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

backpacking
6 days ago

Backpacked to Island Lake July 6-8 and loved it. The area is super beautiful and is only a 3-4 mile hike from the trailhead. One day we did a day hike up to Mount Price and get a look at Lake Aloha. Overall a great place for a low mileage backpacking trip! Here is my full report with pics: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/desolation-wilderness-twin-lakes/

Great trip to pyramid peak this weekend. Trail from lake sylvia to the ridge was in and out. Once we got to ridge heading to pyramid peak we also lost trail in and out due to rock scrambling. This trail was no joke, but led to beautiful views. Following instructions to look for notch at SSE side of sylvia and staying on ridge to pyramid peak were our guiding forces to make it even without consistent trail. Wild flowers are out, but sun is intense once you hike past sylvia; lots of sunscreen and water. Water filter is great from sylvia to lyons trailhead since the creek follows trail, not much to access up toward pyramid.

backpacking
7 days ago

Backpacked in on the 3rd and out on the 5th. Wrights Lake Road is now open again for access, so you don't need to go through Ice House Road. it's a much shorter drive to and from US50 from Wrights Lake Road to the trailhead. The trail is pretty clearly marked, and parts where it wasn't, we went ahead and rebuilt some of the cairns that had appeared to have fallen apart. When you get closer to the lake, there are 2 paths that will take you on either side of the lake. Do not attempt to go around the lake, since there are unstable boulders and no clearly defined path. Instead, go back to the area near the shallow water fall just below the lake, and go in either direction, you should be able to find the trails easily from this point. I brought my ultralight fishing gear and caught a lot of brook trout. Luckily the fishing was good because we had left a few packs of food at home so we were a bit short. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife up there, but we saw some marmots and chipmunks. The wind up there was pretty bad over the few days, but otherwise it was a beautiful, relaxing time at this less populated lake in Desolation Wilderness.

on Island and Twin Lakes

10 days ago

Beware the trail as pictured past Twin Lakes dissolves into a rocky hard scramble and unsafe water crossing trying to get back to Twin Lakes. I wouldn't recommend it for others to follow.

hiking
19 days ago

This trail was absolutely beautiful last Sunday! The granite slabs were well-marked with rock piles to follow until the trail started again on the other side, and if you stray off on accident you can just look for the closest cairn or line of rocks. Bring lots of water and sunscreen as much of the trail is exposed — better yet, bring a water filter and drink from the fresh waterfalls!
As of last Sunday, Wrights Lake Road was open from Highway 50 to the overflow parking lot by the camping area, so there’s an additional 3/4 mile hike from there to the trailhead. The parks crew at the trailhead said the road set to be fully open by this weekend.

Its very pretty. Only didn’t do 5 because there are prettier lakes in deso. I didn’t see leaches although would have liked too :) some creek crossing- there seemed to always be trees to crossover but at one point I did take boots off and cross. It was fun, and didn’t see 1 would entire hike. Supposedly good for horses.

Wrights Lake is where this is located. Twin Lakes are very small but nice. Wrights Lake Rd is closed from hwy 50 and has been for a few years now and CalTrans has done nothing to fix it. In order to get there you need to take Ice House Lake Rd off of Hwy 50. Follow it until you see the turn off to the right for Ice House Lake which is 1 mile in from main rd. There is a fork in the road. Go left and follow the signs for Wrights Lake. Approx 10 miles. Make a left onto Wrights Lake rd and go about 2 to 4 miles to Wrights Lake. You can walk around either side of the lake to find Twin Lakes. If you want an awesome hike..go up Rock Bound Pass to PCT..Thats a great hike and can be done in 1 day if in great shape. If not so much take basic overnight gear and camp up there for 1 to 3 days. Sign in at the rangers station there so they know that you are out there in the event of an emergency in the area.

The Wright's lake recreation area was still closed so we parked in parking area just outside of gate. made our hike about 1 mile longer but it was a flat easy mile. once you hit the trail head its up hill pretty much the whole way. mostly sunny hiking with some shady spots. 2 small creek crossings. Some areas the trail is easy to follow. other areas you have to stop and look for cairns or follow. Not to difficult to keep on trail if you are observent. Strenuous hike but well worth it especially when you get to twin lakes. Amazing views at the lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! Amazing views everywhere! I was pretty the only hiker on the trail on the way up until I ran into some backpackers. Perfect trail to enjoy some solitude. There are not many signs, but I just followed the stacked rocks and found the trail fine. Also, the trail is pretty much snow-free, but the road to the main parking lot is still closed so I ended up hiked a mile from overflow parking lot to the trail head.

Long day hike. Still quite a bit of snow as of 6/3 with some post holing around deeper rock patches but most of it is walkable/not frozen. Definitely no need for snowshoes or any traction really for vast majority... extra weight not worth it for where it could help.

Absolutely beautiful hike. Lots of waterfalls on the way up to the lakes and not too many hikers in the late spring. Parts of the trail are not well marked, which can get confusing at times. Fortunately, the trail follows a river most of the way, so it’s hard to get too lost. The views of the peaks and lakes at the end of the trail are well worth the trip!

Went a week ago and reached Island Lake wearing hiking boots. Snow coverage made navigation difficult especially as it became darker, so bring a GPS to re-trace your steps. I recommend wearing microspikes and gaiters as the trail was covered with compacted snow in many areas. Use the natural landscape such as creeks, melting snow and treeline for navigation. Dirt road to Twin Lakes had a couple hills with deep snow patches so bring chains just in case. The view of the mountains from Island Lake was incredible!

backpacking
8 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.

on Island and Twin Lakes

hiking
8 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.

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

backpacking
9 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.

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.

on Island and Twin Lakes

10 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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

backpacking
10 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.

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.

Pyramid Peak has been a goal of mine for several years, and since we moved to Tahoe last year we decided to finally tackle it last week. We did this as an overnighter, camping at Lyons Lake. The trail up to the lake is an easy 5 miles or so, with plenty of magnificent wildflowers along the way. The half mile or so from the Sylvia cutoff is a bit steep but nothing crazy. Lyons lake is a great alternative to Sylvia; less buggy, less people, and a truly stunning view of the southern ridge of Mt Agassiz.

The next day we were on the trail by 7am and in a short time had ditched our packs and began up the scree field toward the southwestern ridge of Pyramid. The scree field is a bit taxing going up, and gets steeper toward the top, it was the toughest bit of the entire hike. Once at the top, head up the ridge along a vaguely defined path toward the summit. I'd often wondered what the summit view would look like and it blew me away, absolutely breathtaking...I didn't want to come down!

The trek back was long, as the descent requires care and the scree field especially was time consuming. I'll be back on one of the other routes next year, an amazing mountain!

backpacking
10 months ago

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

This hike is hard. Most people find their own way up to the west ridge which can be very hard. That's what my group did and was fine until we got hailed on! We continued after the clouds went away and scrambled up the rocks to the summit! Very rewarding! On our way back down the thunderstorms started up again! And had to take shelter from the rain and hail. Eventually it stopped and on our way back down we found a trail that goes up the west ridge! The start is right across lake Sylvia as you reach it. There's usually a small snow bank on the other side of the lake and once you scramble up a bit you can find a trail that'll take you up to the west ridge! I wish we had known that earlier! You'll follow the ridge to the base of he summit where you scramble up the boulders.

This small and hidden trail can make a huge difference!

Bringing a jacket and extra(or wool) socks is highly recommended even if it's sunny outside, better to be prepared than to be soaking wet.

nice trail! I have done it half a dozen times! best time to do is winter with snowshoes!

camping
11 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).

The reason they call the lake Bloodsucker is not only for all the bugs, the lake is also full of leaches. Be careful going in the water the leaches will swarm on you. Easy hike to a beautiful little lake

This was a beautiful, but relatively easy hike, the lake was stunning! A word of warning though, do not go into this lake unless you are willing to get leeches! we saw dozens of them while standing along the shore!

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