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Kibbie Lake, Yosemite

A great backpacking trip to Kibbie Lake in Yosemite National Park

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 11 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview:  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 »

Tips:  Bring bug juice as the mosquitos are pretty hungry on this trip. Also, bring some flip flops or sandals for the stream crossings. I ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Lake Eleanor Trailhead

This is the start of the Kibbie Creek trail to Kibbie Lake. You will hike up about a quarter of a mile to the trail junction where you take a left onto the Kibbie Creek trail with the Lake Eleanor trail going straight toward the lake.

2. Junction

Take a left at the junction (there's a sign) to get onto the Kibbie Creek trail. Enjoy the easy hiking on this next stretch.

3. View of Lake Eleanor

You parallel Lake Eleanor along this stretch with the lake on your right as you rise gently in elevation. Get comfortable with your pace, your pack, and your feet here because the grade steepens later.

4. Stream Crossing!

You will cross Kibbie Creek here. There is no bridge. Find a good shallow place, take your shoes off (bringing flip flops or sandals is advised), and undo your hip belt in case you take a spill. The rocks are very very slippery. After you get across, this is a great place for a break to get some food and water in you to prepare for the climb... More

5. Mossy Stream

This is a beautiful little stream with moss on the banks. This is a good time to cool down and get ready for the climb to come.

6. Top of the climb

It's all down hill to the Lake from here!

7. Kibbie Lake

This is Kibbie Lake. There are places to camp along the shore if you don't mind the mosquitos. The West side of the lake has good campsites for quite a way around the lake. I like camping on the granite below the small prominence to the South of the lake.

8. Good View

This is a great place to watch the sunset and sunrise. There are a couple good places to camp below this area also. There are way less mosquitos up here on the granite.

9. River Crossing

It's very pretty along this stretch with many great swimming holes closer to the lake and a small waterfall about midway down. You will cross the stream (no bridge) and continue on the other side.

10. Granite Dome

This is a beautiful Granite dome that is a perfect place for lunch. You can also camp here if you want to make the entire loop into a multi day trip.

11. Trail Junction

This trail junction has a sign telling you it's 3 miles to Kibbie Lake. There is also a sign saying Styks Trail. I have no idea where it goes. And 4.6 miles to Eleanor Lake. There's about three miles to go to get back to the Lake Eleanor Trailhead where the car is.

12. Kibbie Creek Trailhead

The maps don't show this, but the road that you drove up bends around and ends here. This is a great place to start a much shorter and easier trip up to Kibbie Lake if you just want to get there quickly and come back the same way. Or, if you are headed beyond Kibbie Lake, this is where you want to start. The USGS Satellite view shows the road... More