Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell

Kyburz, California

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“Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell” sounds so friendly and gentle, with a poetic ring to it, but this hike is the opposite of easy. The name of the trail— Rockbound—should be your first clue. Bound on the left, the right, and to the front by granite (more likely, granodiorite), every step is on rock and more rock. Or so it seems. From either trailhead, gain the Rockbound Trail, which raises you from 6,800 feet to 8,600 feet in 6 miles. The shine of the polished granite is interrupted by sluggish erratics, determined conifers, and stealthy wildflowers. Climb to Rockbound Pass and look out over Rockbound Valley from the crest of the Crystal Range. A short descent on the Blakely Trail brings you to beautiful Lake Lois for a peaceful night beneath an open sky.

Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell Professional Review and Guide

"“Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell” sounds so friendly and gentle, with a poetic ring to it, but this hike is the opposite of easy. The name of the trail— Rockbound—should be your first clue. Bound on the left, the right, and to the front by granite (more likely, granodiorite), every step is on rock and more rock. Or so it seems.

From either trailhead, gain the Rockbound Trail, which raises you from 6,800 feet to 8,600 feet in 6 miles. The shine of the polished granite is interrupted by sluggish erratics, determined conifers, and stealthy wildflowers. Climb to Rockbound Pass and look out over Rockbound Valley from the crest of the Crystal Range. A short descent on the Blakely Trail brings you to beautiful Lake Lois for a peaceful night beneath an open sky."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Kyburz
Distance: 18.2
Elevation Gain: 1,646 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 10 hours (overnight)
Season: Depends on snow; permits required for day hiking and overnight camping.
Trailhead Elevation: 6,954 feet
Top Elevation: 8,600 feet
Local Contacts: Eldorado National Forest, Pacifi c Ranger District, 530-644-2349, www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado
Local Maps: Desolation Wilderness (Wilderness Press)
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell

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May 2018