Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Enchanted Pools, Twin Lakes, Island Lake Loop

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(46)
Desolation Wilderness

Enchanted Pools, Twin Lakes, Island Lake Loop is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kyburz, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 1,309 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

Lake

Views

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (47)
Photos (837)
Recordings (43)
Completed (86)
Heidi Zerbe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking
View Heidi's Recording
Eric Shontz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

Downloaded from AllTrails to my Garmin, and following clockwise loop to the best of my ability. After about a mile or so on the trail it gets harder to follow, and at times completely off trail and bouldering. Also wear high socks or zip away pants as brush at times can be thick. The back half of the trail on the way down was well marked and quite pleasant. The pools are perfect for taking a dip and enough shore to share with others. Overall I’d skip this loop and just save yourself the off trail exploring and do the out n back on the main trail. Umpa Lake was nice and secluded but I wouldn’t want to backpack in or take weak hearted folks as it’s a incline to get there.

Leah Delim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Backpacking

We did this trail 7/13 clockwise. Beautiful and easy trail going all the way to emerald pool. There is another fall at least a 1/2 mile higher but will not recommend taking this trail all the way up to Umpa Lake and to Twin lakes for those who are not used to high elevation. Better to do emerald pool as a side trip, go back and take the 1 way trail up to twin lakes. Lots of mosquitoes by the TH, parked by the Equestrian camping area which added another mile as it says the TH parking is full. Got to TH and there’s like 5-6 spaces available. $8 for parking.

View Leah's Recording
English Knowles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOff trail

We packed in for 3 nights. Intended to camp at island lake for a little more privacy, but there were swarms of mosquitos which drove us back to Twin Lakes. Midweek there were about 6-7 parties camped among the two lakes—lots of sites and plenty of privacy for that number of people . However when we hiked out on Friday there were hoards of people heading up including several large groups and a Boy Scout troop. I imagine over the weekend it will not be the quiet experience that we had. If you go to the Enchanted pools, be aware that it is off-trail from twin lakes, but easy to do with GPS. The setting is magical, just like all of Desolation!! The hike to Grouse Lake and Smith lakes also beautiful. Very steep to Smith. There were rangers checking permits along the trail.

George Langstaff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2020
BackpackingOff trail

Short but steep hike up the canyon to get to Umpa lake. We followed previous route we found on All trails. We decided to spend night here instead of pushing on to Twin lakes because the views were so nice and you can’t beat having a lake to yourself :) weather is perfect; sunny, light wind, and low 60s. We spent day relaxing, playing in some snow, and swimming in the lake (well, only I did!). Water much warmer than Enchanted Pools. Tomorrow we connect over to Twin lakes and take trail back to Wright lake.

View George's Recording
Benjie Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailRockySnow

Just had my first trip to Twin Lakes, where I stayed for a night. There’s a lot of snow in the last mile or so, making it difficult to stay on trail. Up at the lakes there are only a handful of places to camp, because others are still under snow. Upper lake is still partially frozen over. You’ll want waterproof boots with good soles for rocky surfaces to make it to these lakes easiest. Lastly, I experienced strong gusts of winds from the East that shook my tent up from 11pm-5am. Overall, it was a great trip with magnificent views.

Mai Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2020
IcyMuddySnow

Attempted this hike for the first time. Unfortunately I wasnt able to reach the twin lakes due to snow still present. The snow obscured much of the trail. I had a a hard time finding the trail at times and got lost. I reached a set of waterfall and had to turn back. If the snow wasn't present, the trail would have been easier to find and I would've made it. The trail at times is muddy and has water flowing thru it. Highly recommend water resistent hiking boots. I will be going back at a later time this year and attempt the hike again *note: you may have to park about a mile out from the trail head. There are limited parking spots and if the road isnt closed too.

Andrew Norris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 22, 2019
Hiking

Definitely bring your dog for this awesome trail!!

View Andrew's Recording
Sarah H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2019
HikingBugsOff trail

Don’t be deceived by the distance, this is one tough hike! Off trail navigation is fairly straightforward to the enchanted pools, but things get pretty hairy between the pools to twin lakes. The hike is exposed and steep with plenty of path finding and some scrambling, this is where you lose the crowds. You’ll pass by some gorgeous, isolated, swimming holes and waterfalls. Camping at twin lakes is serene with clear water and plenty of sites, but also plenty of neighbors. Mosquito season is winding down. Be careful going off trail with pups. Our dog is an experienced hiker and his paws got a little bruised and bloodied.

Christy Líf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2019
Hiking

This is a great daytrip or overnight, but the off-trail section of this map takes you to Umpa Lake, which is just this little kidney bean of a pond. The Enchanted Pools are on the main, very well marked trail. You don’t need to do anything special to find them. Once you get up to Twin and Island, it’s very easy to scramble around off trail and look down over the ridges at other destinations (like Umpa), and you can decide if they’re worth it to you. August brings the end of the harsh mosquito time, which is very nice. The lakes are still cold but swimmable. Lots of families up at Twin and Island, as the hike is only three miles one way from the trailhead. But there’s plenty of room to spread out.

View Christy's Recording
S Gadam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2019
Hiking

Very scenic trail. As other reviewers have mentioned, you will loose your way. Without the AllTrails Pro app, we would have had a hard time. As long as you follow the all grail downloaded route, you are good. In sections, the trail basically disappears into open fields and rocks and you just have directionally move until you get back on the trail. Need good hiking shoes with good grip. The view at the enchanted pool is serene. Parking at the trail head is limited and it was full at 10 am. We parked in the lot across Wright lake visitor center area and walked 1.1 miles to the trail head. On the way back we took the Rockbound trail.

Bridget Cohen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2019
HikingBridge outMuddy
View Bridget's Recording
Diego Schmunis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2018
Hiking

Hiked from Wrights lake to Island Lake via Twin Lakes on 8/4/2018 and it was an amazing and beautiful hike. Once up in Desolation Wilderness the view was spectacular although a bit hazy due to the smoke from all the wild fires in Nor Cal. There are some sections of the "trail" where you really need to look for it but for the most part it's easy to follow

Adam Koch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2018
Hiking
First to Review

What a great trail (Twin Lakes trail). The climbing is reasonable and the lakes and creeks are beautiful. Trail is easy to follow. As for this particular route: the genius who posted it failed to mention that the route past the pools heading toward Twin Lakes is not a trail. Thankfully the track was easy to follow via this app. If you want to do this route, I recommend you take Twin Lakes trail on the way out, and do the pools (north of the main trail) on your return

Christine Zador
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking
View Christine's Recording
Todd Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Todd's Recording
Leanne Southard
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking
View Leanne's Recording
Justin Simarro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking
View Justin's Recording
Ugur Ozturk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking
View Ugur's Recording
Showing results 1 - 19 of 47