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Marie Louise Lakes Hike
Bishop Pass Trailhead at South Lake
(3.5 Miles Roundtrip and 850 Vertical Ft.)


Marie Louise Lakes are named after the wife of the founder of Parchers Resort.   At a leisurely pace, it takes me about 65 minutes to hike to these small beautiful lakes.


The best parking is up by the trailhead, when the road ends. During peak season, July 1st to Labor Day, it is best to park in the places designated for day parking, leaving the unmarked, overnight parking for backpackers.  Park and make your way to the trail head signs.  There is a pit toilet nearby and this will the last facilities to use other than the woods.

Marie Louise Lakes are accessed by following the Bishop Pass Trail as it winds along the East shore of South Lake.  This first ascent is the most difficult climb of this hike so donít let it discourage you.  You will be through it in minutes.  As the trail opens up, there is an excellent photo op of South Lake.


The trail then moves up a small draw, away from the lake.  You will notice old stumps among the willows in this meadow. This was the location of an old sawmill that was in use when they were building the South Lake Dam.  


The trail then winds back toward the lake and then parallels the lake. You are now in the John Muir Wilderness. The trail will turn south-east and you will come to a trail junction.  To the right is the Treasure Lake Trail and to the left is the Bishop Pass Trail.  Go toward Bishop Pass

The trail ascends slowly on to a large bench. This bench slowly climbs, with some easy switchbacks along the way.  Look for the trail marker and junction on the left after about ĺ of a mile of relatively flat hiking.


The Marie Louise Lakes Trail extends at right angles to the right, away from the Bishop Pass Trail.  Follow it as it descends into a small meadow and crosses a seasonal creek.  There are some excellent wildflowers here in the early season.


The trail crosses the meadow, ascends up the hill on the other side and makes its way over some steep switchbacks before ascending to a flat area that approaches the lake. Donít let the switchbacks scare you. They are short lived.


 You come first to the main lake.  It is beautiful and there are some nice forested picnic sites near the lake. If you would like to do some exploring, the small upper lake can be accessed by hiking to the left(east) and you will come to the trail.  It is short hike to this small lake.

When you've enjoyed enough of the Marie Louise Lakes, retrace your steps to South Lake.

       To download a .pdf topo map of this hike click here.


marie louise lakes


Marie Louise Lakes - Bishop Pass Trailhead



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 Parchers Resort

5001 South Lake Rd

Bishop, CA 93514


Call Parchers at: 760-873-4177