Friday, April 10, 2009

Backpack to Upper Chain Lake, Woodchuck Country

Don’t miss the day hike to Castle Peak. There is no trail so you’ll have to use your topo map, but it’s not far from the upper chain lake and it’s easy to find. Great views of Kings Canyon and many other peaks.


  • Upper Chain Lake
  • John Muir Wilderness
  • Sierra National Forest
  • California

  • Rancheria trail head
  • Drive out to Wishon reservoir from Shaver Lake and cross the reservoir dam. The trail head is not far past the dam. It is about a 2 hour drive from Fresno, CA.

  • Trail conditions are good and the path is clearly marked. However, you may find that the trail tends to be wide and dusty from the horse traffic.
  • Based on an average hiker’s pace, the hike will take you about 5 hours in and 4 hours out.
  • I estimate the trail to be about 6.5 miles long.
  • Day hikes include Castle Peak.
  • The hike to the lake will take you past finger rock (right)

Good luck on your hike! Tell us about your trip including best times, personal experiences, etc, by filling out the comments field, below.

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