CHAIN LAKES TRAIL MAP
Our adventure begins with a drive up to Quartz Mountain Trailhead in Sierra National Forest near Oakhurst. We will arrive in early evening and set up our camp at the remote trailhead - ten miles by dirt road in the National Forest. For dinner, we will be providing instruction and techniques in dutch oven cooking. Dessert - the famous Howtrek donuts - are sure to be the highlight. Campfire and camaraderie will round out a great night as we make final preparations for our trek the next morning.
As the sun rises, you will be greeted by a hearty campfire breakfast as we pack our packs and set off on the journey to Chain Lakes - one of the most spectacular sets of alpine lakes in the Sierra. Quartz Mountain trailhead starts at an elevation of 8037 feet and progresses at a gradual uphill for six miles to an elevation of 9300 feet.
The hike begins in a beautiful thick strand of large pines and lush vegetation. After 2 miles, we will arrive at Chiquito Lake. Chiquito Lake is slowly transforming from an alpine lake into a picturesque meadow. Wildlife and wildflowers can be abundant.
We will face a number of stream crossings as we continue on our journey. Chain Lakes is the perfect destination in one of the country’s most beautiful but crowded parks. Because Chain Lakes is located in a remote corner of Yosemite, with most access only by a long ten mile national forest road, solitude and peacefulness are easily obtained. It is one of the least frequented areas of Yosemite.
Our destination is Chain Lakes - a series of three beautiful alpine lakes. The first is the biggest and offers some excellent campsites close to the lake shore in thick ancient trees - perfect for hammocking and relaxing.
The second lake opens up the scenery in all directions. Some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets in all of California are spectacles to look forward too. The second lake is renown for the brown trout. The third and highest lake is often covered with wildflowers at this time of year so bring your camera. With a stream flowing from it, the brook trout can be elusive but plentiful.
We will set up our camp and learn how to cook a gourmet backcountry meal using fresh and dehydrated ingredients. Watching the sunset over the Sierras and lakes will be a picture forever remembered.
Today will be spent learning back country lake and brook fishing, exploring the surrounding Sierra peaks, and a skills class in the afternoon.
We will show how to cook any fish of correct size we can catch. You will learn an abundance of back country survival skills from shelter, to cooking to fire building. Howtrek loves to teach and pass on our extensive back country knowledge.
We wake up early to a bountiful backcountry breakfast. We pack our packs and bid farewell to a truly special Sierra treasure.
The hike back is downhill and an easy 6 miles as our packs are lightened.