Explore the most popular trail running 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.

on Lyons Creek Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Very nice hike but definitely moderate not hard. In addition to the lakes the meadows and wild flowers through the first few miles are beautiful. Start early!

Even though listed mileage is 7.6 miles our hike once around plus the side route to the waterfall and back was over 9 miles according to my GPS. Nice single path trail with easy footing. Shade most of the way. Restrooms along the way. Dog friendly as they can drink from the lake the whole way. The waterfall is worth seeing.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike! Trail is now dry so no more slop (as of July 7). I think it's a very different hike when wet vs. dry - would rate this "moderate" vs "hard" during dry season, although the last half-mile up to Lyons is pretty steep.

Lots of wildflowers and super pretty right now!

backpacking
7 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/

backpacking
8 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.

Gentle, well-shaded hike. I would also suggest entering at the southeast entrance off of Mormon Emigrant Trail and heading to the waterfall and back. This route is much more serene and less congested than doing the full loop; the north and west sides of the lake have many campsites and considerably more people.

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.

This hike around the lake is easily accomplished in around 3-4 hours depending on your pace. I would rate this hike as an easy day trip. You will need water, sun screen, and comfortable shoes. There are restrooms and the trail is close to the lake the duration of the hike.

This hike is full of great scenery. I would suggest hiking the eastern side of the lake starting from the main entrance and turning around from the waterfall, instead of doing the full loop. This side of the lake is less congested, offers the most shade, and you can track a 10 mile hike this way instead of 8 miles.

The waterfall is big and has a swimming hole at the bottom. I found a rope swing along the way and plenty of fishing spots. There are benches to take lunch breaks along the hike and make sure you are cautious for snakes. I almost stepped on one this second time around.

This trial has everything you could ask for! From stunning views, a vast array of flowers, swimming holes in the creek, great rock climbing spots and of course Lyons lake itself!!

I have been to most lakes in desolation and have a couple favorites this one being top 3!! The last mile or so was a bit tough but you get the awesome waterfall views and mountain backdrop that make it an easier ride! Have fun out there !!

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.

beautiful trail with dogwoods for a bunch of different kinds of flowers blooming. It was a Serene Trail all the way to the waterfall. we went late in the day and the temperature was perfect it was mostly shaded

Beautiful views of the lake. The trail was clear and easy. I didn't do the whole 7 miles but enjoyed it.

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.

Rad trail, plenty of shade, cool waterfall, lots of water access. Serene and quiet.

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!

A few parking spaces right off the road, plus a lot just a couple hundred feet up. $5 fee, bathrooms and trash cans.

backpacking
1 month ago

Conditions as of 5/23/2018: super duper soupy. And are established trails always this poorly marked around here? Or maybe their just more obvious when they’re not flooded. No worries; hard to get truly lost in that area anyhow.

I got good and wet on my way to Sylvia, spent a day drying out and soaking in the beautiful landscape, then decided to summit Pyramid from the West, starting just north of (not next to) Sylvia. That was fun. But FYI the slop starts very early into Lyons from parking. If you’re thinking “maybe it’s just this area; it’ll get better” then you’re very sadly mistaken. The Lyons trail is essentially a babbling brook all the way through. Even the trails side-stepping the regular “trail” were much soggier today than they were on my way in 2 days ago. I was wearing old beat-up Saucony Peregrine trail shoes with microspikes for the summit. My feet were totally soaked and freezing from start to finish every day. lol - somehow, having that whole beautiful place to myself made up for it.

Summary: look elsewhere until things dry out a bit, or just come prepared for ankle-shin deep slogs all the way to the remaining snow pack.

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!

One of my all time favorite locations for all types of outdoor recreational activities. This place is loved and very well maintained. I’ve Kayaked, hiked nine miles of trails around the lake, biked, watched Eagles, geese and camped. From the well maintained trails, to restrooms and staff, I’ve always enjoyed this location.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail conditions: 5/13/18

Trail is wet and sloppy from melt off with patches of snow below 7,700 ft (full coverage above). There are also a few downed trees blocking the trail.

0-3 miles: Wet and sloppy, with some small patches of snow.
3-4 miles: Larger patches of snow. Easy to lose trail if not paying attention.
4.5 miles: Trail completely covered by snow.

Overall the trail to Sylvia is doable, but the last 2 miles are slow going. Also, make sure to wear waterproof boots!

We camped here last weekend and decided after setting up cap to hike around the lake- FYI this hike is closer to 9 miles. We are both in great shape and It took us a long time, but the trail is flat and every angle of the lake is beautiful. There is a waterfall along the trail that is gorgeous! We will definitely come back in the summer when we can get in the lake.

trail running
2 months ago

Awesome lake. You can swim in it all of summer. Sometimes there is a waterfall depending on rainfall. Overall great place to trail run, walk, or hike. Good camping too!

This is not a difficult trail it’s about 9 Miles from the campground to complete the loop. Some areas you’ll have to walk on the street others past the campgrounds and picnic areas. The waterfall is gushing this year. If you have 3-4 hours to spare this is a nice hike with great views of the lake.

backpacking
4 months ago

Can feel like one long slog. Best as an overnight backpack. Have used the route to Sylvia several times over the past 20 years as a tuneup for long high altitude climb approaches. Dog poop can be problematic so watch your step.

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

great primitive hut to rent, reserve online at recreation.gov During the winter snowshoe or AT ski in for a night. Spectacular sunsets during clear skies. heat and a privy are provided, everything else including water you must bring.

If you’re doing the loop just know you’re going to have to walk on the street for like a half mile to get back to where you parked. It’s closer to 9 miles.

The real scoop... the west side of the loop, the long side, is interrupted by several camp sights. So it’ll be awesome and then you’ll walk the huge camp sights and finding the trail and getting back on track can be a pain. The east side, around a mile shorter, is amazing. Great trail. Ups and downs. My gf and I enjoyed it a lot.

The waterfall is awesome. You have to walk past the bridge, can’t miss it, and you’ll approach it. We sat and had our lunch here. For a man-made waterfall is amazing. Still beautiful and would go back to see it any time, but would only hike the east side and not do the loop.

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