Hike Date: August 14-17, 2007
Distance: ~ 15 miles
Trail(s): Twin Lakes Trail, Tyler Lake Trail
Where’s it at? Desolation Wilderness. Wrights Lake near Kyburz, CA off 50


Desolation Wilderness is one of my favorite places. I hope to be able to explore all the trails before I kick the bucket. While there are plenty of day hikes available, it is definitely a backpacker’s paradise. There are lakes all over the place as well as streams for an abundant and easy to obtain source of water. This assumes you don’t mind not having a campfire. Only gas stoves are allowed. And of course if you don’t mind walking on lots and lots of granite.

The western side of Desolation Wilderness is less often used, and offers views west instead of Lake Tahoe eastward, with dramatic rocky mountains as a backdrop all along. It’s also easily accessible from the bay area off hwy 50 just beyond Kyburz, CA.

On this trip in 2007 we went to Twin Lakes for the first night. I’d been to Twin Lakes before and loved it. There are two lakes next to each other with granite mountains surrounding you on 3 sides. There is often at least a little bit of snow here and there even into mid August. We literally slept on granite, with a tiny bit of sand on it. Not too bad with a Therma-Rest and good sleeping bag!

Photos from Twin Lakes (click to enlarge)

The next morning we hiked down to Wrights Lake and hung around there for the day. It’s a really shallow lake along the west side. We basically waded all around on the west side. I’m sure it’s fuller if you go earlier in the year. It’s a little bit populated so while it’s beautiful, it’s not really a great destination for a visit. We slept a little ways onward from the lake.

Photos from Wrights Lake (click to enlarge)

The third day we randomly decided to check out Gertrude and Tyler Lakes, which were an obvious choice from Wrights Lake. We just never even intended to be at Wrights Lake proper like we ended up. It’s nice to take spontaneous trips once in a while.

Gertrude Lake was awesome. It wasn’t a real far hike to it, but it was a fairly moderate one with the speed and weight we had going. You can see that the water was very tranquil, and there are nice cliffs that overlook barely deep enough lake for a dive…in August at least.

Photos from Gertrude Lake (click to enlarge)

Directions to Wrights Lake


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Weather at Kyburz, CA