Lake Edison and Lake Florence are remote (as remote as one can get) lakes in the western Sierra,
south of Yosemite and north of Kings Canyon.
A number of trails leave from Edison Lake in all directions, also
providing easy access to the John Muir trail.
Besides the ones listed here, i also recommend using Lake Edison and Lake
Florence as starting/ending points for "trans-sierra" hikes.
Silver Pass and Goodale Pass (2008).
We took the ferry ($9) at 4pm from the friendly
The ferry left us at
the northeastern tip of the lake. There are bear lockers and unofficial
campsites. We camped and we started hiking the
following day (we left our tent and sleeping bags at the landing for the
ferryman to take them back
to Vermillion). We took the trail north that connects
with the John Muir trail (or PCT, Pacific Coast Trail)
that comes from Yosemite and goes on to Mt Whitney.
We hiked uphill (north) the John Muir trail to Silver Pass
(one of the most photographed views of the Sierras).
After the pass, we turned left to go to Goodale Pass (first downhill, then
and then we descended the Goodale Pass trail all the way back to the Vermilion
Resort, i.e. Lake Edison.
- Start: the ferry landing & Mono creek trail (altitude: 2300m) [30']
- PCT junction 2kms [1h]
- Mono Creek trail junction 2kms [1h 30']
- Mott Lake trail junction 2kms [2h]
- Pascale's waterfall [2h10']
- Meadow (2950m) [2h15']
- Silver Lake [3h30']
- Silver Pass (3300m) 6.5 kms [Total: 12.5 kms to Silver Pass] [4h]
- Goodale Pass trail junction 1.5 kms [4h 30']
- Goodale Pass (3350m) 3kms [5h 30']
- End of switchbacks [6h 30']
- Upper Graveyard Meadow (2800) 5 kms [7h]
- Devil's Bathtub trail junction 5 kms [8h 15']
- Bridge 5 kms [9h 30']
- Vermilion Resort 1.5 kms [21kms to Vermilion Resort] [10h]
- Grand total: 33.5 kms, 10 hours
Directions for Edison Lake. Take 101 south, 152 east, 99 south. Before Fresno, take the Herndon exit and find Herndon East (not terribly obvious, turn left over the railway tracks). Keep driving east (many traffic lights). Eventually you will see a sign for 168 east. Continue on 168 east (uphill) passing Shaver Lake and bypassing Huntington Lake. The road summits at Kaiser Pass. After Kaiser Pass the road becomes really bad and goes down into a valley.
After about 30 kms, one reaches Edison Lake. There is a resort and campground by the lake (vermilion Valley Resort, 559 259-4000).
It takes about 2.5 hours from the Bay Area
to northern Fresno and easily 2.5 hours from the Herndon exit of 99 to Lake Edison.
Details of the drive from the Fresno area to Edison Lake:
It takes about one hour from Kaiser Pass to Edison Lake.
You pay dearly if you make a mistake, so ask people to make sure you are
heading in the right direction.
- Shaver Lake
- Huntington Lake
- Kaiser Pass [the fast road ends here]
- First campground
- After about 18 kms from Kaiser Pass: Bolsillo campground and Forest Office [road still paved but bad]
- After 2kms a fork: Florence Lake to the right, Lake Edison to the left
- Mono Hot Springs and its campground [really bad road]
- After 8 kms from the fork: Lake Edison and (2kms north) Vermillion Resort [the road ends on the beach]
- The branch that goes from the fork to Florence Lake (do NOT take this if you are going to Edison Lake) is about 9 kms (Ward Lake is half way between this fork and Florence Lake).
Pictures of this hike
Mono Hot Springs
Hiking from Florence Lake to Edison Lake.
Florence Lake (2260m)
is served by
an even better ferry, that runs 4-5 times a day, from 9am till 5pm.
One way is $9 (2010). There is a radiotelephone at the other side of the lake to
call the store that runs the ferry.
A 42km trail connects to Edison Lake via Selden Pass (3300 m).
- Drive to Edison Lake. Store a tent in the bear locker at the Bear Ridge
trailhead (follow the signs for "vista point").
Then drive back to the junction and to Florence Lake. Park at the large
parking lot above the store. There is no restaurant at Florence Lake,
just the store that also runs the ferry).
Camp (in a different tent), sleep.
- The following day at 8:30am take the ferry
(first one at 8:30, last one at 16:30)
to the other side of Florence Lake.
Start hiking at 9am carrying superlight sleeping bags
on the John Muir trail from Florence Lake to Edison Lake
(An alternative is to get to Florence Lake by 16:30, cross the lake,
stay at one of the cabins at
Muir Trail Ranch, which also has
hot spring baths).
- Reach Edison Lake around sunset (20:00).
Use the other tent and sleep by Edison Lake.
- The following morning hitchhike or hike back to Florence Lake
on the road (most likely a combination of the two). It is about 9kms from
Edison Lake (vista point) to the junction, and 9kms from the junction to
Florence Lake. It takes about 45' to drive from one to the other.
Total: 42.8 kms
- Lost Valley (2400m)
- Muir Trail Ranch (2350m): 8.5kms - about 2 hrs
- Cutoff to John Muir/PCT trail, turn left at the sign that says "private" (2600m): 1.5 kms - 45'
- Meadow 1 hr
- Sallie Keyes Lakes (??): 6kms - 1 hr
- Selden Pass (3300m): 3.5 kms - 1 hr (total 5h 45')
- Rosemere Meadow (3100m): 4.3 kms
- Upper Bear Creek Meadow (2960m): 2.2 kms
- Hilgard Creek (2900m): 2kms
- Junction with Bear Creek Trail (2780m): 3.2 kms
- Junction with Bear Ridge Trail (3062m): 2.6 kms
- Bear Ridge Trail to Lake Edison (2400m): 9 kms