Directions: 15 miles south of Bishop is the town of Big Pine on Hwy 395.
Take Glacier Road for 11 miles to the trailhead. Glacier Lodge burned down, but Kathy (the Owner) still
has about 15 cabins and will rebuild the Lodge soon. The store has been relocated into one of the cabins.
The trailhead is at 8,300 feet and it is a 3.5 miles hike going up 1,700 feet to reach the first lake at
close to 10,000 feet.
Big Pine Lakes has seven numbered lakes in
it's system. In addition to these lakes there are a number of other ones worth visiting. Big Pine #1 is 7
acres at an elevation of 9,975. It contains Rainbows, Browns,
and Brookies. Expect a 2 hour hike from the Trailhead.
There are a number of areas where you can fish while hiking along the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. One
good area is in front of the USFS Wilderness Cabin about 1 mile below Big Pine Lake #1. This was actor Lon
Chaney's cabin, built in 1927. Chaney died in 1930 and the USFS took possession of it. It lies within the
John Muir Wilderness. The stream contains Brookies, Browns, and Rainbows below BP#1.
next two lakes, BP#2 contains Brookies and BP#3 contains both Rainbows and Brookies. These lakes are 28 and 12 acres,
respectively, at about 10,100'. Some large Browns might still be within BP#2, as a 8Lb 12oz Brown was caught
there in 2003. Big Pine Lakes #4 and #5 contain Brookies and Rainbows, 6-8". These lakes are 8 and 10 acres,
respectively, and sit at about 10,800'. Big Pine Lake #6 (8 acres) and BP#7 (4acres) lie at 11,050' and 11,150',
respectively. The trout have been removed from these lakes due to the Yellow-legged Frog program. Going from where the trail
turns off to BP #1, the northern leg will bring you to Black Lake at 10,690' This is a 9 acre lake with
Brookies and Rainbows. Further up at 10,700' is Summit Lake (2.5 acres) with Rainbow-Golden Hybrids. A BWO hatch is known
to occur here. Sam Mack Lake can only be reached cross-country leaving the trail between #3 and #4 Lakes.
It is 9 acres at 12,000' and contains Brookies.
Along the South Fork of the Big Pine Creek , there are three lakes, each containing Brookies in the 6-8 inch class.
Willow Lake(2 acres) is at 9,650' about a 2.5 hour hike from the Trailhead. The main trail goes on to Brainard Lake about an
hour away, 10,500'. Elinore Lake(6 acres) is at 11,450 but there is no trail
available. The lakes are surrounded by five peaks, all over 14,000 feet. Below the peaks, Palisades Glacier resides
at about 13,000-14,000 feet. It is the most southern glacier within the United States.
The Dept of Fish and Game has a new study that they have just released regarding the Golden Trout and
Yellow-legged frog biodiversity. Guidelines are being set which will affect access and fishing of these
areas. To review this study check this site:
Big Pine Study