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Sword Lake

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Sword Lake

Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:


When Is the Best Time 

Sword Lake is a popular destination for hikers as well as backpackers because it's an easy trip and only a 2.5 miles hike from the County Line Trailhead.


The best time to visit if you plan to go swimming is summer (late June/July/August) and early fall (September). However, expect a crowded area in summer, even more on weekends. Weather details: Monthly Weather - Sonora (nearby)

Avoiding Tourist Crowds

A great time with pleasant weather and less people is September after Labor Day, when the tourist season has died down a little. But still, try to avoid weekends if possible. You can also continue 0.3 miles farther to Lost Lake if Sword Lake is too crowded.

United States, Kennedy Meadow
Review and Tips 

The trailhead is right off the Sonora Pass Highway. Plenty of wildlife to see. Great views of Sonora Pass and the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.

  • Roundtrip Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
  • Permits: A forest service permit is required for overnight camping but for day use a permit is not required.
  • Closest Hotel: Strawberry Inn


Nov 30, 2015
Kari, thanks for sharing. Once we passed Sonora Pass but it was end of May and the first day where it was opened. So unfortunately there was still too much snow for hiking. Looks beautiful. Yosemite area one of my favorite National Parks in the world.
Dec 01, 2015

That's a comfortable roundtrip distance and the views look lovely. What types of wildlife did you encounter?