Florence Lake to Selden Pass to Hooper Pass

Notes by piero scaruffi
California hikes | Sierra peaks | Other California destinations
Florence Lake (2260m) is located northeast of Fresno. See this page for general orientation.

This hike is mostly cross-country. You start from the eastern end of Lake Florence, which requires taking the first ferry in the morning. You hike about one hour on the trail (or, better, on the road) towards the John Muir trail. You leave the road at Double Meadow and climb on your left staying to the left of North Rock to find a shortcut to the John Muir trail. You hit the overcrowded John Muir trail at the Sallie Keyes lakes. Hike on the trail north to Selden Pass, passing Heart Lake. Descend Selden Pass to Marie Lake and turn left when you can. You should pass Marshall Lake to your right and start ascending towards Mt Hooper, clearly visible. When you are at the base of Mt Hooper, head for the saddle to its north/right. There is an easy way to descend on the western side. Stay to the right of Neil and Hooper lakes. The creek turns north and descends into a meadow but you're better off keeping your elevation and continuing straight west. You should pass Harvey Lake (the prettiest one, but you may miss it if you are too low) and then Gordon Lake. Stay to the right of all of these lakes. Turn around Gordon Lake and basically take a left (head southwest after the lake). This is now all cross-country and a very steep descent. If you keep a general south-west direction, you will eventually hit the diversion road that comes up from the Lake Florence campground. This is a broad unpaved road that costs the creek. As long as you stay south of Hooper creek (the creek that comes down from the lakes), you will not miss the road. From Gordon Lake it is pretty obvious that you can take a short-cut by heading southwest, but beware that this will involve steep descents, some bushwhacking and crossing two tributaries into very deep canyons. If, instead, you hit the road, it's a comfortable (if boring) straight route.

Hike milestones:

  • 8:30AM Take the ferry to the other side of Florence Lake
  • Hike on trail to Double Meadow (1 hr)
  • At Double Meadow (unmarked N37.24957 W118.91350 2400m) find a shortcut to the Sallie Keyes Lakes
  • (or just follow the trail to the Pacific Crest trail and then head north on it)
  • Sallie Keyes Lakes N37.27128 W118.87435 (3000m, about 3 hours from the start)
  • Heart Lake
  • Selden Pass (about 4 hours from the start)
  • Marie Lake
  • cross country to the west
  • Marshall Lake
  • Views of Rose Lake
  • cross country to Hooper Pass (about 7 hours from the start)
  • Neil Lake
  • Hooper Lake
  • Harvey Lake
  • Gordon Lake (about 9 hours from the start)
  • cross country southwest
  • Follow the Hooper Creek to the diversion road (about 11 hours from the start)
  • Follow the road to Florence Lake campground N37.27984 W118.96346 (about 12 hours)

Links:
  • Pictures of this hike
  • Weather forecast
  • Mono Hot Springs
  • Edison Lake
  • Florence Lake