“This trail provides access to the Wright Lakes high in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.”
— Bruce Hope
Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Commonly Backpacked
This trail is enters the Marble Mountain Wilderness and the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics, camp 100 feet from fragile areas, bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually closed by snow between November and May.
This trail goes from the Big Meadows Trail
, which is shown on some but not all maps. Getting to this trailhead requires a long drive on rough logging roads subject to closure during times of timber harvest. High clearance vehicles are required. You should inquire with at local ranger station in Fort Jones, California about any closures in affect and about road conditions. It may be necessary to park on Forest Road 43N23 and hike up an old logging road to the trailhead.
From the trailhead, hike about 0.5 miles into Big Meadows to a junction with the Back Meadows Trail #5549. Turn right (north) here and follow the #5537 directly up the ridge. The trail may be obscured by thick meadow growth so look for small trail cairns marking the way. The trails in this area are difficult to follow due to grazing cattle that create many criss-crossing paths in the meadows so be sure to pay attention to landmarks and check your maps often.
At 2.25 miles from the trailhead, you'll arrive at a saddle on the ridge below Point 7896. From the saddle, it's a short descent on easy trail to Upper Wright Lake, with campsites on its south side. The trail continues along the north side of the lake, passes the outlet, and then descends a slope to Lower Wright Lake. From here, the stark north face of Boulder Peak (the high point in this wilderness) will be in view over large fields of wildflowers (during the summer months). The trail is a little fainter down this slope but not hard to follow. Soon you reach Lower Wright Lake, where there were several good campsites at its north end.
From Lower Wright Lake, the #5537 descends through the trail-hiding swaths of vegetation in the Boulder Creek drainage. It crosses the creek, contours out of the lush valley, and heads into dry forest to end at its junction with the Boulder Creek Trail #5534
and the Deep Lake Trail #5535, some four miles from the trailhead.