Franklin Lakes 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.
934 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Explore the high country and immerse yourself in the postcard-perfect setting as you hike the Franklin Lakes Trail. If there is one route to tackle in the Sequoia National Park, it's this one. Offering a wealth of beautiful scenery, you'll want to make sure your camera is charged!

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Route Description for Franklin Lakes Trail

Discover the beauty and diversity of the alpine terrain along the Franklin Lakes Hike. This incredible adventure progresses through a postcard-worthy setting, exhibiting a diversity of flora and fauna that occupy the mountains. Traveling to such high altitudes, it is important to be mindful of afternoon storms, and we suggest dressing in layers as insurance against varying conditions. Though this route offers remarkable views year-round, we encourage you to visit in the spring when the wildflowers bloom, and the seasonal streams surge. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.

Embark on your trek along the Franklin Lakes Trail from the parking lot across from the Sawtooth Trailhead. From here, turn right and wander along the Mineral King Road, merging onto the Farewell Gap-Franklin Lakes Trail at the route’s end. The path will gradually climb through the valley of the East Fork of the Kaweah River. Marvel at the scene of the lush vegetation and the bounding Sierra Nevada summits. Eventually, you will encounter an intersection; veer left here and follow the Franklin Lakes Trail as it ascends some tightly wound switchbacks.

This route will guide you past the Lady Franklin Mine and over Franklin Creek before ultimately delivering you to the Franklin Lakes. Revel in the beauty of the glacial lakes located in the mountain cirque bound by Tulare Peak, Mount Florence, and Rainbow Mountain. Appreciate the expansive alpine panoramas, then head back the way you came to the trailhead.

Getting to the Franklin Lakes Trail Trailhead

The Franklin Lakes Trail departs from the parking lot across from the Sawtooth Trailhead on the 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

Franklin Lakes Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Franklin Lakes Trail Reviews

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