Winnemucca & Round Top Lakes Loop (kirkwood area)
level 3, 4.8 mi, +/-1200, 9365'
Duration:2.5 to 3 hours
We stayed at woods Lake Campground. We had a nice secluded site. The rate was $24 per night (btw, the place was clean – did a great job of trash pick-up and also the vault toilets were surprisingly not disgusting!). The trail guide sends you counter-clockwise to Round Top then Winnemucca lakes, but I strongly recommend you go clockwise and reverse the route. From the trail head parking ($5 per vehicle) walk down the main road toward the day use area at Woods lake, right on the left before you get to the lake you will see a wood bridge on the left – cross the bridge and go straight (right goes around the lake) – you’ll know you’re on the correct trail as you get a ways up and see the Mokelumne Forest signs. It’s a steady but gradual ascent for an hour to get to Winnemucca Lake. When you see the granite mt ahead of you with the lava mt behind them, know that you’ll be going around the granite and up between it and the lava on the backside – and when you look up and see the top of the granite mt, yes, you’ll be climbing to almost the very top elevation of that! From the trail post marker go right to Round Top Lake which is going to get you steadily up to the height of the granite mt ahead of you and on the right The lake is at the base of the lava mts which are Sisters and Round Top Peaks. The trail was pretty populated but there was shade at both lakes enough for everyone to share. There was plenty of water on this hike for the dogs even in August. After stopping at Round Top Lake for lunch and relaxation, we went right at the trail post and down – yes down – that’s why I say to go clockwise, this part of the trail is much steeper and rockier than the other side, and out of the cool breezes at the top. You’ll go down for about an hour, passing lost cabin mine (just rusted remnant of an old mine) and eventually get back to the trail head parking lot