Fern Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
5.0 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
477 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Appropriate for intermediate hikers and families with older children, Fern Lake Trail is a beautiful route within Inyo National Forest. The trail ends at stunning Fern Lake, where picturesque views of the surrounding alpine landscape can be enjoyed. Along with its great sighlines, Fern Lake Trail is also regarded as an excellent route for wildlife viewing.

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Route Description for Fern Lake Trail

While short, Fern Lake Trail possesses a fair amount of elevation gain in relation to its length, and so it is therefore likely not appropriate for beginner hikers or families with young children. Likewise, as the pathway travels along rocky and uneven terrain, we recommend wearing a good pair of hiking boots. Your ankles and knees will thank you!

With your vehicle parked at the lot, follow Yost Creek Trail south. Almost immediately the incline along the trail begins to dramatically increase - a theme that will continue throughout the route. After shortly veering to the west, the Yost Creek Trail will once again turn southwards and arrive at a junction within the trail.

At the junction, take the western pathway onto Fern Lake Trail and continue along it southwards. The incline will gradually begin to taper off, and eventually plateau as you reach Fern Lake. Having reached the scenic lake, take your time and enjoy the sights before backtracking your steps towards the trailhead.

Getting to the Fern Lake Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for Fern Lake Trail is located at a parking lot off of Boulder Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Gull Lake Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Fern Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Fern Lake Trail Reviews

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