Mt. Genevra is a California Thirteener
immediately southwest of Millys Foot Pass on the Kings-Kern Divide
, the boundary between the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
The south flanks are class 2 from anywhere in the Upper Kern basin. Approaching those slopes from lovely Lake Reflection, however, means climbing the class 3+ north side of Millys Foot Pass. Even if such a challenge doesn’t particularly appeal to you, I think staying at Lake Reflection is well worth the additional pucker factor:
Take Highway 180 (Kings Canyon Highway) to its very end, about 92 miles east of Fresno. Pick up your permit at the Woods Creek Trailhead, go 2 miles up that trail, and then continue for another 8.5 miles to Junction Meadow. Turn right onto the East Lake Trail, cross Bubbs Creek (you can do this in bare feet in late season, but it may be more difficult/dangerous in early season), continue for another 3 miles to lovely East Lake, and then climb the final 2 miles to breathtaking Lake Reflection.
Follow the trail along the east side of the lake until a use trail begins heading up the slope to your left. Stay left on slabs above the creek, then turn due south above or among the high lakes to reach the lower of two huge benches leading toward Millys Foot Pass. Follow this bench up, then cross talus toward the deep slot that has been hidden by the buttress on its left. The upper (class 3+) reaches of this slot are composed largely of crumbly crud, though patient hands and feet will eventually find good holds and there are sections where it’s easy to stem between the walls.
I highly recommend R. J. Secor’s The High Sierra, Peaks Passes & Trails
(now in its third edition). This is the definitive climbing guide to the Sierra and was the source for many of the details on my SummitPost pages.
Like most places in the Sierra, you need a Wilderness Permit for overnight camping in the summer. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to get a permit for the Bubbs Creek Trail, as more people seem to do the “Rae Lakes Loop” clockwise.
Although you’ll actually be starting your hike on the Woods Creek Trail, the Sequoia Rangers refer to the quota for this approach as “Bubbs Creek (Rae Lakes Loop counter-clockwise)”.
As mentioned above, Lake Reflection is the obvious choice.
Please see the “Sky Pilot Peak”
page for more information about this and other campsites along the east side approach.