Destination: Gibbs Lake
Mileage: 5.8 miles round trip
Trailhead: Gibbs Lake Trailhead, take Horse Meadow Rd off Hwy 395
Elevation: 8,034 up to 9,524 feet
If you’re looking for a quiet hike through wooded-high desert, take the first turn west south of the Highways 395 and 120 junction. If you want to camp the night before, there are dispersed camping options along Lower Horse Meadow and Upper Horse Meadow. Lock in the hubs for the drive to Upper Horse Meadow and Gibbs Lake Trailhead, 2-wheel drive vehicles won’t make it to the top.
There’s plenty of parking at the trailhead, especially when you have the only car.
This trail doesn’t believe in switchbacks, just up with breaks of less up. While some parts will put your quads to the test, the meander through the mix of high desert, evergreens, and wildflowers is delightful.
Enjoy the scenery and rocky shore around Gibbs Lake. If you have more energy and time continue beyond the trail and explore Kidney Lake – I hear good things.
This is a great half-day hike with an optional cross-country extension. When you’re done, head back to the car and stop at The Mobil’s Whoa Nellie Deli for delicious fish tacos or anything that comes with fries.