OverviewMount Givens and Kings Castle in the Sierra National Forest west of the Sierra crest.
Kaiser Peak is well known for it's outstanding views over the middle and south forks of the San Joaquin River drainage to the high Sierra of Yosemite, the Ritter Range and Mammoth Lakes peaks of the John Muir Wilderness. Ian Campbell is even better. Being closer to the southern crest and perched well above the south fork of the San Joaquin it takes in a large portion of the John Muir Wildernesss and Kings Canyon high Sierra from Mammoth Lakes to Mt. Goddard and beyond as well as Yosemite and the Ritter Range to the north. The birds eye view down toward Goddard Canyon and Evolution Valley only add to the awesomeness and give you a geological taste of how rivers cut deep as mountains rise up.
The approach is a beautiful drive over Kaiser Pass into the western Sierra back country with Hwy. 168 going all the way in to scenic Florence Lake. This is a moderate class 1-2 day hike from either Kaiser Pass or Florence Lake.
This route is 12 miles round trip pretty much class 1 and approximately 3,100' gain.
From Florence Lake: Continue over Kaiser Pass about 15 miles around to Florence Lake. Take the trail that goes up at the campground at the northwest end of the lake. It goes north a short distance then curves around to the left and goes diagonally southwest up the slope to Dutch Lake at 2.2 miles (9,100'). Continue west .75 miles over easy terrain to Manse Meadow (9,100) on the right. Break trail, cross the southwest part of the meadow and climb the forested east slope of Ian Campbell 1 mile to the open summit.
The route is 8 miles round trip maybe some class 2 near the top and 3,300' gain.
Be prepared for mosquitos in the early summer months.
There is a small seasonal general store at the north end of Florence Lake for supplies and a 4 mile ferry ride to the south end of Florence Lake into the back country.
For info on Wilderness passes and permits for over night access click here.
Or contact: Sierra National Forest Headquarters
1600 Tollhouse Road
Clovis, CA 93611
Kaiser Pass is closed in winter.
Portal Forebay: 7 miles past Kaiser Pass on 168 at 7,200' to the north just past the lake.
Bolsillo: At Ward Lake 13 miles past Kaiser Pass on 168 at 7,300'
Florence Lake: 2 campgrounds at the north end of the lake at 7,300'
Dutch Lake: At 9,100' on the route to Ian Campbell from Florence Lake.
Crater Lake: At the end of the trail going to the left past Manse Meadow on the way to Ian Campbell at 9,400'
Place Names of the Sierra Nevada by Peter Browning