Rockbound Trailhead to Highland Lake

July 30, 2016 · Desolation Wilderness


28.3 mi

Elevation gain

5,955 ft


2 days



The trail

Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.

Sat Jul


Early Morning Drive, Lakes, and Waterfalls

I sort of planned this one a little too late to get any interest from the other Scouts, so I headed off on a solo trip (does it count as a Dece Scouts Trip?).

I was on the road by 6am and was at the trailhead by 10 (I had to stop for about 40 minutes to sleep along the way). I think it's worth doing an early morning start in the future, because the traffic was wonderful.

This was probably one of the most scenic and consistently beautiful trails I've been on in a while. I passed by many lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery all the while on well made trails. It was also one of the most grueling hikes I've been on. Lots of elevation gain and loss, and the distance was intense. The further along the trail I went, the harder it became. The final stretch up to Highland Lake was essentially a trail-less scramble. It was totally worth it though, because I had the lake all to myself.

After an Advil, dinner, and a swim, I laid in my tent and rested my legs.

Sun Jul


Meadow filtering and a long drive

The hike back was a bit quicker, but there was still lots of elevation gain and loss involved. I stopped by Lake Lois for a snack and to purify some water. It was nice to sit in a little meadow and pump water out of a stream. There were a few people fishing in the lake. I was glad that I put the effort into going all the way to Highland Lake to get the solitude that I love so much during these backpacking trips.

I was back at the car at 11:30am. The drive back was not nearly a quick. I got dumped into heavy traffic almost instantly. After a 5 hour drive I was back in the city. Next time I'll stay another night and drive back in the early morning.

Preparing for this trip

Here is some information that comes in handy when preparing for this trip like this.

Trip posted by KP