Minaret 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.
21.6 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.
743 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Minaret Lake Trail

Taking you through stunning mountain topography, alongside charming creeks, and eventually ending at the picturesque Minaret Lake, the Minaret Lake Trail is an incredible route. A longer trail with a fair amount of elevation incline, the Minaret Lake Trail is ideal for more experienced hikers and those looking for a challenge in Inyo National Forest.

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Route Description for Minaret Lake Trail

The Minaret Lake Trail is long in distance, and possesses a fair amount of elevation incline. The trail is therefore not appropriate for beginner hikes or families with children. Depending on the time of year you are planning on doing the Minaret Lake Trail, it can also become rather busy. We recommend starting the hike earlier in the day to more easily find parking and beat the midday crowds.

Having arrived at the trailhead, follow the John Muir Trail around Soda Spring Meadows. Once past the meadows, continue on along John Muir Trail as it makes its way northwest over steadily inclining terrain. Continue along John Muir Trail until you reach the junction with Minaret Creek Trail. Follow Minaret Creek Trail as it heads northwest, consistently inclining in elevation as it goes.

After crossing, and passing by a number of creeks, the route will deliver you to its namesake - Minaret Lake. Take some time enjoying the incredible views that can be had along the lakeshore and maybe stop for some lunch. When you are ready, simply backtrack your steps towards the trailhead and your waiting vehicle.

Getting to the Minaret Lake Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for Minaret Lake Trail is located at a parking lot off of Minaret Summit Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Minaret Falls Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Minaret Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Minaret Lake Trail Reviews

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