Directions: Take Hwy 198 east from Visalia and go north of Three Rivers. Turn left on Mineral King Road just south of the Ash Mountain entrance to Sequoia National Park. At about 10 miles, you'll enter Sequoia National Park and pay an entrance fee of about $10.00 per car. Continue on for 25 miles to Mineral King Ranger Station. This is the major Trailhead at 7,800 feet elevation for the Mineral King area with the Sequoia National Park. It will also give you access to the northwestern regions of the Golden Trout Wilderness. You will need wilderness permits for overnight stays.
The Mineral King area consists of many small lakes with primarily Brookies in the 7-10 inch class. Some lakes contain Rainbows where sufficient spawning tributaries exist. Little Kern Goldens can be found at the Bullfrog Lakes and Silver Lake. The season is the last Saturday in April to November 15th, although access to the area is often restricted due to snow until mid-June.
The first trailhead from the parking lot is the Mosquito Lakes Trail, this will take you to:
Mosquito Lakes: Elevation 9000 to 9950 feet. Five lakes in ascending elevations. All consist of Brookies with Rainbows in the second lake at 9500 feet. The trailhead is at Mineral King, distance to first lake is 3.25 miles with a 1239 feet gain. There is no trail to the other lakes and you must go cross-country. The last lake is at 4.5 miles with a 2,196 feet gain.
Two miles off the Mosquito Lakes Trail you can take the left fork to Eagle Lake and White Chief Lake.
Eagle Lake: Elevation 10,000 feet. Consists of Brookies 7-10 inches. The trailhead is at Mineral King with a 3.0 mile distance and a 2200 feet gain. Lots of Marmots.
White Chief Lake: Elevation 10,400 feet. Consists of Rainbows and Brookies. Trailhead is at Mineral King with a distance of 3.2 miles and a 2587 feet gain. The trail takes you to the White Chief Mine at 9600 feet and you need to follow the creek on up to the lake.
The Farewell Gap Trail starts further down from the parking lot near the stables. It will take you southeast towards the Golden Trout Wilderness over Farewell Gap. Within the park, you have access to :
Franklin Lakes: Two lakes; Upper Franklin at 10,525 and Lower Franklin at 10,300 feet. Both with Brookies. Trailhead at Mineral King with a distance of 4.4 miles to the lower lake, a 2570 feet gain. Upper lake is 5.25 miles.
Bullfrog Lakes: These lakes are the headwaters to the Little Kern River. They consist of two lakes, Upper Bullfrog at 10,900 feet and Lower Bullfrog at 10,700 feet. Both with Little Kern Goldens. Trailhead at Mineral King with a distance of 6.0 miles and a 2878 feet gain.
Silver Lake: A beautiful lake at 10,520 feet set within a rocky glacial cirque. Good camping on southeast side of lake.Trailhead at Mineral King with a distance of 13.3 miles with a 2,720 foot gain. Consists of Little Kern Goldens.
Taking the northward Timber Gap Trail you can reach the following:
Little Five Lakes: Elevation 10,410 feet. Consists of Brookies. Trailhead at Mineral King is 10 miles with an elevation gain of 2,925 feet. You have two passes to climb. One, Timber Gap at 9,600 feet and Black Rock Pass over the Great Western Divide at 11,800 feet.
Or taking the Sawtooth Pass Trail easterly, you can reach:
Monarch Lakes: Two lakes; Upper Monarch at 10,375 feet with Brookies and Lower Monarch at 10,350 with Rainbows and Brookies. The trailhead is at Mineral King with a distance of 3.0 miles and a 2549 feet gain.
Little Claire Lake: Elevation 10,400 feet. Consists of Brookies. Trailhead at Mineral King is 10 miles with an elevation gain of 2,615 feet. Go over Franklin Pass at 11,900 feet.
Ansel Lake: Elevation 10,500 feet. Consists of Rainbows. Trailhead at Mineral King takes a western route around Mosquito Lakes and comes from the westside along Horse Creek. A distance of 10.7 miles with an elevation gain of 3,016 feet.
The area also consists of some excellent stream fishing which are tributaries to the Kern River and EF Kaweah River.
Big Arroyo Creek: Consists of Kern River Rainbows and Brookies. Trailhead at Mineral King is a distance of 10 miles over 11,800 foot Sawtooth Pass and dropping down to 8000 feet elevation at Big Arroyo Creek. Trail goes downstream for 2 miles and then proceeds up over the ridge to Rattlesnake Creek. You can follow the trail upstream along the Big Arroyo for 6 miles to the Big Arroyo Patrol Station and loop back to Mineral King trailhead through Five Little Lakes.
Soda Creek: Consists of Rainbows. Trailhead at Mineral King. Go past Little Claire Lake at 10 miles and go about 1 mile further dropping down 900 feet over steep switchbacks to the creek. The trail follows the creek downstream for 4 miles to the Big Arroyo.The distance from Mineral King to Big Arroyo via Soda Creek is 15 miles.
Rattlesnake Creek: Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Trailhead at Mineral King is 9.25 miles over 11,900 foot Franklin Pass. The trail follows Rattlesnake Creek to the Kern River, a distance of about 7 miles. The Kern River will be at 6500 feet elevation where it meets Rattlesnake Creek.
Chagoopa Creek: Consists of Kern River Rainbows and Brookies. Trailhead at Mineral King is by way of Little Five Lakes. The headwaters is about 16.5 miles from Mineral Kings with two passes to cross, Timber Gap and Black Rock Pass at 11,800 feet, then you drop through the Big Arroyo Patrol Station and follow the High Sierra Trail climbing the ridge for 1000 feet before dropping into the next valley with Chagoopa Creek. You can fish downstream for about 3 miles before it drops into the Kern at Chagoopa Falls. These falls are one of the tallest within the Sierra, a drop of over 1200 feet.