Create an account

Start your adventure today.


    Already a member? Login

    Pinto 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.
    21.4 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.
    1,754 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Be the first to add a review!
    Directions to Trailhead

    Beckoning the exploration of intrepid spirits and experienced hikers, the Pinto Lake Trail is a no walk in the park. This demanding adventure boasts unrivaled scenery of the Sierra mountainscape, making the sweat all worth the while.

    Download the 10Adventures App

    View Pinto Lake Trail on Map

    View Map

    Join our newsletter

    Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

    Route Description for Pinto Lake Trail

    Those seeking a demanding adventure through the High Sierra will enjoy this incredible hike. Though more commonly trekked as an epic overnight expedition, this trail can be completed as a challenging day hike; just make sure you depart in the early morning! Make sure you are acclimatized to the area prior to your departure, and pack plenty of water or a water filter! Dress in layers and wear a comfy pair of footwear—you'll thank us later. Note the park charges an entrance fee of $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.

    Setting out from the Sawtooth Trailhead, the Pinto Lake Hike follows the Sawtooth Pass Trail up a switchback to a junction. Here, veer left, and you will be diverted onto the Timber Gap Trail. This route will weave between lush montane meadows, and dense tree stands before ultimately arriving at the Timber Gap. From here, the trail will plunge into the alpine valley bound by the dramatic cliffs of the Sierra Nevada. At the trail’s end, turn right and hike along the Black Rock Pass Trail along Cliff Creek.

    Revel in the beauty of the High Sierra, and the path will eventually deliver you to Pinto Lake. Rejuvenate your tired feet in the chilly alpine waters and admire the postcard-perfect scenery. When you are ready, head back the way you came back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Pinto Lake Trail Trailhead

    The Pinto Lake Trail departs from the Sawtooth Trailhead off Mineral King Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      wilderness permits required.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Pinto Lake Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Pinto Lake Trail Reviews

    Add a comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Nearby Trails

    Nearby Regions

    Get travel inspiration and discounts

    Join our weekly travel newsletter