Corbett and Givens Lakes reside on one of the western edges of the John Muir Wilderness. A trail takes users from the High Sierra Camp area on a 2 to 3 mile trek to the lakes. The trail ends at Corbett and you have to go off trail to get to Givens. This was the day adventure.
From the trailhead you go uphill. There may be stretches where it gets “flatter” or “easier” but it is all uphill. Thankfully I found the first mile or so a consistent uphill grade compared to fluctuating up and down. This hike is perfect to start early in the morning as the sun comes warming up your ascent. The mosquitoes are still there, but not nearly as bad. We could only imagine what the lake would bring once we arrived.
Wildflowers were in various places along the trail. A few bees were taking advantage of all the flowers as we made our way up hill. One does get some good views though on the way up of the Ansel Adams Wilderness along with eastern stretches of the John Muir. Pausing a moment to enjoy those views was nice.
Soon we made it up to the wilderness boundary of the John Muir Wilderness. Here the trail gets easier to hike. The sign resides within a meadow so we quickly grabbed a few photos of us by the sign and continued uphill. The trail was pretty much exposed to the sun at this point too. There was a nice creek crossing before or final ascent to Corbett Lake.
The final climb was short and sweet. The top opens to a spacey area. The trail ended here and a dispersed camping area that many users take advantage of. About 300 feet beyond that was Corbett Lake. Not a soul was up here and the water was like glass.
We walked to the western side of lake near the outlet. Here there was a large boulder protruding out into the lake. It was a perfect spot for a snack. Thankfully the mosquitoes were staying at the base of the rock. An occasional one would venture up only to be meet its deadly fate of a hand slap. Once snack was done, we headed up and over the ridge in the photo above. It only took about 5 to 10 minutes and we arrived at Givens Lake.
Givens Lake was just as peaceful as Corbett Lake. It too did not have another soul around. The weather was warming, the mosquitoes were surprisingly calm, and it was a wonderful moment there. As the moment pass the mosquitoes had found us. We soon scrambled back up the ridge we crossed to a spot with a view. There the breeze kept insects down and our lunch was consumed. It still was peaceful and soon we were on our way back down.
The trail back down was easy, but I really don’t like long downhill stretches. Always gets the knees if one is not too careful. Thankfully we had plenty of time so taking our time back down was pretty easy. I made sure to get another photo of the wilderness sign before we left.
One thing I have noticed about this trail is the last 0.5 miles seems to take so long. Not sure why, but it did the first time I went to the lakes and it was doing so again. I think when you are starting out excited to hit the trail, the trail goes by quickly. Now it was our last stretch and didn’t seem to go as quickly. Anyway we continued onward through lush green vegetation along the trail.
There was a final view before getting back down into all of the trees. It was here we paused a moment to enjoy the view. I recalled this spot and knew it was just a couple more minutes.
Wrapping around a couple more corners, we were soon back at the truck. It was a good warm up hike for all the other hiking that needed to be done this summer. A couple hikes were already complete, but there was still several more to go. I again did enjoy the hike, but was already looking forward to some of the newer territory I had coming in the next few days.