANCE · 17.5 mile loop with 2,992 feet of elevation

VIBE · Hard & rewarding

COST · $
DRIVE · 3.5 hours from SF & LA

PERMITS · Nope! Just register at the trailhead 
IDEAL DATES · April (after the snow has melted) - July 
PETS · Welcome at camp & on trails!

WHY JENNIE LAKES WILDERNESS?

Named after Jennie Ellis, a mountaineer's wife, Jennie Lakes Wilderness has 10,500 acres & 26 miles of hiking trails, with four of those routes venturing south to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. This place is blooming with wildflowers, alpine lakes (Jennie Lake being the largest) & pine forests. The neatest part is that you don't need a wilderness permit to camp in the backcountry. Trails will get busy on warm, summer weekends, but plan a visit during the Spring and you'll get to experience a classic Sierra landscape, a high-altitude adventure & tranquil getaway all in one trip. 

· Directions to Trailhead

· Official Forest Service Website

· Latest Fire Restrictions

A German botanist named coastal redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens, in honor of the Cherokee Chief Sequoya or Sikwayi 

STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW

🐻

Black bears do hang out in the Sierra so bring a bear-proof Ursack or bear canister to store your food overnight.

🔥

Backcountry campfires are banned since it's wildfire season, but you'll also need to apply to a CA campfire permit to operate a gas backpacking stove. It only takes a few minutes to complete online!

⛰️

Most of Jennie Lakes Wilderness is above 7,000 feet so take some time to acclimatize to the altitude. Hike slowly & stay hydrated!

🚗

 

ITINERARY

DAY ONE
LEAVE LA AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

- LAST PIT STOP · Valero - 35468 East Kings Canyon Road in Squaw Valley
 

ARRIVE & PARK AT FOX MEADOW TRAILHEAD

- It's a bumpy dirt road to Fox Meadow Trailhead so if the weather gets bad or if your car's not up for the off-road adventure, you can also park at Big Meadow Trailhead, which is accessible via paved roads. It does add about a mile & 400 feet of climbing to the trek.
- You don't need a permit, but register yourself at the trailhead so park rangers know you're in the backcountry!

HIKE ALONG WEAVER LAKE TRAIL TOWARDS JENNIE LAKE

- It's a 5 mile hike with 1,127 feet of elevation gain to Jennie Lake
- At the Weaver Lake Trail junction, stay right & climb up the hill towards Jennie Lake

- Reach Poop Out Pass, which is accurately named if you haven't had a chance to acclimatize yet, but it's essentially a gentle, steady climb to reach the Pass. Take your time if you're feeling out of breath! 

SET UP CAMP AT JENNIE LAKE
- Huzzah! Congrats on making it to your first alpine lake of the trip! Take a break, eat some snacks & set up camp on the northern or western sides of the lake. 

- Jennie Lake is a popular wild trout fishing spot so don't be surprised if you find anglers trying to hook Rainbow & Brook trout

IF YOU'RE FEELING AMBITIOUS...CLIMB TO THE PEAK ABOVE JENNIE LAKE
- At the summit, find 200 degree views of the lake

RELAX, UNWIND & COOK UP DINNER

- Spend the rest of your evening chilling & swapping stories!


CAR TO CAMP · 5 miles with 1,127 feet of elevation gain, 3-4 hours

DAY TWO
MAKE BREKKIE, PACK UP & HIKE TO WEAVER LAKE

- Fill up on water (at least 2L per person), pack snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, bug spray & your lunch!

- It's about an 8.5 mile gradual, downhill hike to Weaver Lake

- Once you reach JO Pass, wander around the ridge & soak up some spectacular views of the area, before you take a left towards Weaver Lake

- At the JO Pass, Weaver Lake, Rowell Meadow junction, turn left towards Weaver Lake. Keep an eye out for a good lunch spot because you're around the halfway point of the trek. 

REACH WEAVER LAKE & SET UP CAMP!

- There are actually 15 designated campsites with fire rings on the northern and western sides of Weaver Lake. Fire restrictions are in effect, but the campsites are well-spaced & worth snagging.

ENJOY A SUNSET DINNER

- Savor your last night in Jennie Lakes Wilderness & spend the rest of the night stargazing  

CAMP TO CAMP · 8.5 miles, 4-5 hours 

DAY THREE
COOK UP BREAKFAST, PACK UP & HIKE BACK TO FOX MEADOW TRAILHEAD

- From Weaver Lake, you're only about a 2 mile hike, which is mostly downhill, from Fox Meadow Trailhead. 

 
RETURN TO CAR & GRAB A QUICK BITE AT CLINGAN'S JUNCTION 
Diners love their bagel sandwiches & baked goods
Located at 35591 East Kings Canyon Road in Squaw Valley
Open everyday except Tuesdays & Wednesdays | 8 AM - 2 PM

HEAD HOME!
 
CAMP TO CAR · 2 miles, 1 - 2 hours 
 

GEAR

ESSENTIALS
CLOTHING
ACCESSORIES
 
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LAST UPDATED: August 22, 2021

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DAY ONE

Dinner

DOTTIE'S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

Dessert

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

FOOD

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