Lake Winnemucca – Carson Pass

Lake Winnemucca from Carson Pass via Pacific Crest Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kirkwood, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. November-April put on the snowshoes or cross-country skis to reach the lake. Many backcountry skiers use this region in winter as well of elephants back near the lake.

Lake Winnemucca is a beautiful rugged setting with clear cool water inviting for summer swims. Round Top Peak on its western shore is a popular climb locally and can be accessed to the west of the lake following the trail to Round Lake above. Many backpackers will also continue on from Lake Winnemucca to Fourth of July Lake.

Day hikers in the area looking to explore can head south East of the lake approx. another mile to the edge of the cliffs overlooking Forestdale Creek meadow and Blue Lakes basin

A second Popular route is to travel 2.1 miles from Woods Lake up to Lake Winnemucca, this route features great wildflowers in the early summer. And is typically less traveled. Elevation gain is just over 500 feet and features a running creek for the last part of the trail.

Lake Winnemucca is part of the Mokelumne Wilderness so overnight permits for camping are required, and it is managed by the Carson Pass ranger station which assigns campsites when issuing permits.

Open for hikers and equestrians. Horses must remain on the trail and may not graze in the Carson Pass Management Area. Pets must be leashed. Campfires are prohibited in the Carson Pass Management Area. There is a 12 person group size limit for day users and an 8 person limit to overnight users.

$5 daily pass, $20 annual pass, or federal interagency pass required for parking at Meiss trailhead from May 31 to October 31.

Another alternative loop route is From woods lake traveling up to Round Lake then down to Lake Winnemucca then back to Woods in a loop adventure. This route is best in our opinion later in summer and fall season to avoid snow packs that seem to melt a bit slower on this path.

Sierra REC Magazine is dedicated to sharing the events, news and adventure opportunities in The Sierra Mountains. From Lassen Volcanic National Park to the North down through the Central Sierra and the Lake Tahoe Basin through the rugged eastern slopes of Mono county and Yosemite National park to the southern tips near Sequoia National Park and the PCT trail. We invite you to share stories, trips, and photos from your adventures in the Sierra. Please join us on FacebookTwitter Google +  and YouTube or email us your events and photos at #goexplore

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