Kearsarge Pass Trail is a popular trail with relatively quick access to the JMT. As one of the only high elevation trailheads in the southern portion of the Eastern Sierra, it receives quite a lot of foot traffic from both backpackers and day hikers. Through hikers on the JMT/PCT commonly use the trail to resupply in Independence.
There are a few small lakes and campsites along the trail as it ascends to Kearsarge Pass. More scenic views and camping can be found near Kearsarge Lakes on the western side of Kearsarge Pass. Most notably, Kearsarge Pinnacles and East Vidette stand prominent in this region.
Wilderness permits and bear canisters are required for all overnight travelers.
For the most up to date information on conditions and regulations contact the Inyo Forest Service.
Forest service trail information:
From Hwy 395 in Independence, follow Onion Valley Road east to the trailhead. The trailhead has a large parking area, bear boxes, restrooms, and limited car camping sites.
This is a moderate to tough hike for children due to the steep switchbacks starting right from the parking lot.
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