Island and Twin Lakes

MODERATE 100 reviews
#4 of 37 trails in

Island and Twin Lakes is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1571 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

backpacking
5 months ago

Went September 2017. Easy hike to the lakes. Even if you get off trail there’s tons of cairns to always help out. Got hailed on but it quickly dried up!Too windy to fly fish. Lots of off trail explorations with easy exposed granite as access.Mosquitoes not a problem due to constant low mph wind.

hiking
6 months ago

This hike is the one I have enjoyed the most, the hike encompasses all kinds of terrain. It was too windy when I reached the lake and could barely stay for 15 mins by the water. The trail is not well marked and uses cairn as trail marker, As the 2nd half of the trail is through rocky terrain and has scattered stones, it is very easy to miss the cairn especially while on the return and possible to get lost. It is advisable to have the compass and Map and rely on that for this hike.
All said and done, The hike is more pleasurable for a moderate hiker than the scenery around the lake. One must hike this trail at least once.

6 months ago

Awesome hike. Can't wait to do it again. Day trip today but would like to overnight next time.

backpacking
6 months ago

Twin Lakes is absolutely stunning. I backpacked there from Grouse and stayed one night - it gets VERY windy at night and I was not expecting that. Other than that, beautiful lakes with amazing rock formations and mountains surrounding. Fun boulders to climb over and take pictures on. The trail at times is difficult to follow so you have to pay close attention. Previous hikers have formed a path out of rocks, so look out for the rocks and follow them to the lakes.

6 months ago

I went 10/1/2017. We started the hike at 10 am on a Sunday and hardly anyone was on the trail, mostly a few backpackers. it's gorgeous. Not overwhelming at all, great for a semi challenging mellow hike. I can't wait to introduce it to more friends.

7 months ago

vast expanses of granite, beautiful river, dramatic peaks, clear lakes, lush vegetation, nothing not to love. definitely go all the way to island lake. the trail is hard to find but you don't really need it. just back track a bit from twin lakes and cross the river to get on the left side of it and head to the back of the basin. also I should mention that I got stuck in a thunder storm which was not at all fun. take the forecast seriously!

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was absolutely wonderful! It started out a little steep but leveled out after the first mile or so. Ran into a few people on the way up to twin lakes. Ate lunch at the lake and took a swim in the FREEZING water! On the way back down we stopped at a waterfall on the side of the trail where we swam in the warmer water. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!

backpacking
7 months ago

Parked at Rockbound parking area headed up to twin lakes. The walk to the lake is mostly up hill and as you get into the Desolation Wilderness the path became a little harder to follow. Just getting back into backpacking and I am not in the best shape so you can take this with a grain of salt. I found the hike to be rather difficult. Worth it, but difficult.

Very pretty with some awesome few's looking back toward Wrights Lake. Several spots with water, rivers, and waterfalls. The sound of water is all around and several birds and lizards. The trail was fairly busy with many folks bringing dogs. Snow was still to be seen around the lakes.

backpacking
8 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

Tough climb with a heavy pack but well worth the effort. Me and my wife chose this hike for our first backpack trip. The views were unbelievable, only two other campsites were in this zone of desolation wilderness, and the lakes were warm enough to swim in. Many wild flowers and streams flowing in between the lakes. Boomerang lake is deep enough for 10 ft cliff jumping, twin lakes has a beautiful waterfall flowing into it, and island lakes is a paradise. There is no good way to reach the rest of desolation from this zone. Plan to hike back out of this area in order to reach more terrain in desolation wilderness.

8 months ago

One of the most inspiring hikes . Breath taking beauty . flowers, str-eams. lakes vistas Incline is what Iwould Call moderate plus! But worth it . Patches of snow at twin lakes places the trail up was confusing and unclear we lost it 3 times, but after side bunny paths we would reconnect again . she way back was more Clear because you could see down fartheR and see the path . Going up there are many possible . forks & not clear indicators in a few places. Ighess we missed . everyone: But we made it! on the way back CloudsCame in & thunder rolled which added to the whole experience . Will definitely do again.

backpacking
8 months ago

Spent one night there with my 12yr old daughter and some fiends. Great spot to fish, swim, explore, and enjoy the scenery.

camping
8 months ago

Just got back from an amazing time at twin lakes/island lakes. We camped in a little spot nestled between island lake and twin lakes. The wildflowers are blooming, there are still some waterfalls running and the temperature was perfect in day or night. We took are dog and am so glad we brought his hiking booties. There is a lot of loose rock/granite and his paws would have been torn up. No snow left directly on the trail, but there is some off the trail. Had a great time. Got the overnight permit the morning of without issue (got to the ranger station at 7am).

backpacking
8 months ago

We went 7/29/17 - trails are great! clear and free of snow. Tiny creek crossings with rocks, easy enough to keep dry feet. Couple small patches of snow at the top (not sure how considering it was 70+ degrees out!) Nighttime was gorgeous! Was able to sleep without the rain fly and see the bazillions of stars. Low was 55 degrees in middle of night, perfect!

Oh and the gates at Wrights lake are now open so parking at the TH was easy. Although heads up it was completely full by 9am Saturday morning. Mix of backpackers, day hikers, and people just enjoying Wrights lake, kayaks etc

backpacking
9 months ago

Left Thursday and climbed to Twin Lakes. One slightly dicey creek crossing but made it over with dry feet. Stunning every step. Saw only one person - a boy with great abs, a fishing pole, and a slightly loose speedo. Went back to TH next day to pick up bro and went cross country to the Enchanted Pools. Followed the rushing creek up and cross country back to camp. Friday night only saw one duo and the two rangers who religiously check permits. It was hot! Next trip I want to go to Umpa Lake and down the far side if the Pools.

hiking
9 months ago

What a great hike. We have lots of water this year which makes the trail just stunning. Im a bit older so the going up took me a bit longer than the coming out. Stopped along the trail to look at the beautiful running river. A few places where the water was on the trail but nothing you cant get around with dry shoes. Once you reach Twin lakes...its breath taking! Great hike... we went on a Sunday and pasted probably a dozen group of hikers coming in. See photos above

9 months ago

So I went to Grouse lake first 7/11/17 and then to Twin Lakes and back. My Garmin registered the total of 7 miles. Trail is really well marked. You will have to cross a few streams and one big patch of snow to get to the lake. To access Island lake and Boomerang lake you will need to cross some runoff streams.

9 months ago

There is still a substantial amount of snow once you reach the tail end of the hike. It is an amazing time to take the trail. It is well marked throughout; however, portions are still currently snowed over, but it is easily discernible to stay on route by following the footsteps through the snow.

hiking
9 months ago

hiked 7/2/2017

This was an amazing hike that wasn't too long of a distance to see some amazing views of alpine lakes. Currently there's still a ton of snow and snow melt so expect many creek crossings and to get your shoes soaked. It's easy to get a little lost in a few places, but there are a bunch of self made rock trail markers or lines of rocks to follow. It ended up
much easier to find our way back down after we had already made it up. If the day is hot enough, bring a swim suit too! We saw a few people jump into the twin lakes (and run out right after) but it's a quick way to cool off!

hiking
9 months ago

Gate at Wrights lake is closed so parking at lower lot added a mile or so. but the route was not to bad to follow considering all the snow. Lower Twin Lake is mostly free of ice but upper Twin Lake and Island lake is still frozen. there were plenty of foot prints to follow. Shin to knee depth ford to get across the outlet to lower Twin, in order to head up to Island. very cold water!. he marmots are out and about. Really beautiful and rewarding hike

10 months ago

We went yesterday, June 24th. We had to park in the lower parking lot as the recreation area that takes you to the trailhead was still closed. That added about 3 miles round trip.

The trail wasn't very well marked after you get out of the forest and into the heavy granite area. Missed it several times. Was a decent hike that I would call moderate thanks to the extra mileage we added. Physically, we are 40+years old and we're athletes 15 years ago. We are still active but by no means athletes... (so many reviews that talk of difficulty level, you have no idea of the condition of the hiker)

Scenery was nice. Not much wildlife. Still a bunch of snow on the ground. Enough to have a snowball fight with our son and build a 3' snowman. Would not want to do it in another month.

hiking
11 months ago

TRAIL IS CLOSED
I've been on this trail before and LOVED it so I went back and it's currently closed. Due to the nasty winter, the road up and the trail are blocked by snow-- really wish AllTrails had told me before I drove 2 hours up there.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Easy for the first mile, then a moderate climb with a nicely marked trail..keep an eye out for stacked/lined rocks to guide you up. No shade for lunch really, but island lake was a gorgeous destination spot. Lots of people had their dogs, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it-would be hard on their paw pads (maybe my dog is just a pansy

Monday, September 05, 2016

A few tips, limited parking on weekends but overflow parking available one mile away. The trek to twin lakes is a consistent, yet bearable climb. The first mile is forest but the last two miles you're on either solid rock (well marked) or cobble. I rate this hike as a solid moderate rather than easy moderate. Once you get to the first twin lake which is amazing, have a snack but then head out towards the second lake...my guess is to get there it's about another mile. Catching the trail to the second lake was a bit tricky. To find it, simply stay left (but close) to the first lake and you can't miss it. As you head towards the second lake, don't be fooled when the path takes you to a little beautiful lake on the path called boomerang lake - keep going and the second island lake is another quarter mile or so up a little hill. Wow!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

The lakes

hiking
Monday, August 29, 2016

Amazing and Beautiful! Parking is very limited. Which means a limited number of people on the trail. Get there early. Could be a tough on a hot day. Lots of exposed granite.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

excellent half day hike where any levels and age can enjoy

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Did this hike last year and discovered how out of shape I was. Joined a gym, and this year it was a nice walk. As outhers have said the views are just great and the waterfalls and lakes are beautiful.

hiking
Monday, August 01, 2016

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. Several lakes along the way and the sweeping mountain vistas are so amazing. Love love love this hike.

backpacking
Monday, August 01, 2016

Love this trail and lakes are absolutely beautiful. Will definitely backpack here again.

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