Virginia Lakes

Distance: 3.2 - 10.0 miles (round trip)

Hoover Wilderness Area, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, near Lee Vining in California's Southeastern Sierra

Looking northwest from Burro Pass (11,100-ft.)

Looking northwest from Burro Pass (11,100-ft.)


This great little hike visits five beautiful lakes framed by rugged peaks and then climbs to a scenic pass with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Extend the hike with a visit to Summit Lake cradled in a saddle along the Pacific Crest.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 3.2 miles (round trip) to Frog Lakes
    5.6 miles (round trip) to Burro Pass
    10.0 miles (round trip) to Summit Lake
  • Elevation: 9,800-ft. at Trailhead
    10,371-ft. at Frog Lakes
    11,120-ft. at Burro Pass
    10,183-ft. at Summit Lake
  • Elevation Gain: 571-ft. to Frog Lakes
    1,320-ft. to Burro Pass
    2,510-ft. to Summit Lake
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • More Hikes in:
    Lee Vining / Bridgeport / California's Southeastern Sierra

Why Hike Virginia Lakes

When ranking trails on the basis of scenery per mile it is hard to beat the Virginia Lakes trail. The first 1.6 miles wanders by five pretty lakes set amid a backdrop of colorful peaks with avalanche scarred slopes. The next 1.2 mile stretch climbs to saddle at the head of the valley with panoramic views of the shimmering blue lakes spread along the valley floor, framed by multi-hued slopes of Dunderberg Peak (12,374-ft.) and the austere rugged gray profile of Black Mountain (11,797-ft.).

If time and energy permit extend the hike to Summit Lake (10,183-ft.). The lake is cradled in a saddle along the Pacific Crest beneath the steep southern flanks of Camiaca Peak (11,739-ft.). Along the way enjoy wonderful views of the beautiful Green Creek basin and the sea of peaks rising to the northwest, including photogenic Virginia Peak (12,001-ft.).

Be forewarned this hike is very popular with families, fishermen and guests at the nearby Virginia Lakes Resort, so do not expect solitude on the trail.

Elevation Profile

Virginia Lakes Elevation Profile

Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Lee Vining / Bridgeport

Region Information:
California's Southeastern Sierra

Other Hiking Regions in: