Features: Lake — Swimming — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
The trailhead is 16.5 miles east of Crane Flat on Tioga Road (Highway 120).
Starting from Tioga Road, you begin climbing uphill through red fir, white pine, and mountain hemlocks. The sun shines through the trees in this part of the trail, allowing for smaller plants to flourish in area, especially where water runs. The trail tops a saddle, and then begins its descent to a creek and meadow. The meadow is full of corn lilies, willows, and other wildflowers, making this a great run in the spring.
Due to meadow restoration, the trail that use to run northwest (right) side of Lukens Lake, shown on many maps, is closed now. Follow the trail to the southeast (left) side of Lukens Lake, hugging the treelike and meadow until you get to the lake. The lake is fairly shallow and warmer than most Sierra lakes, so it is great for swimming and fishing. There are good views of the lake and surrounding meadow from the far side of the lake.
Once you have enjoyed what the lake has to offer, you can return to your car or continue on the trail for another .5 mile as it descends to the White Wolf Trail
. You'll pass through several glacial moraines as you descend toward the Middle Tuolumne River
, which you'll need to rock hop, before reaching the end of the trail. From here you can turn left to go to White Wolf, or right to the Tens Lake region.
Due to all of the moisture and wildflowers in the area, mosquitoes can be plentiful, so make sure you bring mosquito repellent.
Camping is prohibited at Lukens Lake due to its proximity to Tioga Road.
Rainbow, brook, and brown trout populate the lake. Deer, coyotes, great gray owls, and ground squirrels have been seen in the area.
Wildflowers are plentiful in the meadow that surrounds the lake in the late spring or early summer.