Day 1 - 4 days Hike in the Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness

Introduction: Day 1 

What? : This Blog part of a 4 days, 60 miles, backpacking hike in the Hoover and Yosemite Wilderness, 2022.

My friend and I start our eastern Sierra loop hike from Twin Lake near Bridgeport (highway 395), from there we went up the mountains into Hoover Wilderness in the direction of Yosemite National Park. We hiked on some sections of the PCT and after 3 days we finished our loop hiking back down to our starting point.

4 days Map:

Where? : The Robinson Creek / Barney Lake Trailhead is located at Twin Lake near Bridgeport California (east Sierra highway 395).

Trailhead - Google Map Link


When? : Late Spring, Summer, and early fall.

Early spring can be challenging with snow covered trails.

Late summer, as anywhere in the Sierra, you can have smoke or even closures from fires. There is no problem of water availability along this hike. We hiked here late dray year (2022) and we can find water in many places along the hike.


Due note 1: 

You need Hoover wilderness permit for this hike; the permit is also good for the Yosemite NP sections.


Due note 2: 

This is a bear country, so food need to be carried in bear-resistant container.


Due note 3: 

Follow wilderness regulations and do not leave trace. Do not camp within 100 feet of any lake shore, stream, or trail. Do not leave toilet papers please pack them out with you (Ziplock plastic bag).




Day 1

8.3 miles, Total Ascent 277 ft climbing, 6hr

Robinson Creek / Barney Lake Trailhead to Peeler Lake


We started the day early in the morning, driving from San Francisco Bay area east, taking the 108 road and crossing the Sierra in Sonora pass (10,000 ft high).

I like driving highway 108, winding up the Sierra trough a deep river gorge and alpine valleys, it is also good place to enjoy fall colors, many Aspen groves along the road and in the fall they all turned yellow (early Sep. it is too early for fall colors).

When climbing the Sierra, the heavy smoke covers the mountains and limit the visibility, this was not promising for our hike.

After crossing Sonora pass the road wind sharply down to the east side of the Sierra and soon after you reach highway 395, turn right and after additional 20 minutes’ drive you reach the small town of Bridgeport.

As you get into town, right after the first gas station there is a small road turning right. Take the Twin Lakes Road, after 15 minutes’ drive you will pass the 2 large lakes on your left and at the end of the road you will get into Annett's Mono Village.

Pay 15$ at the entrance so you can park your car at the lake parking lot, you can also park on the road before the Village gate for free…

We parked our car, took our backpack, and started our hike, we start to walk to Robinson Creek / Barney Lake Trailhead.

Keep walking through the RV park, head right, pass the large meadow and find the main trail. Soon you will see the end of the private property sign and you will walk into the Hoover wilderness.

At its first short section the trail is passing through a large pine trees forest and after short hike you will walk into open landscape, cover with low bushes section. Here you can see the ragged mountain peaks towering above on both sides of the large valley.

When we started to walk around 11am the smoke still covers the high elevation mountains, limiting visibility, but as time pass the wind start to peek up and clouds start to move in.

After the trail open section, the trail turns right (3 miles from starting point) and start to climb through a large Aspen grove.

I do not know why but many people do not respect nature and carve their names on the tree trunks

It is probably beautiful to visit here later the year during fall color season where all the aspens are changing color to yellow and orange.

The long switchback climbs the right side of the valley, after 1 mile you are done with the steep section and after additional 0.3 mile, we reached the first lake on our trip, Barney Lake.

This is 4.25 miles from the starting point and 1,100 ft of climbing.

We took a short break here; the lake view is very nice. It is nested inside a canyon between two mountains where in the other side of the lake, up in the creek, you can see Crown Point Mountain towering above.

For short time the wind stopped, and I manage to get few nice reflection pictures. While we were resting the wind start to blow and after no more than 10 minutes it started to rain. We decided to wait and see how this will evolve, the mini storm move quickly, and the rain almost stopped completely.

The smell of the fresh soil, pine trees and clear air fill us with good vibes, we continue to walk again.

The trail continues over the right (west) side of the lake and above the small green valley that is located just after the lake.

Soon the trail starts to climb steeply up the mountains, in the next 2.3 miles we climb additional 1,200 ft.

After 2.7 miles from Barney Lake we reached a trail junction (with a falling apart junction sign), here you need to turn right to the direction of Peeler Lake.

The trail keeps climbing and after 0.7 mile you will reach Peeler Lake. Short walk on the right rocky bank of the lake will bring you to the “official” lake camping site.

It took us, including all the stops, almost 6 hours to hike from the parking lot to our first night campsite (total of 8.3 miles).


Near the lake, in the first flat forest section, you can find several good flat clean spots to set your tent for the night.

When we arrived here, late in the afternoon we saw 6 other tents, we find a level place for the tent and start night camping arrangements.

On the other (east) side of the lake you can see Crown Point Mountain towering above.

The wind and the rain clear the air from all the heavy morning smoke, and we had time to relax, enjoy the view and the sunset.

We eat our dinner and went to sleep early around 8:30 pm.

 Additional Pictures from Day 1: