Explore the most popular camping trails near Kyburz with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome trail perfect for dogs as there is numerous places for water the whole way up. It looks like the route on all trails is point to point but the vertical is for the out and back. Be prepared to head up hill pretty much from start to finish but incredible views throughout and nothing too challenging.

Definitely not my favorite hike! According to my phone and two others that I went with, the hike ended up being an average of 6 miles, 15,000 steps, and 90 flights of stairs. Beautiful lake but even in October there were icicles forming all around the lake. I am not a very skilled hiker but I do love to hike. I have done several hikes this year that were just as difficult but had more scenic views than this one. Very uphill and then right back downhill. I am glad I did it and it was beautiful but not a hike I would do again!
I would also like to point out that there is no way to get a desolation wilderness permit at the wilderness boundary on this hike, unlike several other hikes we have done. Every time I have gone into desolation wilderness from a trail there is a station with permits to fill out, not here! We got to the point where it says a permit is required but there were no permits available there or the trail head.

Great hike! Took around 4 hours with a few stops! It was very windy at the top which made it hard to enjoy the view but I would definitely hike it again with warmer clothes! The trail was easy to follow with the exceptions of one or two spots.

Good day adventure, completed in just under 7 hours. Used this trail as a prep for Mt. Whitney in 2 days.
Beautiful views of the multiple lakes and surreal autumn nature! The trail is quite exposed with little shade.
I would do this trail again as a backpacking trip.

Beautiful day for a hike. Trail is well marked, wear good hiking shoes and bring water. Great training hike.

Great hike with beautiful views. The trail is well marked. The lake was amazing and had several great spots to fish or relax in the sun.

2 months ago

We started at Wright's lake and hiked over Rockbound pass, past Lois and Doris Lakes and finally camped at Lake Schmidell the first night. Rockbound is an intimidating pass, but the 8 miles went by fairly quickly. Day 2 we hiked past McConnel Lake which was really just a swamp and on towards Horseshoe. We went northwest off the trail at Horshoe to climb a short ridge and over the other side to Zitella Lake. Lovely! Had it all to ourselves.Great swimming. Day 3 we continued on the loop with the intention to go through 4Qs lakes and Campers Flat and on up a last climb to Doris Lake. Got totally lost around Campers Flat. Downed logs, poor markings. We renamed it Campers Hell! Spent an hour trying to find the trail. Finally did after making a loop through heavy undergrowth, then cruised easily to the junction where the Velmas trail goes east. We continued on and then took the short climb up to Doris where we camped for the night. Good camping at Doris, but there was a huge party there and we camped pretty far from the lake. The next day we cruised back over Rockbound and back to Wrights Lake TH. This was a beautiful hike, but Campers Flat was a bust. Probably won't do that loop again. Zitella was fabulous!

2 months ago

Just completed this weekend. Turned it into a 3 day and 2 night excursion. Most of the creeks shown on the map were dried up, but there was plenty of filterable water at each lake, so it was no big deal. We decided ro tak the opposite route and to do 11 miles on the first day following the rubicon river trail before connecting back to the McConnel loop. We stayed at 4 q's lake the first nigh. There were a few groups already there, but there were plenty of spots so you wouldn't feel crowded. The trail can be difficult to follow at times, but keep your eyes out for cairn stones marking the way. We went through to lake Schmidell the next day and it was a tough 5 miles, but we stopped for a swim at Leland Lake. There is an awesome rock that you can dive off right of the southern portion of the norther lake. Its weird that these lakes aren't on the map, but they are 1 mile north of Lake Schmidell. We spent our second night at Lake Schmidell which was prettty crowded, but everyone kept to themselves. The weather was great and we slept out in the open our final night. This was an awesome adventure and I highly recommend it despite how technical the climbs can be.

3 months ago

Day hiked July 14th to Lois Lake, did not make it to Scmidell due to time constraints. Nice trail with nice mix of forested, open granite areas, wild flowers, lakes and mountains. Trail is easy to lose in granite area, just need to head towards pass and take note of surroundings for hike back. Lots of open area which made it hot, bring lots of water or bring a filter. Plenty of lakes along the way so take advantage of them to cool off. Switch backs up pass is nicely graded.

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Elected to take the more strenuous route to Grouse and Hemlock but didn't make it to Smith this time. The turn off 50 onto Wright's Lake Road leads you up this windy, narrow back road that looks recently paved. I made it back there fine in my small car but it might be challenging for RVs or campers (in fact road signs warn just that at the start). My GPS had me parking at Twin Lakes Trailhead, but there was a road closed sign by the Wright's Lake equestrian campground. It did say no public use of rec area and I'm not quite sure what that means so I parked in the small parking lot there and walked back in to the trailhead (an additional 1.5 miles, all flat). Wright's lake has some private cabins surrounding it so it's not as secluded but the views are beautiful. The hike out towards Desolation Wilderness goes through some wetlands and I was very grateful for the mosquito spray I brought along. At points throughout the hike I'd get off trail a little bit but eventually find my way back, there are some cairns and rocks that line the trail in some of the more confusing parts so I never felt like I was lost, just didn't want to disturb the untouched vegetation off the trail. Once you hit the Desolation Wilderness sign, keep following the trail to the left and in a few hundred yards you'll reach a sign for Grouse Lake. The hike wasn't strenuous but definitely got the heart rate up and had a few fun rock scramble parts. I did pass a ranger on the way up and he thanked me for filling out the wilderness permit, so please do that, it's for your own safety! Once I reached Grouse lake I was just in awe, a beautiful secluded alpine lake. I spent a good hour taking it all in and in that time I only encountered 10 people max. I can't even count on two hands the amount of trout I saw jump, next time I'll be sure to bring my fly rod. I then decided to head up a little further and check out Hemlock lake. I was able to follow the trail for a little ways but then got off it and ended up having to scramble my way up, which was a blast. I later learned that the trail leads up next to the waterfalls that feed into the lake so just listen for those and head in that direction, again the cairns guide your way up. Once I got up to Hemlock, I was in awe again, this time I had the lake all to myself. There was quite a bit of pollen on the surface on the south side so I walked around to the north side to get my feet wet. There was still some snow melt that was feeding into the lake, but surprisingly it wasn't that cold. As I was relaxing on a rock, a few fly fisherman threw some casts out and one immediately hooked a big trout, another indication that the fly rod is coming back up with me. I finally started the trek down which took me about 2 hours from Hemlock. As I get older and my knees are less springy, I find that trekking poles are nice to have on the descent. I didn't have them this time but will likely bring them next. Overall great experience and I've had many friends ask to come next time. If you're on the fence about the 'strenuous' nature of the hike, don't worry about it, there are plenty of spots to rest along the way and you get to cool off at the top!

Monday, November 13, 2017

We probably got the last backpack of the season continuing past Grouse Lake to Smith Lake for 1 night (very cold and windy night), as we were hiking over snow from 8000' onwards and it began to get thick past Grouse Lake. Still great for hiking though and is well tread so the trail is easy to follow. All uphill so it's good work getting there, but lovely views and the lakes make it well worth it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Time is running out if you haven't made this hike; as winter approaches trail will most likely close!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Nice little short hike.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

This was a TOUGH rewarding hike. It is simply up up up. The granite steps and boulders were brutal on your feet. It just keeps going up and up. But, when you scramble the last set of boulders and get to the lake shore, it is just breathtaking! Well worth it!

Friday, August 04, 2017

A great vertical hike! views are amazing and well laid out trail. Not for those with any back issues.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Did a quick over night trip to Grouse Lake. It is a short trail but it does have a quick elevation gain. A few snow patches at the lake but nothing covering the trail. I would recommend bringing a lot of mosquito repellent.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

7/22/17 Hike
☆☆☆☆☆ Views
☆☆☆☆ Difficulty
☆☆☆ Popularity
☆☆☆ Trail
▪Amazing views at destination
▪You'd spend too much time looking down due to gravelly, fist size rocks that can roll your ankles and roots on trails, will be climbing over huge rocks as well
▪Ran into a few folks on the trails
▪Water was cold but tolerable once youre in so jump right in!!!

Beautiful trail. Went mid/late June and it was still covered in snow. Trail is also not well marked. Bring a map and compass. Trail is mostly marked with cairns. Didn't make it to our final destination due to heavy snow- neither did 2 other groups. Bright side- not crowded.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Great trail. Short and a good incline. Camped at Grouse. Runoff from the melted snow was amazing and the sunset even more amazing! Trail is pretty easy to follow. Trail gets a little lost after the creek crossing at top, but just keep going up. No problem with snow, most is melted away on trail. Heard there was more on route to Smith lake still.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Beautiful hike not too difficult and great views with a well maintained trail. Not covered in water anymore like previously mentioned. Only thing is that we couldn't finish the last half mile or so and get to the other lake (July 17') due to snow covering the trail. Probably just due to record snowpack from this previous winter.

The trail to Grouse lake is still inaccessible due to water. You can find the trailhead but only get about 3/4- 1 mile before being thwarted by water, unless you don't mind getting really wet. Oh well. We went around Wright Lake after attempting three other trails. All three trails were inaccessible due to high water. I suggest waiting at least another month to allow the runoff to dissipate.

The Wright's lake area is still closed as of late June. We went on the trail anyway. Expect some snow and very few wildflowers right now. Still pretty but not as amazing as it can be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's totally worth it !

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's a bit of a hike up, but an easy one back down.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beautiful trail! You get to see it all, meadows, valleys, peaks, etc.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

hike up to Grouse to see beautiful Brook trout in a small high sierra lake. Gorgeous! vista's are stunning.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wonderful Hike! Some spots over granite maybe difficult to follow.

1 month ago

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