Back to index Twin Lakes Hike
Trip Date:  08/06/2011

: 5.5 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1100'

Group Size: 7

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Twin Lakes Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Twin Lakes Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 50.063, W 120 02.641
or overflow parking at
N 38 50.542, W 120 14.120
    End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to Wrights Lake Road, and head approximately 8 miles north until you get to the entrance to the Wrights Lake recreation area (if this gate is closed you have to park just to the right before this spot and add a mile to the hike from this location each way.)  Turn right at the junction and drive along the south end of the lake for a mile until you reach the Desolation Wilderness Trailhead parking area at the coordinates provided.
Hazards of Note:   The trail is rocky along the first part, and there might be some early season trail finding along the granite before the main rise in the trail toward the lakes.  Crowd Factor:   Moderate to High.  There are many people who access this trail into Desolation, and getting to the parking area early (before 8) is your best chance on a weekend of getting a spot here. 
General Notes:
The first part of the trail heads down toward the east end of Wrights Lake, and then at the Trailhead map make sure to turn right toward Twin Lakes so that you don't just circle around the lake.  Follow the trail for about a mile into the Desolation Wilderness, and then at the junction to Smith Lake make sure to continue straight on the trail so as to not wind up at the wrong destination.  Follow this up as it rises up the granite, generally keeping the river to your left as you go.  

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.

Lots of hikers at the start of the trail. Masses at the trailhead
Skyelin successfully crossing the river. Skyelin crossing the river
A look back down the trail from where we came. Looking back at the trail
Jim stopping on the way up. Jim on the hike
Arriving for lunch at Twin Lakes. Arrival at Twin Lakes
Little Pyramid Peak rising above Twin Lakes. Little Pyramid Peak
The boys looking for a lunch spot. The boys ready for lunch
Granite rocks high above the lakes. Granite rocks above the lake
Dustin and Tristan at the lake. Dustin and Tristan at the lake
The falls which come out of Silver Dagger Lake into Twin Lakes. Silver Dagger Lake falls
GPS tracks of our hike. GPS track of hike