Summary: this is a breathtaking hike to explore in the Mineral King area. If you can only hike one hike and you have a full day, this one should be at or near the top of the list. Just make sure you bring an extra pair of socks if you go early in the season. There are several stream "river" crossings that will severely soak your feet.
The trail ascends higher and higher past marmots and deer. The views of waterfalls, summits, streams, and glacier carved canyons are awe-inspiring to say the least.
The trail branches in Farewell Canyon and you must take the left to the Lakes. After a few more stream crossings, you will be at the Lake. Just below the leaky dam is a camp area complete with bear/marmot box. Above the dam is an unreal view of the Franklin basin and Tulare Peak and Rainbow Mountain which tower above it.
Take your time and make it a backpack trip.
Trailhead: From Highway 99 in Visalia, take California highway 198 east past Kaweah Lake and three miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park.
Turn right onto the signed narrow road for Mineral King and follow it for 25 miles to the Mineral King Ranger Station.
The road continues for another mile past the Ranger Station, but the marmots at the trailhead have caused substantial damage to cars rendering them inoperable. The rangers will recommend you park across from the station. There is a nature trail and connector that follows the river, but it is easier to hike along the road.
Follow the road to its end and stay straight and to the left as the road becomes dirt and follow it as it passes the horse corrals.
The trail is not signed for Franklin Lakes until a ways past the corral. (Lat:36.45232 Lon:-118.61206)
Trail Guides for Sequoia NP - Franklin Lake :
Hiking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
by Laurel Scheidt (Falcon)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Mineral King Ranger Station (559) 565-3341
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
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Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Tulare County Hiking, Tulare County Trails, Tulare County Hikes