Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead

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.
8.5 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.
384 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Explore the Sierra National Forest and the alpine terrain along the Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead. With a name like that, how can you not be intrigued? This trek is one of the most scenic, and perhaps one of our favorite adventures in the High Sierra.

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Route Description for Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead

The Jackass Lakes vis Norris Trailhead is an epic excursion through diverse topographies up to the shimmering alpine lakes. This trek can be completed as an awesome day-hike or an overnight backpacking expedition. No matter how you experience this route, you will be astounded by the incredible scenery. There is no shortage of scenes to indulge in, from the coniferous forestlands, granite bluffs, and crystalline lakes. Note the route is rocky and uneven, so wear supportive footwear to avoid a rolled ankle!

Setting out from the Norris Trailhead, follow the Norris Lake Trail north, and you will shortly encounter a junction. Here, keep left along the Norris Lakes Trail. This path will guide you along the curves of Norris Creek, beneath the shade of the mixed pines and through several granite gardens. Continue hiking west, and you will soon reach the charming pool that is Norris Lake. Revel in the beauty of the quaint alpine lake, then trek the now increasingly exposed terrain to Lower Jackass Lake.

Marvel in the post-card perfect sight of the alpine lake, encircled by towering pines and granite bluffs. After admiring the vista, retrace your footing back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead Trailhead

This hike is accessed via the Norris Trailhead off Route 5S86.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Lower Jackass Lakes Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead Elevation Graph

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Jackass Lakes via Norris Trailhead Reviews

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