Back to index Enchanted Pools and Island Lake Hike
Trip Date:  06/30/2013

: 9.8 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1300'

Group Size: 1

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Enchanted Pools Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Enchanted Pools Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 50.961, W 120 13.543
(or N 38 50.554, W 120 14.116 during the winter)
    End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to Wrights Road (west of the small town of Strawberry.)  Drive 8 miles north on Wrights Road.  Turn right at the entrance for the lake and drive about 1 mile to the Desolation Wilderness Parking area.
Hazards of Note:   Cross country navigation is required for most of this hike.  Fast water at the falls and slippery footing near the water. Crowd Factor:   Moderate to busy, especially on weekends.  
General Notes:
The first part of this hike follows the well-travelled Twin Falls trail out of the Desolation Wilderness parking area at the coordinates provided (a mile into the hike if the Wrights Lake gate is closed.  Just past the sign where it points to Twin Lakes or Smith Lake trails, look for the "Mother/Daughter" rock high on the left side of the trail.  You will start your cross country route from here, mostly travelling on a reasonably well defined use trail.  There are sections of open granite where you may have to follow rock cairns, but for the most part stay below the cliffs to your right and keep the South Fork of Silver Creek on your left.  Reach the Enchanted Pools first, and then continue on up to the Enchanted Falls.  At the main falls the best view is from the north side, with three or four falls spilling off the rock at the same time during wet seasons.  
To continue on to Island Lake, head up the south side of the falls along the open granite, and head roughly southeast up and over the granite.  On the way you will pass the small, partially hidden Umpa Lake, and then drop down into the north end of the Twin Lakes area.  There is a well-defined trail from Twin Lakes up to Island lake along the north side of the lakes.   On the way down follow the maintained and marked Twin Lakes trail all the way to Wrights Lake.

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.

The Crystal Range high above Wrights Lake area. Crystal Range from Wrights Lake
One of the main falls at the Enchanted Pools. Main falls at the Enchanted Pools
Climbing up the 'trail' by the falls. Climbing along the falls
I have never come across a curved waterfall like this before. Curved waterfall
Umpa Lake hidden in a basin along the way to Island Lake. Umpa Lake
Coming up from Umpa Lake I was greeted by this view of Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes vista
Between Twin Lakes and Island Lake is the peaceful Boomerang Lake. Boomerang Lake
Didn't quite get to Island Lake the last time I was here.  It's worth the extra effort! Island Lake
Hidden to the south of Island Lake is Silver Dagger lake, the source of the falls into one of the Twin Lakes which you can see and hear from far away. Silver Dagger Lake
Had lunch here at the top of the falls into Twin Lakes, with a great view of the entire area. Twin Lakes vista
Look closely for one more good reason not to drink untreated water from this lake. Dog in Lake
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike