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Follow the West Walker State Wild and Scenic River from Leavitt Meadow to Kirkland Pass.


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Map Key

17.7

Miles

28.5

KM

88%

Runnable

9,914' 3,022 m

High

7,117' 2,169 m

Low

3,390' 1,033 m

Up

2,059' 627 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Description

The trail starts at the bridge on the northern end of Leavitt Meadows Campground. Cross the bridge and turn south. The trail splits after a short while, the left fork will take you to Secret Lake, stay right to remain close to the West Walker River. Drop down to a very flat plain on the east bank of the river. The trail initially stays very close to the river, but the river eventually veers west as the trail continues south in almost a straight line. The slightly elevated routing of the trail provides for a spectacular view of Leavitt Meadows for the first 2 miles.

As you leave the meadow and head into more forested terrain, the trail also picks up on elevation. At 2.5 miles, Secret Lake Trail #47 joins again. Continue south past a sign board that explains the history of this trail. Pass Roosevelt Lake at 2.8 miles and Lane Lake at 3.3 miles. Both of them have good camp sites. The trail ascends gently but steadily from here. A switchback at roughly 5.8 miles offers a great view north back to Leavitt Meadows.

At 6 miles, a short spur trail leads to the other side of West Walker River to Hidden Lake. As you continue, the trail closely parallels the river again, with stunning views from above. At about 6.5 miles, a sign points towards the ford for livestock to reach the West Walker Cutoff Trail #22050. Continue south on the east bank, the recommended, shallower ford for hikers on route to Fremont Lake is about half a mile further. Beartrap Trail forks off at about 7.8 miles. The trail picks up on elevation gain afterwards until you reach Lower Piute Meadows. The trail stays fairly level of a while and passes the south end of West Walker Cutoff Trail #22050 at about 10 miles.

After Tower Lake Trail forks off at about 12 miles, you pass through Upper Piute Meadows. Soon after, the trail starts its relentless ascent towards Kirkland Pass. Stunning views await down the West Walk River drainage as well as the Buckeye Creek drainage. The trail descends through numerous zigzags on the east side of the pass, crosses North Fork Buckeye Creek and then joins the Buckeye Canyon Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

adrian lu with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#25285

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,601

in California

#25,285

Overall
18 Views Last Month
475 Since Aug 29, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Tower Peak from Kirkwood Pass
Jul 7, 2021 near Bridgeport, CA
View towards Leavitt Meadow
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
A peaceful section of the West Walker River.
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
West Walker River
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
A meadow south of Lane Lake
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
Roosevelt Lake
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA

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