Timber Gap Trail begins from the Sawtooth Trailhead at the eastern end of Mineral King Road. It follows an old mining route along Monarch Creek for the first quarter of a mile. The trail forks and the route to Timber Gap leads to the left. The trail to Monarch and Crystal Lakes leads to the right.
For the first mile beyond the fork, the trail climbs steeply to 9,200 feet. It then turns westward and levels. For the next mile the trail traverses an exposed slope at 9,300 feet climbing slightly. At the end of this traverse is Timber Gap, 9,450 feet.
The trail continues a few miles beyond the pass to join the Cliff Creek Trail. From Timber Gap it descends steadily into the Middle Fork Kaweah River Valley. Less than a mile north of the pass the trail begins to follow Timber Gap Creek. The creek empties into Cliff Creek, where the trail joins Cliff Creek Trail at 7,000 feet.
Hikers will notice the open slopes surrounding the Mineral King Valley. The steep slopes forming the valley are free of trees due to avalanches. Timber Gap itself is protected from avalanches, and is covered with red fir which the miners in the 1800s used for fuel and to shore up their mine shafts. From Timber Gap, you can see north to the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River and across to Alta Peak. It is best to carry water, as the purity of the lakes and streams along the trails cannot be guaranteed.
Directions: From Lookout Point Entrance, Follow Mineral King Road eastward to its end. Find the Sawtooth Trailhead and follow the Monarch Lakes Trail northeastward a quarter mile to a fork in the trail. The left side of the fork leads northward to Timber Gap.
Elevation: 7,800 feet
Ending Elevation: 7,000 feet
Distance: 6 miles
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