Sallie Keyes Lakes 2005

Wilderness: John Muir Wilderness
Trail System: Maxon Trail
Latitude: 37.2713
Longitude: -118.8743
Elevation: 10,197 feet

Day 1 – Hike in
The Sallie Keyes Lakes are located in the John Muir Wilderness and is located off of the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. To get there, we took the Florence Lake ferry across the lake to the Florence Lake Trail. The Florence Lake Trail goes through Double Meadow and Blayney Meadow and follows the South fork of the San Joaquin River. The Muir Trail Ranch is also located along the way which we stopped at to get some fresh lemonade before continuing up the trail. The Florence Lake Trail connect with the Sallie Keyes Cutoff Trail and then the JMT/PCT. The Florence Lake trail section is 4.7 miles long. The Sallie Keyes Cutoff Trail is .9 miles. The section of JMT/PCT to Sallie Keyes Lakes is approximately 4 miles. We don’t actually make the entire trip the first day and camp at a creek about 1.5 miles from Sallie Keyes.

Day 2 – Fish the lakes
On day two, we finish our hike to Sallie Keyes Lakes, set up our base camp and then do a little fishing. The fishing in these lakes are outstanding and yields decent size trout throughout the day.

Day 3 – Climb the peak
Today we climb Mount Senger which sits at 12,286 feet. After getting some food we head up the ridge line from our camp until we reach the top. There is plenty to see including Sallie Keyes, Marge Lake and a few unnamed lakes. Upon getting our fill of the peak views, we head down mountain towards Marge Lake. On the way we pass through some beautiful side mountain meadows, huge snow drifts and lots of boulders to climb on. Once at Marge Lake, the guys throw in their poles for a few hours and catch bigger fish here than at Sallie Keyes. As night approaches, we decide to head back to enjoy our last night at camp. Along the way we pass a small lake called Heart Lake (named after it’s shape) but continue past it to camp. We eat dinner and head in for the night.

Day 4 – Hike out
Sallie Keyes and the area surrounding are one of our favorite locations in the 10 years that we have been doing this. It was hard to leave this area and will definitely be on my top “return to” list in the future. The hike out is fast and smooth and we return to our homes in Fresno safely.