McConnell Lake Loop

Strawberry, California

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If you have the time and can handle the vertical miles, this may just be one of the most exciting, challenging, and beautiful hikes in the Tahoe region. Depart from Wrights Lake on Rockbound Trail and plan for a night between Lois and Schmidell after turning north on the Blakely Trail. Climb above Schmidell and begin a descending circuit to several inviting lakes on the McConnell Lake Trail, which (I’m certain) was built by, and not improved since, the Spanish conquistadores. Cross the nascent Rubicon River in Camper Flat and ascend the Rubicon Trail to its junction with Rockbound Trail leading up to Lake Doris. Return for a cold beverage at the trailhead.

McConnell Lake Loop Professional Review and Guide

"If you have the time and can handle the vertical miles, this may just be one of the most exciting, challenging, and beautiful hikes in the Tahoe region. Depart from Wrights Lake on Rockbound Trail and plan for a night between Lois and Schmidell after turning north on the Blakely Trail.

Climb above Schmidell and begin a descending circuit to several inviting lakes on the McConnell Lake Trail, which (I’m certain) was built by, and not improved since, the Spanish conquistadores. Cross the nascent Rubicon River in Camper Flat and ascend the Rubicon Trail to its junction with Rockbound Trail leading up to Lake Doris. Return for a cold beverage at the trailhead."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Strawberry
Distance: 26
Elevation Gain: 1,646 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 nights
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 McConnell Lake Loop

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May 2018