Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

June 25, 2013

Lawrence Lake in Desolation Wilderness

Lawrence Lake is secluded, offers level campsites,

and is a perfect basecamp to explore surrounding

lakes and waterfalls.

Lawrence Lake, June 2013
Take Highway 50 E and turn north on Ice House Road.  Follow the signs to Wrights Lake and park at the Rockbound Trailhead. 
OR  (a better drive if you ask me):

Take the Wrights Lake Road north (between the 36 mile tract and the 39 mile tract) in the vicinity of Kyburz off Highway 50 and follow the signs.

Difficulty and Distance: I rate this as strenuous due to the length (no less than 13 miles round trip) and the rocky road and creek crossings.  Overall though, it is a fun, pleasant hike and is Easy to Moderate as a backpack trip.
Park at the Rockbound Trailhead parking.  There is a restroom near the trailhead signs.
Jeep trail
Begin your hike on the jeep road rather than the actual Rockbound Trail.  It has a green gate across it, and is labeled. The road/trail was not being used by jeeps at this time this was written and the condition varies from good dirt road as shown, to 4-wheeling eroded and rocky road.

Our first creek crossing.  
That is our cohort, Marcia.
At this time the creeks are all low but you can imagine that hiking here earlier in the season or in a heavier snowfall year,  might be more challenging.
Columbine blooming among corn lilies.
A variety of wildflowers are in bloom all along the way.

Wide open views
After winding through the woods, the trail opens out to large granite areas with gorgeous views.
Mariposa Lilies

Large meadow / "skeeters kitchen."
The trail takes you through a couple of these large mountain meadows that are alive with biting, buzzing, carnivorous, bugs and mosquitoes.

More creeks to cross.  (That is actually Chris!)

The creeks have rocks you can mostly use for dry crossings but hiking poles
sure help balance on themAll the rocks are not stable so check before you step!
Out of place restroom!
Near Barrett Lake this surprising bathroom sits to the side of the trail!

Barrett Lake
At Barrett there are open, large campsites with fire pits,
(no fires are allowed
 at this time).  The campsites offer little privacy.

Lawrence Lake
Keep hiking along the now single file trail that heads north to Lawrence Lake.

Super Moon June 2013

This was the super moon rising over the lake at 10:30 pm. 

Sunrise on Lawrence Lake
We camped along the north side of the lake but we discovered several good places to camp. 

The elevation graph shows you the highs and lows.  It really isn't a hard hike.  There are plenty of places to rest and if you have more energy it can be used exploring.  Along with the other lakes, there are waterfalls worth exploring.

This shows the route we hiked on this trip.  GPS is loaded here: Lawrence Lake .
Hike data.

Lawrence Lake makes a great basecamp to explore the surrounding lakes shown above.

For more hikes check Peachy's Trails by Location
with mileage and difficulty ratings, and
these Desolation Wilderness Trails:
Related Posts you might be interested in for nearby trails:

Desolation Wilderness
10+ miles
30 miles
Moderate to Strenuous/Difficult
18 miles
12+ miles
Moderate to Strenuous
13+ miles
Moderate to Strenuous
Umpa Lake & Enchanted Pools
8+ miles
Cross country ~ Moderate
Horsetail Falls via Pyramid Creek TH
Aprox.  10 miles to lakes at the top of the falls
"Difficult, and potentially dangerous" miles
10 miles
8 miles
Lyons Lake via Lyons Creek Trail
10+ miles
9.2 miles
6+ miles
Lyons Creek Trail with melting snow
9+ miles
3.8 miles
2010-09 We hiked 12 days.
167 total
Moderate to Strenuous

See the Full Table of Contents.
Added updated links and Table of Contents 06-2016
 Link for permits and other related information
Marcia introduced us to these individual packs of olives.  I am addicted!  Give them a try for the best backpacking snack food! 

And thanks to Chris F. for planning this trip!  She is searching
out the Hidden and Lost Lakes this year!  I was fortunate to join this unbelievable group of women backpacking! 
P.S. One more thing is that three of us carried bear canisters for our food and all complained about how heavy they are.  Lawrence Lake has plenty of trees to bear bag your food and personal items.  For more information about a good bear bagging system, check out Stick's Blog .