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Shealor Lake Professional Review and Guide
"A short trail leads to an attractive lake: a fine destination for a picnic lunch, a refreshing dip on a hot summer day, or a great place to skip rocks.From the trailhead, you climb gently through a mixed forest of lodgepole pines, white firs, and Jeffrey pines until a more moderate ascent leads into an area of granite slabs and boulders and more widely scattered conifers. A pair of short switchbacks lead over an open ridge with excellent views of Silver Lake and Thunder Mountain to the east and Shealor Lake tucked into its basin below."
--Mike White, Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region (Wilderness Press).
Just went for an nice overnight trip to Shealor Lake. The current actual trail is not the same as shown on this guide. This guide shows the older trail, which is not currently maintained (we used GPS to hike the actual trail shown in this guide the month before). The current trail is a shorter, more direct path, and is well-marked. It is steep & rocky in a couple of places--my wife needed to use her hands & feet to negotiate the trail safely at those spots--but most of the trail is not that steep.
Lovely trail across a massive granitic/volcanic mount down to the lake.
Not sure why it's listed as being best from Jul-Aug, but I thought June was beautiful. Clouds and thunderheads do gather in the afternoon in the Sierras in early summer, but a morning hike here was awesome. Lot's of wildlowers across the scrabble and in the granite fissures. I actually saw Lewisia spp. which is hard to catch due to it's very short blooming period before disappearing completely.
More than half the trail is readily apparent, with the rest being pretty well marked with cairns (small stone piles) on the open granite. That being said, it would be easy to get off trail if not paying attention, which is easy to do with the fantastic views!
I think the overall elevation change listed is probably correct based on the starting and ending elevation, however, the trail rises to a ridgeline (7680+) and then drops down to the lake (7200), making the total change over 400.
Will definitely do this one again when I just need a short outing.
This is a beautiful trail that offers lovely views of Silver Lake on one side and Shealor lakes on the other. I too must disagree with the difficulty rating for this trail. I would say moderate is more accurate. The trail has loose soil/rocks and gravel and quite steep on the return trip from Shealor Lake.
Nice hike above tree line with great open views. It is a rocky trail with some stair steps here and there but not hard to traverse. The wife and I are 59 and had no trouble nor our Dachshound. Easy access, near Silver Lake facilities bar and restaurant.
This is a great trail, but i disagree when they say easy. This is def a moderate trail with some difficult terrain. You have a good climb going both directions, often over granite and the trail comes and goes. But once you get to the top, the summit views are amazing and the lake was isolated, swimable and beautiful. There were a few places of shade, but this is mainly a sunny trail. This is not a trail for small kids or for adults with knee or climbing problems. My daughter struggled all the way back up. Great for an in shape hiker who wants a view, peaceful atmosphere and a good hike.
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