Brothers Lake doesn’t have a trail all the way. Users will have to follow a ridge and climb up a steep face to get to this lake. It is perfect for avoiding crowds and the other more common lakes in the wilderness (Jennie and Weaver).
Download the map -> Brothers Lake Trip
Start by driving up Highway 180 to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Once passed the kiosk, take a right at the next junction towards Lodgepole. Drive several more miles to the Big Meadows turn off (road 14S11) which is on the left. As you pass by Big Meadows campground, the road splits. Take a right, which puts you on the south side of Big Meadows Creek. After a few more miles you’ll come to road 13S14 that takes you through a pack station and to Rowell Meadow trailhead. The trailhead begins just prior to the loop at the end of the road.
The trail starts off by heading uphill for about 1.5 miles. The trail provides great views around mile 0.6 of Rowell Creek and Jennie Lakes Creeks to the south. Within a mile the trail enters into the wilderness and parallels Rowell Creek uphill.
Once passed the 1.5 mile mark, the trail comes relatively flatter. The next mile takes hikers into the northern edges of the meadow. Wildflowers during the early summer months provide great photo opportunities. However, insects like mosquitoes are everywhere once the sun burns away the cool morning temps. There is one creek crossing near the end of the 2.7 mile journey. When the trail arrives at a major intersection with trails signs showing Marvin Pass, Kanawyer Pass, and the National Park boundary, take a right (south) toward the National Park Boundary / Seville Lake.
The trail continues to climb up to the Park boundary, but at a very gradual pace. Views of the eastern side of Rowell Meadow is visible. There are a couple creek crossings over Gannon Creek and unnamed tributaries. A large fallen tree near at the top and a boundary sign signals the end of the trail portion of this trip.
Once at the top, head south along the ridge line. Navigate your way however you like, but if you remaining along the ridge for another half a mile you’ll be okay. As you trek along, keep your eye out for very old boundary markers in the trees. Watch for old barbed wire lying on the ground signalling where the grazing boundary once was prior to becoming a wilderness. Great views to the east can give hikers a peak into the Kings Canyon National Park and the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
At the end of the half mile hike you’ll be at the base of a peak covered in rock. Sometimes, depending on the winters snow pack, there will be a pond at the base. This is called “Step Borthers Pond.” It is not recommend you filter water here. Turn west and continue trekking in an uphill direction for about a half a mile. The trek will wrap you around and start to go south, which is into the forested outlet of the lake. Using the creek or dried up creek bed, head south to Brothers Lake. Camping along the southern edge provides great views of the lake for photos. A fire ring is also located there and an older one on the eastern side of the lake.