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Piute Pass

Distance: 7.0 - 9.6 miles (round trip)

John Muir Wilderness Area, Inyo National Forest, near Bishop in California's Southeastern Sierra

View of Summit Lake and the peaks rising to the west.

View of Summit Lake and the peaks rising to the west.

 

This great hike to scenic Piute Pass ascends beneath the multi-hued Piute Crags to a beautiful lakes basin tucked beneath Mt. Emerson and Peak 12691. The trail is popular with day hikers and backpackers on multi-day trips to Humphreys Basin, Evolution Valley and beyond. (full description)

  • Distance: 7.0 miles (round trip) to Piute Lake
    9.6 miles (round trip) to Piute Pass
  • Elevation: 9,345-ft. at Trailhead
    10,958-ft. at Piute Lake
    11,423-ft. at Piute Pass
  • Elevation Gain: 1,631-ft. to Piute Lake
    2,078-ft. to Piute Pass
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • Basecamp: Bishop / Mammoth Lakes
  • Region: California's Southeastern Sierra

Why Hike Piute Pass

The trail to Piute Pass (11,423-ft.) ascends the lovely North Fork of Bishop Creek, passing photogenic Loch Leven and Piute Lakes along the way. From the pass panoramic views extend west across Humphrey Basin to the distant peaks rising above the western side of the South Fork of the San Joaquin Valley. Muriel Peak (12,937-ft.), Mt. Goethe (13,264-ft.) and the summits along Glacier Divide fill the skyline to the south. The distinctively shaped Mt. Humphrey (13,986-ft.) looms above the peaks to the north. On the east side of the pass Mt. Emerson and Peak 12691 tower above the upper end of the North Fork valley.

The pass serves as a gateway to the gorgeous lakes in the Humphreys Basin and provides easy access the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park, connecting with the John Muir Trail 12.5 miles to the west of the pass. The trail is one leg of the popular backpacking trip between North and South Lake, which visits stunning Evolution Valley and crosses spectacular Muir Pass (11,955-ft.).

Whether you visit the pass on a day hike or as part of an extended backpack you will not be disappointed. There are plenty of opportunities for lazing around scenic lakes, fishing and setting up the perfect base camp for exploring this amazing area.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Piute Pass Elevation Profile

Trail Resources