Skelton Lake Loop

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.
5.5 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.
262 m
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Directions to Trailhead

A beautiful route within Inyo National Forest, the Skelton Lake Loop traverses the stunning alpine environment of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The route brings you alongside several picturesque alpine lakes and is considered to be a great location for wildlife viewing.

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Route Description for Skelton Lake Loop

Depending on the time of year you are planning on doing the Skelton Lake Loop, the mosquitoes along the route can be rather prolific. Therefore, we suggest bringing bug repellent and that you wear both long sleeves and pants if you are planning on doing the route in the springtime. We also recommend wearing a good pair of hiking boots. Your knees and ankles will rejoice!

Having arrived at the trailhead, follow the Duck Pass Trail as it makes its way southeast over steadily inclining terrain. The pathway will then turn into a series of switchbacks to help aid you in your climbing of the elevation. With the switchbacks completed, the Duck Pass Trail will continue southeast, making its way along the western shoreline of Arrowhead Lake.

After passing adjacent to Arrowhead Lake, the Duck Pass Trail will reach a junction within the route. At the junction, continue on Duck Pass Trail as it makes its way to the south. The route will deliver you to stunning Skeleton Lake, where you should take some time to enjoy the scenery. Once you're ready, backtrack your steps towards the junction and follow the western route onto Emerald Lake Trail. Continue on along Emerald Lake Trail as it makes its way north, eventually ending at the trailhead.

Getting to the Skelton Lake Loop Trailhead

The trailhead for the Skeleton Lake Loop is located off of Coldwater Creek Campground Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Skelton Lake Loop Elevation Graph

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Skelton Lake Loop Reviews

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