Conditions are currently beautiful. I hike every other weekend during the hiking season and I’d rate this trail about a 6 maybe borderline 7 out of 10. Sierra Hiking Trails is a collection of past trips taken in the Sierra National Forest over the last eleven years. Did this loop on the 15th. Spent 3 days 2 nights, ended up staying at Swede lake found an awesome spot around the back off trail. Took the tamarack snow park road in. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness consists of 16 lakes and numerous streams with Rainbows and Brookies. There are several lakes in this region with First and Second Dinkey Lake being only two of them. It begins at Dinkey Lakes Trailhead At Willlow Medow and ends at Cliff Lake Trailhead. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Trail Map Topo Maps by Tom Harrison. Definitely want to drive something that has some ground clearance that can handle 6-8” road hazards. Took the clockwise route and glad I did. It was a hot hike, in the low 80’s and zero bugs. After awhile you will come to another fork in the road. Spring = snow in the mountains. 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. Please contact Sierra National Forest to get information on this detour. 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. Dinkey Lakes Loop Dinkey Lakes Wilderness in the Southern Sierra . 29688 Auberry Road 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). 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. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until November. Just when you think you are lost you will find the trailhead. TTY: (559) 322-0425 Temp got down to 29° but with no wind I kept toasty. Lots of stream crossings with no water in them. Folks do the Dinkey Lakes Willow Mdws trailhead with passenger cars frequently, but this does risk vehicular damage. North Fork, CA 93643, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 877-2218 ex.0, High Sierra Ranger District 2. 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. Storm clouds had us retreat and we had to wayfind to get back. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until November. The bridge may have separated from the road. Virtual Tour of Dinkey Lakes Trail. Virtual Tour of Dinkey Lakes Trail. Wilderness permits are required for overnight use but not day-use. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Zumwalt Meadows Loop Trail 1.3 mi 2.0 km • 104' Up 31.7 m Up • 123' Down 37.52 m Down. Users have reported that the road to the trailhead can be difficult for 2WD vehicles. Prather, CA 93651, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 855-5355 ex.0, Hearing Impaired You will need a high clearance vehicle to drive all the way to the trailhead. The mosquitos were really bad the first day when the high was in the high 70s but with spray and nets we did fine. I ended up on the brewer lake ohv road which was pretty gnarly. A wilderness permit is required and can be picked up at the Ranger Station in Prather. Some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen, no bugs. Contact Information. We headed up towards First Dinkey Lake which has a more continuous gradient than the other branch. Moderate uphill hike (with nice views) for those 5 miles so come prepared. DINKEY LAKES WILDERNESS Location From Clovis: Take highway 168 toward Shaver Lake. Turn onto that road and dodge the potholes along the way. 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. 05-15-00-20-22 Sierra-Creek- Closure. Once you get into the higher elevations the mosquitoes thin out, but there are still enough to bite and annoy. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness This is one of several trailheads leading in to the Sierra National Forest "Dinkey Lakes Wilderness." 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. 24 reviews Parks ... Dinkey Creek Road and Trails End, Dinkey Creek, CA. 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 road is closed 8/30 for the last 6 miles of road. TONS OF MOSQUITOES!!! From tamarack ridge sno park expect 40 - 50 minutes on dirt roads. There is some large patches of snow in shady areas. Great trek overall. 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. Made this mistake the first time! I posted a photo of the road map to the trailhead given to us by the forest service. Some of the trail is wet with water from snow melt. Mosquitoes weren't an issue first week of October. 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. Mammoth…, CA. Middle of August, 2017. We did not see a cairned trail so we started up the most obvious route we could find. Mammoth…, CA. My go too every year. The lakes were very picturesque. Buried the soles of my shoes as this was their last hike and duct tape was holding them together. 1600 Tollhouse Road Others were could walk across logs and rocks. We did not read the description of the roads on the app before going; silly us! Never got bit, and didn’t even wear a net around my hat. You definitely need a high clearance vehicle. Dinkey Creek is also a popular swimming area with large pools and sandy beaches for swimmers. See park page for more information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7191/ Paved Dinkey Creek Road leads out to the Trails … great trail highly recommend!! If you’re a good fisherman, try for the grand slam: Catch a fish out of all four lakes! We added 12 miles to the hike! Fishing was great, caught plenty of Brooks and a couple Goldens. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Sierra National Forest Headquarters 1600 Tollhouse Road Clovis, CA 93611. Plenty of shade for the dog throughout the hike. Most of the wilderness is above 8000 feet elevation. https://youtu.be/y1twJ0UMhGg, Always a beautiful hike. Got stuck in my large 4x4 truck on one of the snow patches. Long drive to access and glad we had 4x4 in a couple of sections. My Fitbit calculated 8.88 miles and 1360 elevation gain. Enjoy responsibly. Great, easy hike. Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness. The incline to the first and second Dinkey Lake can be a little challenging at 10,000ft. 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! Overall great hike and I can’t wait to go back this year! The Forestry service dropped boulders in front of it to block traffic. It's wonderful getting out of the central valley heat up here! The logging co grades the road for their equipment. Clovis, CA 93611, Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 297-0706, Bass Lake Ranger District Great views of the three sisters mountain. Great hike, beautiful lakes for swimming and dog splashing, and no bugs! Bugs were bad in pockets, but not at the lakes themselves! As indicated, the bridge is out. 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]. BE AWARE OF THE ROAD CLOSURE! Dinkey Lakes was an absolutely beautiful trail. The lowest it got was just above freezing. 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. This route involves taking the Tamarack Ridge turn off of 168. 10-miles of off-roads to trailhead… Another option from First Dinkey Lake is to continue on to Second Dinkey, Rock, and Island Lakes. Upon obtaining a wilderness permit, the ranger have us directions to the trail head. Alternatively, hikers can park at the bridge, and walk to the trailhead, adding significant miles to the hike. Rainbow trout and brookies were everywhere and biting like crazy. 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. 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. Would not recommend for anything without decent ground clearance. We pulled two of them off to the side but there were more when we walked the road. Explore the offshoot roads and discover wild canyonlands and sierra valleys full of majesty, waterfalls, and utter solitude. First night got down to the upper 30s and windy. This time of year is pretty dry but all four lakes have plenty of water. This has been one of my favorite loops to do for years! Short video review of our hike: Although, I did have a long sleeve and long hiking pants for protection. It lies immediately west of the John Muir Wilderness and consists of timbered rolling terrain. The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness lies on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada southeast of Huntington Lake and northwest of Courtright Reservoir. So after pitching my tent and taking out all excess weight from my backpack I was ready to hike the Dinkey Loop Trail. 4WD with some ground clearance is recommended. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The road from Tamarack is pretty well marked and fairly easy driving. PLEASE NOTE: just because it is 100° in the central valley does NOT mean there is no snow in the mountains. 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. bridge closed, Loved this short/easy hike with a great view. (The extra "Shelter in Place" weight caught up to me) RECOMMENDED ROUTE Zumwalt Meadows Loop Trail 1.3 mi 2.0 km • 104' Up 31.7 m Up • 123' Down 37.52 m Down. 80s during the day, 40s at night. It IS doable but be prepared. 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). It was tall and the snow was solid ice. Road in was a bit rough, but no problem with a small truck. Not many people overall. Follow to Rock Creek Road (National Forest Road 9) turn left. There are still patches of snow up to 5 feet deep in some areas. Sierra National Forest Headquarters 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. 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. 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. Directions: The drive takes 3-4 hours from Bakersfield. 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. Then if you have time, you can check out Rock & Island lakes as well!! Or at least, the bridge is blocked with boulders. According to users, there is a driving route that bypasses this bridge, and takes the hiker to the trailhead. Trail Description. There is a public horseback riding stable available. great trail highly recommend!! We first stayed at First Dinkey Lake and then at Mystery Lake the second night. Wind and colder weather moved in the second day, highs in 60s then 50s, which mostly took care of the mosquito problem. SoCal to Fresno to Dinkey Lakes. 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. grrrr. road to trail head does require high clearance vehicle. Yes the bridge is out. We took the tamarack snow park road in just above shaver lake. 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. Lastly, There were more Highway Patrol, Forestry Service, Rangers, and Game wardens on the hill than I have ever seen. 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 Dinkey Lakes are located in the Dinkey Wilderness in the Sierra National Forest east of Shaver Lake. 6/19 - 6/21/20. 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 would love to return but probably wont until the bridge is repaired to allow easier access to the trailhead. Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Caught some small Brookies in South but none in Swede or Mystery. Turn east on Dinkey Creek Road. It is approximately 3.5 miles in and climbs about 700 feet. Hardly any firewood at South lake campground but it's an excellent spot for group camping. The wilderness was established in 1984 of 30,000 acres. 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. You cannot depend on other people on the mountain having recovery gear to bail you out. 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. My stock Tacoma 4x4 handled it well, but all the boulders on the road were jarring. as of 9/13 this area is a high risk. Trails were easy to follow and fairly well marked. Rock Creek Road #9S10 becomes dirt and leads up to the Dinkey Lakes hiking trails. The snow should be melting soon. Offices. People say you need a huge high clearance vehicle, but any suv or truck will do. Otherwise this trail is great and hardly anyone there! It really starts to cool off in the early afternoon. Road conditions get worse the farther you go. The Dinkey Lakes Loop is a favorite hike, as it visits four high Sierra lakes in a fairly easy seven mile trip. The second night got down to about 28-30 and definitely below freezing. Took this trail on May 29 - 31. Simply put, the Dinkey Lakes loop is a Sierra masterpiece, especially in July when the wildflowers are at their best. The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, USA. Travel 3 miles past Trapper Springs Campground to the trailhead. I took my 7 year old son up for two nights the last weekend in June. Didn't see anything really wrong with the bridge except the guardrail was broken on one side. Sam, I still think you have my hitch though. Couldn’t believe about 30 trucks and suvs made the drive. 57003 Road 225 Turn east on Dinkey Creek Road. Trail is well marked. there are loads of camping and hiking treats to be discovered. If you are not absolutely sure your vehicle and your plan B can get you through a snow bank DON'T DRIVE THROUGH IT. Status Update: Tried to get to the lakes this weekend. Head north to Road 9S10 then right. 9 friends. They’re all gorgeous as far as I’m concerned! Continuing on to Second Dinkey Lake the trail starts to climb steeper, but not for long. Do NOT take Dinkey Creek Rd. Trail Map. 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. Do yourself a favor and take the loop counterclockwise for a much less steep climb. 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). Will definitely plan future trips out here. Talked to the ranger beforehand, I recommend splurging” for the fishing permit! Some people we talked to said they had the best luck fishing at First Dinkey but the mosquitoes were the worst over there. 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. Grant Grove Stay out untill bullfrog lake fire is under control! You will not regret it, especially this time of year. There were many trees down on the road. 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. Seeing four lakes on one loop is really nice. We stayed at Mystery lake at a nice spot on the south side. I didn't see them hassling too many people but there were a lot of them. The Dinkey Lakes trail is 11.3 miles long. We went for a day hike mid week and saw a handful of backpacking groups, but that was it. Many people have complained about the “ravenous” mosquitoes, but I didn’t see a single one until about 6 pm. We drove a two week drove SUV and had to stop 3.5 miles short of the trailhead due to snow on the road. It’s deep that’s for sure. 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. We brought mini spikes but we did not need them. Road was fine all the way back until after the logging landing. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Backpacking The rangers left a map for us with the permit that got us there pretty easily. Some trails are not well marked, but you can still navigate your way to which lake you want to go with GPS. Great weather. Follow the sign for Dinkey Lakes trailhead (turn right). We ventured from camp at Cliff Lake to do this. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, (559) 297-0706. Many of the small creeks in the area were frozen although the temperature in the sun was still warm. 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Please contact Sierra National Forest over the last 2 Lakes when you think you have time you. At Swede Lake found an awesome spot around the back off trail we walked the road trail!