Geological Significance · Lake · Views · Wildflowers
Closed as of 9/10/2020 due to wild fires.
Need to Know
Parking is free, the closest toilets and water are at Lake Alpine. On busy weekends expect lots of traffic on the narrow road near the lake.
Some difficult sections on the steep part leading down from the ridge and when the cattle are pressent the trail may have lots of loose rocks and may be hard to follow with "false" trails made by the cows.
Starting at the Woodchuck Basin dirt parking area off Hwy 4, (elev. ~7800') the trail takes you through a nice wooded section opening up to great views of the cliff face of the ridge above. The next section is open and exposed but the well-marked trail allows easy ascent to the crest of the ridge with great views all around.
You then begin a steep descent to the lake and will likely encounter grazing cattle. I was surprised to learn that the area is used for summer pasture even though it's inside the Mokelumne Wilderness. Unless you enjoy lots of "cow pies" and running on torn up trails, the rest of this run may be a disappointment. And the cows are in the lake too, which might otherwise be an inviting place for a refreshing alpine swim.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers, birds and chipmonks for sure. Deer and black bears possibly but most will avoid the area when the cattle and cowboys are around.
Shared By: Keith Connor