America the Amazingly Beautiful!!!
We had a free day after the 4th of July so we (meaning I) decided to head out on another hike (and the boys went along with it, haha!). This was a new one that I hadn't heard of, though I've hiked a few trails in the general vicinity. I have to say this is now right up there in the top 5 of my favorite hikes for its incredible beauty! And a good thing it was so beautiful, because it was a tough little hike--good incline, higher elevation and a few added miles due to the campground being closed for parking (see info below).
This is Wrights Lake, so clear and beautiful!
Elevation range - 7,000-8,000'
Location - Desolation Wilderness - Take Hwy. 50 East from Placerville, go just past Kyburz and turn left onto Wrights Lake Road, drive 8 miles to the entrance of Wrights Lake Recreation Area. When we arrived, the gate was closed and the campground was not yet open, so we had to park in the first parking area and then walk a mile in to the trailhead, adding 2 miles roundtrip to the hike!
Mileage - See above, without the extra mileage, the hike would be 6 miles roundtrip, but we ended up doing 8 miles
Bathrooms - Not for us, bummer! But when the campground is open, the pit toilet bathrooms (no running water) should be open.
Hiking time - 4 hours
The trail starts out at the Northeast corner of Wrights Lake. From there we crossed a few creeks, went past a beautiful meadow and hiked among the trees for about a mile or so.
Desolation Wilderness is well-named--not so much because it's desolate of people as we saw quite a few hikers, but because the terrain looks somewhat desolate in places. But still so beautiful!
Is this the definition of being "between a rock and a hard place"? ;)
I love trees with a little character!
Just the beginning of MANY waterfalls! The water was rushing cold and fast all along the way, sometimes wide and smooth and then narrow and swift in other places.
We crossed numerous "streams" that were actually where the trail should have been.
This canyon waterfall was spectacular--a few hundred feet off of the trail across the granite rocks.
As we got closer to the lake, we hit some patches of snow that covered the trail. Fortunately, they were pretty easy to navigate over or around.
We arrived! Twin Lakes (lake #1) - stunning! Perfect spot for a lunch break. You can see a waterfall across the way coming down from the sheer cliffs which drops down into the second lake. We didn't have time to circle around to the other side to see it, but I'm sure it's just as beautiful.
Another tree with character!
Beautiful little wildflowers (I think they're called Evening Snow).
It was a great day, a good, hard hike with lots of variety and beautiful views everywhere we turned. I'm saving this one as a favorite!