|Trip Date: 06/26/2018
Distance: 7.0 Miles
Vertical Gain: 1500'
Group Size: 1
Hike Rating: Easy Moderate Hard Strenuous
GPX for this trip
|Even before the trailhead is Lower Virginia Lake, which has a full-fledged resort on the north side of the lake and on this Tuesday had at least 25 people fishing around the perimeter of the lake.|
information on the Virginia Lakes trail area and the lakes which are
encountered along the first couple miles of trail.
|A fully blooming Wallflower encountered early on the trail as well as some Alpine Forget-Me-Not.|
|A weather-beaten signpost indicating where the entrance into the Hoover Wilderness is just about a quarter mile up the trail.|
|Blue Lake, the first of three pristine lakes encountered along the trail once entering the Hoover Wilderness.|
|Looking back at Blue Lake after climbing along the tallus trail along the north side of the lake. Further in the distance is the valley where the trail began about a mile back.|
|Reminant cabin from an old miner dwelling which is still in remarkably good shape after so many years. People have even placed some old items from the settlement just inside of the cabin for safe-keeping.
|After another short climb Cooney Lake makes an appearance with a fairly dramatic backdrop of the rugged mountains in the area.|
|The third lake, one of the Frog Lakes offers some nice camping sites on the far side of the lake as well as a smaller lake beyond this one but out of sight of the trail for those looking for a little more isolation from the many visitors to the area.|
|Past the last lake the area gets much more rugged and a series of switchbacks will quickly add to the elevation.
|Looking west the trail continues to climb steadily, crossing over the crest in the distance at an elevation of over 11,000 feet.|
|On the long climb there are wonderful views back of the lakes passed along the trail to this spot high above the valley.|
|It was a pleasant surprise to find that the pack trains through the area had cleared a path through the icy snow at this elevation and micro-spikes were not necessary to get past this point.|
|It is a long climb up to the crest of the mountain above the Virginia Lakes, but the views are incredibly worth the effort. Summit Lake is far below in the basin, about 1500 feet below this crest in the trail.|
|Heading a little ways down the other side gives even better views of what lies below. Just past Summit Lake is the boundary into Yosemite National Park.|
|At this plateau (and turn-around spot) there is a bonus view into the Green Creek valley, where the Hoover Lakes can be found.|
|There was and abundance of wildflowers on this side of the ridge, including these Pestemon and Coville's Columbine.|
|GPS Track of the full hike.|