Desolation WildernessLakes

A quick look at Twin Lakes

(Last Updated On: March 7, 2015)

Twin Lakes is a dazzling alpine lake surrounded by the Sierra’s finest granite. It’s located roughly 3 miles from the Twin Lakes trailhead, which is on the northeast side of Wrights Lake. The trail is all uphill and rises nearly 1300 feet in elevation.

Upper Twin Lake
Upper Twin Lake


From Sacramento, head east on Highway 50 past Placerville. Roughly 4.5 miles east of the town of Kyburz is Wrights Road. Make a left onto Wrights Road and travel 8 miles north until you reach the Wrights Lake visitor’s center, which is located at a fork in the road.

Be cautious when driving on Wrights Road because it is very narrow and winding. There are spectacular views of the hills and Tahoe National Forest. Also, this road is usually closed in the winter due to heavy snow. You can also reach Wrights Lake via Ice House Road.

When reaching the visitor’s center, choose the road that splits to the right and travels roughly 2 miles along Wrights Lake. This will lead you to the Twin Lakes trailhead parking.

Another photo of Upper Twin Lake
Another photo of Upper Twin Lake


  • Get there early because the parking lot fills up fast
  • Bring sunscreen
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Bring bug spray
  • Bring a map if possible
  • Most of the trail is out in the sun
  • GPS if possible
  • Fill out Desolation Wilderness permit at trail map display
between twin lakes (1 of 1)
Between Upper and Lower Twin Lake

Twin Lakes Trailhead

Accessing these lakes requires you to park at the Twin Lakes trailhead and hiking roughly 3 miles. The trailhead has the following:

  • Bathroom
  • 15-20 parking spots
  • Garbage dumpsters
  • Trail map display 1/4 mile from parking area

Check out my experience hiking the Twin Lakes Trail.

Lower Twin Lake
Lower Twin Lake

Final Words

In the summertime, Twin Lakes is a great way to cool off after a moderately strenuous 3 mile hike. However, Twin Lakes is not very photogenic in the summer. If you are looking for more of a scenic capture, then I suggest going in the spring or late fall.

From Twin Lakes, you can explore several nearby lakes like Boomerang Lake, the popular Island Lake and Umpa Lake. All of these lakes are unique and all positioned with surrounding Sierra granite.

Check out more of my Desolation Wilderness adventures.

Another pic of Lower Twin Lake
Another pic of Lower Twin Lake


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After many years of being a full time freelance writer, and a long time resident of this state, I've decided to turn my full attention toward California by exploring all that it has to offer. My goal is to inspire you to get out there and explore this amazing state. Please follow my adventures and news content by visiting Calexplornia daily or clicking on one of my Social Media accounts below.

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