Back to index Loon Lake Past Spider Lake Hike
Trip Date:  01/25/2014

: 13.8 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1600'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
Loon Lake Past Spider Folsom Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Loon Lake Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 58.565   W 120 19.503     End Coordinates:   Same as Starting Coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take the Ice House Road from Highway 50 and follow it for about 25 miles north to the Loon Lake campground area.  If the gate is closed you will have to park at that junction, otherwise you can cut a couple of miles off the trip by parking in the campground area.
Hazards of Note:   A few sections of the trail near the east end of the lake which are hard to discern.  
Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  You will encounter less and less people as you get further to the east end of Loon Lake.  During the summer you can see jeepers along the Rubicon Jeep trail parked and camped at Spider Lake.
General Notes:
Loon Lake is a very scenic location for hiking, and is actually what used to be two lakes (along with Pleasant Lake) which have been combined into one for water storage purposes.  The north side of the lake sees a lot of traffic from jeepers who access the start of the famous Rubicon Jeep Trail from this location, but the south side, once you get past the campground areas can be relatively isolated.  
At the far east end of the lake, you may encounter hikers coming out from Desolation Wilderness at the far north end of the area, or even a few kayakers who may have paddled about a mile from the second Loon Lake dam to reach this end of the lake.  There are some pretty nice viewpoints at the top of some of the unnamed knolls at this end of the lake, and Guide Peak to your north serves as an orientation feature no matter where you are along this trek.
Parts of the hike are forested for a bit, but much of the hike ends up being pretty close to the southern shore, and then you reach an old gravel road at the east end of the lake that takes you up to a small pass to bend south and head toward the Desolation Wilderness boundary, Spider Lake, Buck Island Lake, Rubicon Lake, and many others within Rockbound Valley.

View along the trail  View along the start of the trail
Guide Peak showing through the trees.
Guide Peak
My mug along the trail. My mug along the trip
The bridge out to an island in the lake during low water. Loon Lake island with a bridge
The significant climb up to the top of the first hill.
Heading up
Looking up at the pass toward Desolation Wilderness.
A further look out toward the hills I would later climb.
Looking at Tell's Peak from the top of the first hill.
Views from the top
A view all the way to Buck Island Lake from high above Loon Lake.
Desolation View
Looking south into Desolation Wilderness, specifically Dick's and Jack's peaks.
Desolation Peaks
View of the frozen Spider Lake from my lunch spot above.
Above Frozen Spider
Solitary tree above Spider Lake.
Solitary Tree
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike