Rockbound-Highland-Aloha Loop

October 18, 2019 · Desolation Wilderness

One more trek before the snow gets too deep!


40 mi

Elevation gain

8,530 ft


3 days

The trail

Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.

Fri Oct


An early start

KP is a saint -- fresh off Phil Collins, he wakes up at 4:30 to retrieve John and me and drive us into the wilderness. I may have overslept. We arrive to Wrights Lake before 9am, not a soul to be found, and start the ~13 mile trek from the Twin Lakes trailhead, up Rockbound Pass, around Lake Schmidell (pronunciation still up for debate), and finally to beautiful Highland Lake, the final stretch a bit off-trail. We stop for lunch at Lake Doris and learn of John's love for trail pizza. Gets a bit cold and windy as the sun goes down, but spirits are high and vices are had. I even share my instant mashed potatoes. So far so good.

Sat Oct


Let's get some miles!

We're up and hit the trail around 9am again. We briefly lose John. Some light precipitation begins to fall as we make our way to the northeast side of the wilderness, new territory for the full group, and it's a beauty. After an epic climb up Dick's Peak, we finally arrive to Lake Aloha, happy to find a campsite that's reasonably protected from the wind where we can rest our weary feet and toss sticks for Stani. Some say we traveled 17 miles that day. Others closer to 20. Regardless it sure felt good, the full picture of the wilderness coming into scope. As the sun sets, we're treated to a beautiful show of clouds and color.

Sun Oct


I lied we were done climbing

We get an even earlier start and make our way back to the car, 13-15 miles to cover. It's a bit warmer. I say most of the climbing is behind us, but that's not entirely true. John eats his last two slices of pizza. KP shares more lemon drops. We savor the trip as long as we can, happy to have seen so much of the area. We will be back.

Need help packing?

You might find the following lists helpful while packing for a trip like this.

Trip posted by Andrew