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I underestimated the difficulty of this trail and busted both my knees doing it all in a one day hike with no trekking poles. I however don’t regret the majestic reward for completing it.

hiking
3 months ago

Completed this trail with two friends and small dog. Nothing major for the majority of the way. Typical desolation hike in that the trail is a lot of large rocks and dirt.

Trail head at the end of the parking lot with a vehicle gate across it. First two miles are pretty uneventful with only the soda springs and old resort to be seen. Preservation work is going on at the resort. Please be considerate of that.

The rest of the trail is switch back upon switch back until you reach the top. Coming from the east coast, I was fairly used to this.

The lake is as beautiful as the pictures show. Crystal clear, blue, rimmed with mountains. The water is still as glass and cold as ice.

Stayed up there for about an hour.

Total trip about 6 hours.

I gave this 4 stars because of how much traffic there was when we were there. We thought we wouldn't run into too many people due to the time of year and remote location. But there were literally 7 different parties of groups more than 5 people in each party. Everyone was nice, but we like minimal people when we go backpacking, as does everyone I guess :) but I guess maybe they all had the same ideas as we did? lol. :)

Start early in the morning. We started at 10 and we made it to the meadow after 7 hours of hiking. We are in decent shape, however we packed way too much weight. Each of us were carrying nearly 60 lbs! Way way way too much. There are spots to fill up with water once in the gulch, but the trail does steer away from the creek for a long while. I recommend refilling water bottles once you get to the first established campground at the bottom of the decent. Then you should be good to the next watering spot. Like others said before, the CCC did an awesome job clearing the trial! Thanks for the hard work CCC! The meadow is nice, as there were various campsites along the creek. We were worried that we would be close to all the other people, but we weren't. The first night we had two black bears check us out. We had a large dog with us, that warned us of them. They did not mess with us, but be prepared for large wildlife! After staying the night near the meadow, we hiked up the scramble. Follow the stacked rocks as that is the easiest way. The scramble is no joke, if you do not like heights, this might not be the most pleasant situation. Large boulders and steep cliffs grace you throughout the climb. Was a little worried as we were hiking up as people were coming down, knocking rocks towards us, which is something that happens with steep grades, but can be dangerous. If you get injured out here you are screwed, unless you have a gps device, which we did not :( We all concurred at this point, that we were foolish carrying such heavy loads going up the scramble. We finally made it to the lake after some weak knees and conquering some fears of heights. We were worried also about finding a campsite as there were so many parties that past us on the way up. We found a campsite though away from all the large parties to the left when you first get to the lake. We thought campsites would be minimal, but there are more than you think. The lake was amazing, but unfortunately it was very windy that day. The wind calmed at night and stars were spectacular. We were away from people and had no issues with enjoying our own private camp.

We ended up going back the next day to split our hike home in two days. Glad we did, as we had a person in our pack hurt their knee. So it was slow moving. So to wrap it up. Pack light, and prepare for a strenuous but unforgettable adventure!

hiking
3 months ago

I did this trip on 8/23/18. This was my first time in the Desolation Wilderness and I loved every minute of it. The hike to Gilmore isn't too hard and the trail is easy to follow. Lake Gilmore is a beautiful lake and when I was there I was the only one around. I went to Mt. Tallac from Gilmore and it it sure easier than the North side of fallen Leaf Lake. Of course the views are spectacular and for me especially viewing the mountains looking toward desolation wilderness. i went back to Gilmore and returned the same way. Great hike and not too hard.

Amazing destination. CCC crew has done a lot of trail maintenance. If you plan to sleep on the granite be sure to pack an insulated pad. The scramble is easy if you go way left but otherwise it can be a little sketchy. Well worth the hike.

This was my first solo backpacking trip and will be hard for the next ones to compare to this place! I didn't have a map or a solid plan but I started at Bayview early afternoon in August and make it to Dick's lake by sunset. Camped Dick's that night and did a loop of fontanillis and Velma lakes the next morning. Finished at eagle lake trail and hitch hiked back to Bayview. I plan on returning next year for a 2-3 day trip.

hiking
4 months ago

Overall a great hike! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a perfect day hike... Took us about 3 hours to hike in and 2 hours to hike out.

There is parking directly at the trailhead. Arrive early (before 8:30am) to get parking there; otherwise, you may have to park along the road closer to Fallen Leaf Lake.

The first mile or so of the hike is incredibly rocky. Be prepared to have unstable footing over large gravel and cobble stones (no boulders, though). This was mildly annoying, but fine if you have good hiking boots and decent balance.

Once on the trail, the directions are not entirely clear. Once you get to the Glen Alpine Spring Resort, follow the sign that points toward “trails to wilderness.” Past that, you will come across three wooden direction posts on your way to Susie Lake. At the first post, follow the arrow toward “Gilmore Lake.” At the second post, follow the arrow toward “Lake Aloha.” At the last post, follow the arrow toward “Susie Lake.” Susie Lake is less than a mile past the last post.

The lake itself is beautiful! We hung a hammock along the shore to eat our lunch (plenty of shade and trees) and enjoy the A+ views.

Depending on the time of year, water is pretty scarce along the trail until you get to the lake (we hiked this at the beginning of September). We packed a water filter and replenished our water at Susie Lake for our hike back down the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Very scenic hike with lots of history. This hike starts at Chair 1 at Kirkwood. Follow hiking/mountain biking trails up the top of the ridge, then go down the other side. This was the first time that the hike became difficult, as there was no clearly defined trail to follow, or if there was, we didn't see it. Once we got down to a dirt road, we went right and made our way to the Sunrise Grill. From that point, we followed the directions that Mike White describes in his "Afoot and Afield Tahoe-Reno" book for Emigrant Pass (Hike #178 in the new edition). Without having his book along, we would have been lost trying to find out how to get up to the top of the pass. The only reason we started from Kirkwood instead of Caples Lake as he does in his hike, is to shave off a few miles. Once you get on the historic emigrant trail, just look for markers on trees and cairns stacked by other hikers. We lost the trail a few times, but always quickly picked it back up. Our total mileage ended up being about 7 miles for the out and back, not the 5.8 listed here. Once we got up to the top, the views of the surrounding peaks and Caples Lake in the distance were beautiful. It was amazing to consider that 50,000 emigrants once traveled that route. I would give this hike 5 stars if there were better marked trails on the back side of Kirkwood ski resort.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked from the Glen Alpine TH on 08/29/18. Like most trials in the Desolation Wilderness, rocks and more rocks. Nice lake, but no signs of fish activity, BUT there were signs of bear activity. Evidently, a bear was at the camp site 50 yards from mine and climbed a tree to get to the food bags. The bear was approximately 25 yards from the the group camping there and stayed there devouring their food while they helplessly watched in fear banging on pots and pans and blowing whistles. After 45 minutes, the bear left fat and happy! Well, we are in their homes, and bears will be bears.

generally: amazing loop hike in desolation wilderness, starting from busy trailhead at lake tahoe with difficult (steep) first few miles busy with people then leveling out and traversing amazing sequence of lakes
permits: backpacking required in peak season, available online ahead of time or some walk up day of; not required october on
no fires, no bugs in august
trailhead: incredibly busy, had to park along busy highway
trail: initially very busy and steep, evened out at the top with only a few people at the upper lakes

5 months ago

Beautiful lake !

off road driving
5 months ago

Beautiful back country dirt road. I used to camp between meadow lake and twin lake as a kid and it's still as beautiful as ever. Meadow lake has leeches. Just FYI. not sure about Twin lake. Theres a few more lakes up in the mountains that are between the blue lakes and twin lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Great view at the end. Take an invigorating shower under the small waterfall. Be prepared for lots of rubble.

An amazing trail! Scenery is unparalleled. Trail is steep at first both up and down for first few miles, then steady up. Took us (average in shape guys) 6.5 hrs up to 1st camp. 1st camp for us was below the falls. 4.5 hrs back from 1st camp to trail head. Would recommend a 3-4 day excursion. One day up to camp (8.5 miles). Second day up to the lake and then up to peak. Then 3 rd day head back if your hurting for time. Stay an extra day and absorb the beauty. On the way back, if your headed NE, go to the kid friendly Etna Brewery for a stellar burger and home brewed root beer. I can’t wait to go back. I went with my 10 and 12 yr olds, but they are mentally tough and physically fit kids. Keep their packs 25 lbs or less.

off road driving
5 months ago

Was there on 7/28/2018. Trail was open by this time. Twin Lake and Meadow Lake are beautiful little lake. A short 1/4 mile to get to Meadow Lake from the end of the 4x4 trail.

- John

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike along a well maintained trail. Gilmore Lake is perfect for an overnight backpacking trip. Several areas have obviously been used for camping over time and work as makeshift campsites. The lake is crystal clear and full of fish.

hiking
5 months ago

My only complaint is the amount of morning sun ! Trailhead is an additional mile from parking area that the app doesn’t count. There were some beautiful waterfalls and streams along the way.

A great hike through some wonderful scenery. Typically one could do it as a there and back, but we chose to make our way around the shore to the dam at the east end of upper Kinney, overlooking lower Kinney Lake. After a swim and lunch we picked up the jeep track near the south-east point of Upper Kinney. This took us back to Kinney Reservoir and highway 4. Then it is about 30mins back to the PCT car park. See route recording photo #43.

phenomenal hike

Right out of the gate is a large push uphill with decent elevation gain. Not bad from trailhead but coming back TO the trailhead is a burner. After peaking you will encounter sharp annoying brush that encapsulates you. this leads to a split, go left. Ensuing is an easy hike along the river and over a ridgeline. Eventually you hit the meadow which is nice but should be passed on for a campsite at the top of the ledge. The scramble isn't bad at all, a few areas with loose scree and dirt that should be used with caution, very possible to do with a large pack. Follow the cairns, approaching the scramble there is a rock slide to the left behind a small flower patch that appears to be the trail. Do NOT take this, very dangerous. The real path is more to the right. Larger granite slabs await at the top for the final push to the lake. Enjoy the views and take a dip. very refreshing.

plenty of water filling spots, gets very hot, alot 4-6 hours depending on shape. Possible in 3. Start very early to avoid sun. no boots necessary, used pair of keens and performed great. lots of tick opportunities,
deet up. road up in good condition. watch out for fallen rocks

First I want to start with the TH. The directions given are funky and confusing on the link of this site. I would follow this link for overall better information: https://hikemtshasta.com/trails-further-afield/trinity-alps-trails/grizzly-creek-trail/ I found that many people slept at the trailhead the night before. We slept at the North Fork Campground right at the turnoff to the TH. It is a pack in/out campground with a bathroom. We were the only ones there while the TH was crowded with cars. There seemed to be plenty of parking at the TH. Mileage on this site is very off! I had 2 GPS devices and both read just over 8 miles one way to the meadows and another 1 mile scramble to the top of Grizzly falls. This means that round trip it was just over 18 miles. Be prepared for that. This was a beautifully amazing hike that was extremely difficult. If you are in shape you will have no problem. There is plenty of water along the trail so you don’t have to pack it all. Camping is in the meadow and there is space across the water. The scramble was insane and going down was even a greater challenge. People were camping at the lake, but it is more exposed in thunderstorms, which there were when I was there. It was also 91 degrees which made this hike even a greater challenge. Wildlife and deer are plenty. DO not leave ANYTHING outside your tent except for the food you hang. The deer will eat it. They did that to my friend and several other hikers.
I highly recommend this hike for fit people who want an extra challenge. The views are stunning and worth it.

well deserved hike went in on walked in on Sunday before 4th of July very very busy parking lot was full must cross paths was about 18 other hikers walking down the hill it well physical demanding Trail. took our time going in to soak it all in first night stayed probably about a mile past the hobo hobo Gulch intersection. continue the next morning to The Meadows which were beautiful time we got there there was no one left in the Meadows sub for one small group that ended up going back down Sunday night so we have the Whole Meadow to ourselves which was awesome. the next morning we proceeded to Summit Caesars Peak. it was awesome I cannot explain words and pictures cannot Define the beautifulness of our Northern California area. downside numerous people decided to leave the trash in Camp. and Scattered about the trail I just reminder people if you want to continue exploring places like this pack in and pack out.

6 months ago

Great Lake to stay at before heading up to Mt Tallac. Beautiful lake, we went on a busy weekend and still didn’t see too many people. You can get a good campsite off the trail.

Left Bayview trailhead at 12pm on Friday in late June and got to Dicks lake at 3:30pm. I found a quiet spot around the lake and set up camp for the night. It was perfect weather, water was chilly but swimmable and the mosquitos were in full force! The hike was fairly easy, the first climb is taxing but not bad at all! I highly recommend this hike!!

6 months ago

Loved this hike yesterday. Except for the initial climb from Hwy 4, this is a fairly tame trail with not too much up and down. It is a beautiful trail with a number of little ponds along the way. Took us about an hour to reach the lake and then we hiked half way around and had lunch. There were a number of primitive camping sites around the lake evidencing that this is a popular spot for some short overnight hiking. Trail was littered with a myriad of wildflowers. There was even still some small patches of snow along the trail (at the end of June). The description says it is about a 4 mile hike round trip but with the trip around the lake my Apple Watch told me we hiked 6.5 miles in total, that includes the 1/4 mike to and from the PCT trailhead parking lot. Highly recommend this beautiful hike for a quick day or overnight hike.

backpacking
6 months ago

Backpacked the shortest version of this loop (Crabtree TH past Grouse Lake to Groundhog Meadow, turned north and connected with the upper part of the trail, and returned past Camp Lake) on June 25-27. Camped at the south crossing of Piute Creek on Monday night and were eaten by mosquitoes. Otherwise it was a lovely campsite and the bugs weren't too bad until about 6 pm, but in the early evening and early morning they were fierce. Everyone we met coming out on Monday told us that the deeper you go in the worse the mosquitoes get. So we canceled our plan to go to Gem and Jewelry Lakes and instead just went to Camp Lake, stayed there Tuesday night, and walked out Wednesday morning. Only mild mosquito activity at Camp Lake at the campsites far above the lake. Lily and Piute Creeks were way down relative to two weeks ago--no wading necessary to cross them. This loop is a nice day hike and a fairly easy one-night backpack trip. We made it two nights only because we really wanted to be out for two nights.

off road driving
6 months ago

The 4x4 road to Meadow Lake was closed off so we didn’t get to try it out. The other trail has big boulders in the path. Definitely need a lift for proper clearance. Beautiful area though! Lots of families fishing and swimming. Looks like tons of fun for that!

backpacking
7 months ago

Completed this over the weekend of June 16-17, 2018 as a two day hike. Camped out Friday night at Crabtree, left early Saturday morning, and came back Sunday at 6pm. We hiked around 11-12 hours each day. There were about 8 wet river crossings we had to do with rather cold water anywhere from 1-3 feet in depth. Light to moderate current. Make sure to bring some good sandals to wear during the crossings. Also had about 5 river crossings we were able to do by walking across fallen trees. Every time we reached a river crossing we would spend 5-10 minutes scouting upstream and downstream for around 100m to see if there were dry crossing options or if the boots were coming off. This was a little annoying, though the ice cold water and the chance to air out and dry our feet every few hours probably helped prevent blisters.

Snow was still to be found near Emigrant Lake and the higher elevations, making it easy to lose the trail at times but never for more than around 50m. Once we got past Gem lake we saw a only few people and a couple of horses. I lost count of how many beautiful lakes we passed. Also had spectacular views of valleys, cliffs, and meadows. Bring DEET, as there are some areas quite dense with mosquitoes.

This is a good challenge to do in two days if you are in shape for it. Otherwise, three or more days would be quite a bit more relaxing.

backpacking
7 months ago

Great trail with lots of varied terrain, incredible views, pristine lakes and tons of fish. I wound up making a side trip around Huckleberry Lake and a second side trip up to Twin Lakes on Yosemite’s northern border. There was still a fair amount of snow at the higher elevations and the creek crossings were a little dicey. The worst crossing (IMHO) was the East Fork of Cherry Creek coming back from Twin Lakes - there was a 2.5 foot in diameter tree spanning the river which was great. Unfortunately it rested high above a pretty torrential set of rapids so if you slipped you’re a goner. Nothing like the fear of death to sharpen your mind :)

Great hike. There is still some snow, but nothing too difficult to cross or very long. There are 2 larger creek crossings in the upper loop that are not too difficult but require some caution. On one crossing we needed to remove our shoes/socks to avoid getting wet, but it was still easy to cross and not dangerous. This is a beautiful area and well worth the effort. Poles will help with the snow and creek crossings.

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