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The trailhead elevation is about 8,200’. The distance to Hobler Lake is about 4.5 miles. The elevation gain round trip is about 1,200’ and Hobler Lake is about 9,000’. The trailhead is about 2 hours from Fresno. Take Highway 168 to Dinkey Creek Road to McKinley Grove Road to the left at the sign to Courtright. Stop on McKinley Grove Road at the McKinley Grove of giant sequoias and take a look at another Fresno County jewel. The Grant Grove is also in Fresno County. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5344073.pdf
This hike is a hike to water and reminds me somewhat of the Nellie Lake hike above Huntington Lake. Nellie Lake has about the same numbers with a tad more climb. Both have trails that run through the woods and both have views blocked by trees. My recommendation would be to stop at the overlook above Courtright for a view, which is better in the afternoon on your return. Here you will see the river drainage of the LeConte Divide in front of you. There is a seasonal creek which flows along a portion of the trail making drinking water available if purified.
Cross the dam (carefully because it is a long way down) and follow the signs to the Maxon trailhead parking area. The Sign for the trail is at the top of the parking lot. The trail immediately starts heading down and soon joins with the Dusy Ershim off highway vehicle (OHV) trail. The trail to Hobler Lake and points beyond cuts off to the right in less than a mile. The trail still runs somewhat parallel to the Dusy Ershim trail for awhile and you may hear the loud sound of a vehicle straining to climb a big slab of granite called appropriately “Chicken Rock”.
Later you will come to a big sign that says “John Muir Wilderness”. On your left is a short use trail that will take you to Chamberlain’s camp with a dilapidated log cabin built by the forest service. As you continue toward Hobler Lake, the trail begins to climb in earnest until it flattens out above the signed junction cutoff trail to the lake. The trail itself continues beyond the lake on the west side. I hiked for a time but never found a view.
The Bigfoot Research Organization has a “documented sighting” in the Hobler Lake area at dusk and overnight. http://www.bfro.net/gdb/show_report.asp?id=17458
I have nothing to add to the report but then again, I was there during daylight hours.
Turn Right Here
Another Turn Indicator
Seasonal Creek Along Route
Occasional Trail Assurance Marker
Cattlemen's Cabin (corrected)
Jeep on a section of Dusy Ershim Trail (corrected)
View Crossing The Dam
Viewing Area On Road Above Dam
This is a trip report for 2016 where I began on the same Maxson Trail and went all the way to Hell For Sure Pass.