This trip takes you on an eleven mile loop across streams, through fields of ferns, and to a beautiful Sierra lake. On the way to the... more » lake, you take the Kibbie Creek trail. The Kibbie Creek trailhead begins between Cherry Lake and Lake Eleanor (you drive across the Cherry Lake Dam to get there) at 5,000 ft above sea level.
The Cherry Creek trail begins by winding up through some very dry terrain but soon turns into pine and redwood trees. It climbs steady up to 7,200 ft making this a strenuous trail. Along the way there are a couple stream crossings. Kibbie Creek can be a torrent at high melt times, so come prepared and ask the ranger when you get the permit about it. This stretch of the trail can be split in half for a great multi-day trip with some great camp sites about 3 miles in.
Kibbie Lake has many great spots to camp. You can set up a camp right along the shore if you don't mind the mosquitos or you can camp on the granite on the West side or back toward the South a bit on granite that rises out of the lake making some great viewpoints.
The trip back takes you along a much easier trail called Kibbie Ridge which only gains a little elevation and is mostly down hill all the way to the car.
An alternate (and about 5 miles shorter route) is to start at the Kibbie Ridge trailhead and come back out that way as well. Drive all the way to the end of the road to reach the Kibbie Ridge trailhead (It's not on any maps that I found, but it's there!). less «