|Description of Kennedy Lake: The trailhead exiting Kennedy Meadows campground leads directly to Kennedy Lake, some seven miles away. This is a heavily used pack trail at certain times of the year, but go early enough in the season, and you'll have the lake (and great fishing) to yourself. The first half of this backpacking hike is a brutal climb up glaring granite stairs, following the Stanislaus River and Kennedy Creeks. But persistence pays off on this hike, as the gradient lessens the further in one gets. Stunning sub-alpine meadows and jagged peaks make this area one of prettiest in the Emigrant.