Daniel Bittman

Crown Lake 2021

Sadly, this trip was cut short due to smoke from two different fires, one near Lake Tahoe, and one in Yosemite, causing us a lot of smoke trouble. But it was still really fun and I'd love to return.

Trailmap for our route starting at Twin Lakes.

Day 1

Day 1 (red line on the map) started from Twin Lakes and ended at Crown Lake. It's a bit of a trek at 8.5 miles gaining around 3,000 feet, with a few pretty tough uphill runs. The first one, just before Barney lake, isn't too bad, but after Barney there are some steep switchbacks.

First day has a nice gentle start.

Pretty exposed though.

Barney Lake is a great lunch spot. You don't often see beaches like this in the mountains.

Crown Lake has good camping in the middle, but we were aiming for a different spot (and the middle was taken anyway). If you go past it, there's a great spot up the stream that forms the inlet to the lake. Nice and shady with easy water access.

Day 2

We made a day hike up to Snow Lake and then up to the pass. Pretty easy day, especially after the first day.

Steep short climb up to Snow Lake.

We saw so many little frogs in the grass.

The other side of the pass has a wonderful stream.

We walked "fifteen minutes" over to this saddle to overlook Rock Island Lake.

Day 3

On the third day, we woke up and the smoke had gotten really bad. I was coughing a lot, and it was generally oppressive, so we decided to hike out early. Fortunately it was downhill most of the way so we weren't breathing too hard.

This is a pretty easy trip, and can be made even more beginner friendly by adding a stop at Barney lake if you're tired.