These are pictures of the Hilton Lakes. The access to this area is from the main trail by the Rock Creek Pack Station above the Resort. There is another branch off trail that starts across from Pine Grove Campground. This cuts off some distance, but is an uphill climb to the main trail and rough with a heavy pack on. You can also access this area from the front side above Crowley Lake, but that also is an exposed uphill trek.
Camp spot at the inlet, backside, of Lake #2. This was from a trip in 2005 when fires were allowed in the area.
Looking down onto Lake #2 and Davis Lake
I do not have pictures of #3 and #4 on this trip. This is the view of Lake #5 at the outlet. Its a steep climb up and sits right on the edge of the ridge.
Looking back down
Once at Lake #5 the rest is on a bench so not a lot more altitude gain. Looking to the back of the basin.
Looking down on Lake #6 and #5
Now Looking at #7, #6, #5
At the upper left end is lake #9. Over the back ridge you would be at Golden Lake. That area is reached by going over Mono Pass.
Like everything else it depends on what kind of shape you are in and what you want to accomplish. At 9mls for a round trip it's definitely doable as a day hike. I've always packed in at least for overnight but there is always other hikers that come through for the day. Here is a pretty good link with description and map.
It is possible for a day trip, but makes a long day. Also you would probably be held to Davis and #2, or the area around #3-#4 as to cover all of that would be difficult on a day trip. And #5 and above is over 11000 feet so not advisable to push that for altitude sickness on a day trip. Plus the fishing at #2,#3, #4 is awesome so you will need time for that!
Gary, thanks for the link, looks like some good info available there. The Day hikes I`ve done in the past, I used "Fishin Trails 1 & 2 " and "Best short hikes in South Sierra" for reference.
LH , pack trip is something I definitely want to do, but thinking I would want it to be 4-5 days and with a group of 3-5 people. Probably something I will do when my youngest grand kids are a little older.
Packer, sounds like you would recommend an overnight trip with someone who is an expert at setting up camp and cooking and someone else who hasn`t been up there in years, but is a fly fishing Guru ! The ultimate 3 amigos trip. LOL
Sounds like a plan. But the wife would also need to go as we went there a few times together BC (Before Cody). I made numerous trips AC solo as she was tending to his youngin age. If I attempt to go now without her...I would not need to hike back out!!
And cooking is different when packing, not like the chow at CLUB. Restricted to things like Green Apple Martinis and Filet Mignon.
There was an area around lake #2 that was set up as a summer camp I believe originated around 1930. The National Forest Restoration act that mandated the areas be restored to "natural" ceased the lease and the camp was removed.
The story I got from Herb London was that the camp was sold to another person when the act was passed. The new owner thought he could get around the system and be able to stay. That was not the case so he was quite disgruntled. He dismantled the cabin logs and threw them into lake #2. After a bit he just quit and left quite a mess. RC Pack station did a lot of work to finish cleaning up the area without compensation.
The logs ended up at the outlet of lake #2 and were a great bridge to cross the creek to access the backside of the lake.
A few years back after the record snowfall and resulting melt off, most of the logs have been washed down and spread out along the creek.