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    Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass 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.
    14.2 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.
    1,043 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail is a high-demand, high reward-type hike into the High Sierra. Wander amid lush montane meadows, meandering creeks, and granite gardens to the crystalline lake. This remarkable adventure is a must add to the hiking to-do list.

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    Route Description for Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail

    Seeking a challenge? If so, then you have come to the correct place. This epic high-country excursion will push your limits, demanding the navigation of steep and technical terrain at high elevations—this trek is recommended only for experienced hikers. Come prepared with the proper equipment, including microspikes and trekking poles. Be sure to check the forecast before heading out to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.

    The Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Hike departs from the Sawtooth Pass Trailhead. Setting out from here you will be guided along the Sawtooth Pass Trail, climbing through a lush montane meadow with wonderful views of the encompassing mountains. After navigating the steep ascent, you will reach Monarch Creek; keep right here. Mind your footing on the rocky terrain, and you will eventually encounter the intersection with the Crystal Lake Trail. Veer right, passing the Chihuahua Mine and up the slopes of Mineral Peak.

    After trekking up the steep alpine path, you will be rewarded with Crystal Lake. Revel in the scene of the shimmering lake bound by the ridges anchored by Mineral Peak. Marvel at the beautiful scenery, then head back the way you came.

    Getting to the Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail Trailhead

    Access this hike via the Sawtooth Pass Trailhead off Mineral King Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Backcountry Camping, wilderness permits required.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail Elevation Graph

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    Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail Reviews

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