Back to index Barrett Jeep Trail into Desolation Wilderness
Trip Date:  07/08/2014

: 18.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1200'

Group Size: 1

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Barrett Jeep into Desolation Wilderness
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Barrett Jeep Trail Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 50.878  W 120 14.375     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to Wrights Road.  Turn north, and drive 8 miles to the entrance of Wrights Lake area.  Continue north at the park entrance toward Dark and Beauty Lake.  Follow the signs to the trailhead parking for Rockbound Pass at the coordinates listed above.
Hazards of Note:   Barrett Jeep trail is dusty and very dry.  Little water along the trail. Crowd Factor:   With the jeep trail currently closed to jeep riders, the number of people on the trail is minimal.  Once into Desolation Wilderness from this area there will be little to no other people.
There is a private resort area just west of Pearl Lake, which has a caretaker there year round.
General Notes:
The hike to and from Barrett Lake is long, dry and dusty, but has some spectacular views of the Crystal Range.  Once at Barrett Lake, it is less than a mile to Lawrence Lake, just at the boundary of Desolation Wilderness.
It is about a mile and a half to the top of Lake Number Four, where the plane crash is located.  Hike past Lake Number Five on your way north, and once you get near the area there is a use trail that leads directly from the main (Red Peak) trail to Lake Number Four and the crash site itself.
Since this is a hike into Desolation Wilderness, you will need a day permit (free at the trailhead) and the group size limit is 12.
One the way back out of Desolation Wilderness, veer to the SouthWest up the small mountain to get to Lost Lake.  Back on the Barrett Jeep trail after dropping back down from Lost Lake, pick up a small, unsigned trail to the west about one mile back toward Dark Lake that will cut over to Pearl Lake.  
From Pearl Lake, hike around the south side to the private resort area, and then head south to pick up a trail that will lead right back to the Barrett Jeep trail and the last two miles back to the trailhead.

The signed trailhead at the Desolation Wilderness permit stand.  You will actually find the Barrett Jeep trail to the north of this just on the north side of Dark Lake. Trailhead for Rockbound Pass
Looking at Dark Lake from near the trailhead. Dark Lake
What looks to be a brand new, mostly unused jeep bridge over the river. New jeep trail bridge
First look at Barrett Lake, with Red Peak in the background. Barrett Lake
Reflection of Red Peak and surrounding mountains in the serene Lawrence Lake.. Lawrence Lake
The dusty and try Barrett Jeep turns into a lush forested path once into Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Trail
Lake Number 4, fairly non-descript but for the amazing plane crash on its NE corner. Lake Number 4
First glimpse of the crash site. First glimpse of crash site
A section of the fuselage. Much of the fuselage
Wing impact into the tree. Wing impact
Markings still visible on some of the wreckage. Markings still visible
Small reflective pond on the way back toward Lost Lake. Headed back from the crash
Making my way up to Lost Lake from the cross country route. Lost Lake
Looking down at Pearl Lake from high above the eastern end. Looking down at Pearl Lake
A look across Pearl Lake from the western edge. Looking east across Pearl Lake
One last look at the magnificent Crystal Range before heading back into the forest. Crystal Range from Pearl Lake
Explosion of wildflowers all along the path from Barrett Trail toward Pearl Lake. Wildflowers
More of the amazing wildflower displays passed along the trail. More wildflowers
GPS track of the hike starting at the bottom right. GPS Track of the hike