Wrights Lake Campout October 2015

Wrights Lake

Wrights Lake, in the Crystal Basin, just outside of Desolation Wilderness, is beautiful this time of  year.  This lake is just west of Lake Tahoe.  Kate and I hadn’t been here in three years.  The first time I came here in 2011 with the RV, all the waters were flowing.  It was truly amazing seeing the water rushing over the granite.  Kate missed that trip so she has only seen it in drought years.  It’s still gorgeous.

It was a short trip, just the weekend with two nights here.  When we arrived on Friday we took the dogs and walked the trail around the lake.  Even though the lake was down, it wasn’t enough to take away from the view.  And its always nice to check out the cool cabins on the lake.  Lucky people, have 20 year leases from the USFS.   What a sweet scene they have.  We noticed many of the trees that had blown down a couple years ago during a huge windstorm.  Amazing how so many had actually been uprooted.   Much had been cleaned up but you could still see some of the devatation.

The second day, Saturday, we got up early and did our favorite hike up  into the granite and Twin Lakes.  Its about eight miles round trip and we decided Biggs could do it.  We brought both dogs and they didn’t disappoint us.  They were full of energy all the way till the end, but they did sleep quite well that night.   Clouds started coming in when we had lunch at our destination, and there was a forecast of rain possibly in the afternoon, so we headed back down right afterwards.  No rain, but better to be safe.  Total time was six hours, four hours walking time according to my  GPS.  Altitude at Twin Lakes is 8,000 feet.

Weather was perfect, with a chilly 35 degrees Friday night but warming to the 50s and 60s during the days.  Kate made some great hot toddies, Kathleen style, that were just perfect in the evening while we played Qwerkle.  The last night it rained and wind really howled, leaving me with visions of a tree or two coming crashing down on our camper.   We awoke to no problems and a clear morning, however.

This trip  I tried a feature on a new little Cannon camera I got (SX700 HS).  It captures a short 2-4 second video each time you shoot a still and then stitches  them together.  So I decided to make a video of our walk around the lake the first day, and then document our hike up to  Twin Lakes the second day.   Its really a pretty shitty video, so I added some music.  But my hope is that the viewer can get a bit of a feel for the hikes.  One problem I had was I didnt know when the camera did the the 4 second video; before, after or during the shot.  Turns out its before.  At any rate, any dialogue that you might pick up will, undoubtedly, be fractured and disjointed.   I think the pictures are better (farther down below) and most taken with my better camera, my Lumix FZ200, … but its only a five minute video so do check it out.

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

7 thoughts on “Wrights Lake Campout October 2015”

  1. loved it! looks like you all had a great time. plying one of our favorite games, that you recommended.
    Thinking it might be one of of the last trips this season.

    Happy Trails!


  2. Always fun to “armchair” travel/hike with your photos. Just beautiful cloud formations and lake reflections. So glad to hear that you were safe as we felt the storm here and it was powerful. The video cracked me up. Reminded me of some old black and white videos my aunt shot of us kids at Tahoe back in the 60’s. Thanks for the glimpse of this beautiful area. We will definitely go check it out.


  3. LOVE the stills. Got too nauseous after the first minute of video…sorry. Looks like a great trip! Jealous.

  4. Hi Geoff
    Thanks for always publishing the narrative & photos of your travels. It gives me an opportunity to see places & trips I will never get to experience in person. While the video had shortcomings, I thought it was great. Again it allowed me to experience the actual hikes you made much differently than with the photos. It’s like I actually was hiking the trails. Speaking of the trails, are they marked in any way? They looked kind of hard to follow. Both of your cameras sure take fine photos when you are composing all the shots. How long does it take you to drive to this super camping location? Keep up the publication of your neat camping trip travelogues & photos, I appreciate the great exposure they give me.
    Bro George
    Las Vegas

    1. Hey Geo… so glad you enjoy these. I am always anxious for you to see them. Next video I make will be much better, but what I wanted was just what you got, a chance to kinda go along for the hike. You are right, the trails can be rather difficult to follow on granite. That’s why people leave cairns, a pile of rocks to mark the trail. This time there were lots of cairns and even more rocks showing where the trail curved on the granite. I always bring my GPS with me because when I came here in 2011, I actually got off the trail and was lost. Not totally since I could just go downhill and eventually get somewhere near the campground. Luckily I saw some people on a ridge and yelled over to them and they pointed where i could pick up the trail. So hiking on granite is a constant process of paying attention and looking for cairns. Kate and I got off a couple times when we were talking and not paying attention. It takes about 2 hours, maybe a little less, to get to Wrights Lake. I am going to Jackson Meadows next week, its the final week its open this year. Now that one is only 1.5 hours away. Thanks for the thoughtful comments Bro.

  5. Vicki is right, the movie is hysterical. Reminds me also of my parents old home movies. 🙂
    Great trip! Thank you Geoffio

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