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Wrights Lake to Grouse Lake

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice climb through forests and granite slabs to the secluded Grouse Lake.


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Map Key

4.5

Miles

7.2

KM

Out and Back

8,152' 2,485 m

High

6,956' 2,120 m

Low

1,212' 369 m

Up

1,212' 369 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

35%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Desolation Wilderness registration is required at the trailhead, but it’s free.

Overview

This is a beautiful hike across granite slabs, through lush green forrest, next to a beautiful creek, and ending at an amazing alpine like. Great spots along the creek to wade. Possible slides up in the granite areas could be smooth.

Need to Know

Parking is free at the trailhead parking lot. Make sure not to park along the roadside or in unmarked parking spots in the parking lot. Tickets will be handed out for those that park along the road.

Notice in the parking lot that the parking will have a fee charge starting in 2020.

Description

From the Twin Lakes Trailhead parking lot at the southwest side of Wrights Lake, follow the signs to Twin Lakes. Just down the trail, you'll find a sign with a map and a Desolation Wilderness sign-in spot. From there, you'll amble through the lush forest and pass by parts of Wrights Lake until you come to the Lake Loop Trail fork where a bridge crosses the South Fork Silver Creek; stay right to stay on Twin Lakes Trail #16E12. You'll pass a junction with Twin Lakes Tie Trail #16E17; stay right again to continue toward Twin Lakes.

Further up the trail, you'll encounter the Desolation Wilderness sign. Shortly after, you'll come to a fork in the trail marked by a single fencepost marker pointing to Grouse Lake to the right and Twin Lakes to the left. Follow Grouse Lake Trail #16E01 to the right.

The next section of trail will lead you up the mountainside through rocky and beautiful terrain. Views will become more and more impressive as you go. Keep climbing, and you'll reach the beautiful Grouse Lake. The trail continues but this is a great places to sit, rest, and have lunch. It is a great turn-around point, making a nice 4.5-mile round-trip hike.

Bring water, a layer, hat, sunscreen, good shoes, and a little bit of energy. Trekking poles are handy as well.

Flora & Fauna

Ferns in the forest, chipmunks everywhere.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Nash with improvements by derek koonce

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#3580

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#536

in California

#3,580

Overall
26 Views Last Month
5,191 Since Sep 24, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Grouse Lake Panorama
Sep 24, 2017 near South L…, CA
Lower Meadow area, heading back near the trailhead.
Oct 30, 2018 near South L…, CA
Grouse Lake
Sep 24, 2017 near South L…, CA
The view looking toward the East from the Grouse Lake Trail. You can see Wrights Lake and Union Valley Reservoir.
Sep 24, 2017 near South L…, CA
Grouse Lake
Sep 24, 2017 near South L…, CA
Grouse Lake Trail, looking west towards Twin Lakes Trail.
Aug 23, 2019 near South L…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 26, 2020
Samay Shah
Sep 9, 2019
Dan Hight
Fun little hike, gets steep at the end. Very easy to lose the trail. Nice lake to sit and have a snack. 4.4mi
Aug 18, 2019
Ben C
Spent 2 nights at Grouse. Day hiked from Grouse to Hemlock, and Smith Lakes. Trail is not as groomed at Twin Lakes, gets rougher as you go up to Smith 4.6mi — 4h 00m
Sep 16, 2018
Matt Hage
Scrambled up Peak 9676 above Smith Lake 8mi — 12h 00m
Aug 25, 2018
dennis dworman
Jun 29, 2018
M T
29 lbs pack 3.3mi
Jun 27, 2018
M T
32 lbs pack 3.3mi