Tree, Poison Flat, Carson Iceberg Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Yellow Flower
Crag Lake in early morning.
Water lilies on South side of Crag Lake

 

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The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

Backpacking to
Crag Lake out of Meeks Bay

Backpacking North Desolation Wilderness

 

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Trail guide section index

North
TYT


Lake Genevieve

South
TYT


Stony
Ridge
Lake


Topo Map
Meeks
Bay
to
Dicks
Lake

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Elevations
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Desolation Wilderness Trail Guide

North Shore of Crag Lake

4.77 miles South of Meeks Bay Trailhead

Crag Lake looks like it is sitting in the granite lap of Peak 9054.

 

Meeks Bay to Dicks Pass
15 minute Backpacking Map
Desolation Wilderness
30 minute Backpacking Map

Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Backpacking Miles and Elevations

 

Crag Lake is the second lake in the chain of lakes following the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South out of Meeks Bay.

Crag Lake appears after a very brief .4 mile hike South up from Lake Genevieve, on the way up to Phipps Pass.

Walking South .58 of a mile brings us to the South Shore of Crag Lake and the trail branching off to our Southbound Right, Southwest by the compass, to Hidden Lake.

miles and elevations

Peak 9054 beyond Crag Lake, Desolation Wilderness.

Crag Lake before the first rays of morning light

Looking Southeast across Crag Lake at Peak 9054.

Hidden Lake sits at the base of the rock terrain rising up to Peak 9054.

The Desolation Trail is a good entry point for backpacking trips across the 30 mile length of the Desolation Wilderness.

Video
Peak 9054 behind Crag Lake in morning light

Crag Lake, Desolation Wilderness. Duration 1:37.

The whisper of wind rippling across the crystal blue waters of Crag Lake produced a stunningly serene visual effect, barely caught in the still pictures.

Desolation Wilderness

Meeks Bay to Crag Lake

Crag Lake

Elevation
7440 feet

+1201
above Meeks Bay trail head

Mileage

4.77 miles from Meeks Bay trail head

4.11 miles to Phipps Pass climbing 1360 feet

Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Backpacking Miles and Elevations

comments or questions?

Peak 9054 well frames Crag Lake
Desolation Wilderness

Peak 9054, Crag Lake, Desolation Wilderness.

A calm morning along the chain of Lakes between Lake Genevieve and Phipps Pass presents a series of stunning reflective lakes.

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Interesting sights on the South Side of Crag Lake, Desolation Wilderness

The South Shore of Crag Lake

From a distance it appeared the South side of Crag Lake had a rumpled green cover over part of the lake. Hiking past showed the green to be a layer of Water Lilies. Very pretty. Very relaxing. A gentle upgrade brings us across soft trails through this chain of lakes.

comments, experiences, information?

Lilly Pad on Crag Lake?, Desolatio wilderness Yes, Lilly pads on Crag Lake, Desolation Wilderness
Above: lilies on Crag Lake? Above: Yes, Water Lilies on Crag Lake
Yes, Lillies on Crag Lake
Above and Below: There's something hypnotic about Lilies, and Desolation Wilderness is full of entrancing Surprises.
The Lilly Pad patch
Every step brings another relaxing scene in the Desolation Wilderness

A fine Series of Terrains
In a very brief time and short distance from the Meeks Bay Trailhead we have passed through a series of divergent terrains since departing the Meeks Bay Trail Head.

Along a dry sandy meadow-side trail to the ridge, through dry forest into a little temperate zone, and now into this narrow valley containing a chain of lakes.

The series of sights, sounds, smells and feelings along these first miles on the trail are a fine sensory transition from "civilized" to natural environment.

Walking South .58 of a mile brings us to the South Shore of Crag Lake and the trail branching off to our Southbound Right, Southwest by the compass, to Hidden Lake.

To the South End of the Valley

Genevieve and Crag Lakes are at roughly the same altitude in the bottom of this valley. Passing around the North Shore of Crag Lake we begin climbing towards the Hidden Lake trail junction, which marks the beginning of a gentle ramp in the terrain up past Shadow Lake, off to our Southbound Left, North, with Hidden Lake to our South, Right, as we begin our hike up to Stony Ridge Lake wedged into the upper end of this valley of lakes.

Both lakes are effectively hidden by the shape of the terrain and forest cover from the trail.

Desolation Wilderness

Meeks Bay to Crag Lake to Phipps Pass

Crag Lake
Elevation
7440 feet

+1201
above Meeks Bay trail head

Meeks Bay to Dicks Pass
15 minute Backpacking Map

Mileage

4.77 miles from Meeks Bay trail head

4.11 miles to Phipps Pass
climbing
1360 feet

miles and elevations

comments or questions?

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Desolation Wilderness
Lake Genevieve to Phipps Pass

From Meeks Bay trail head to Phipps Pass we will be climbing a total of 2561 feet of vertical elevation over 8.88 miles of distance.
Note that only 400 feet of this elevation rise occurs hiking the 2.23 miles from Lake Genevieve to the South side of Stony Ridge Lake.

Crag Lake is the second in the series of lakes along the TYT to Phipps Pass.

As the area between Lake Genevieve to Stony Ridge Lake represents the last relatively flat places before we begin climbing towards Phipps Pass at the South end of Stony Ridge Lake, we may want to stop at this scenic location for a snack or a bit of lunch, depending on our plans.

Crag Lake is 4.77 miles South of Meeks Bay Trailhead
&
it is 4.11 miles further South from Crag Lake to Phipps Pass.

Topo Hiking Map: Meeks to Dicks Pass     Topo Hiking Map: Genevieve to Phipps Pass

 

Miles and Elevations

 

Next page
Stony Ridge Lake1

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North: Lake Genevieve                                                                      South: Stony Ridge Lake

Tip:
The Ups and Downs of Backpacking the High Sierras

This trail guide, like the High Sierras, divides itself into ups and downs.

We are generally doing one or the other, and the distances between peaks and valleys is going to be important in determining what we are up against every day, and therefore how many miles we can reasonably expect to backpack that day.

The miles we can reasonably expect to hike each day will be instrumental in determining where we are going to camp every night, and ultimately this information will determine how many days it will take us to cover a given distance. This in turn determines your proper food load.

For instance, the Desolation Trail from the Meeks Bay trailhead to Phipps Pass rises 2561 feet of elevation in 8.88 miles. This would not be a difficult incline if it was taken in one constant grade. But it is not.
The Trail from the first trail junction after Meeks Bay to Genevieve consists of a constant gentle upgrade. From Genevieve through Stony Ridge Lake are a set of steps upward, each separated by a flat holding one of the chain of lakes that the Desolation Trail follows past Crag Lake, on to the South end of Stony Ridge Lake.

From Stony Ridge Lake a set of steep switchbacks leads us up to Rubicon Lake, and shortly thereafter to Phipps Pass.

Each trail guide page will list the elevation for the location, the mileage back to the trailhead or important previous trail junctions, and the mileage from that location to the top of the next crest or the bottom of the next valley.

I am hopeful this approach will help you accurately plan and effectively execute your trips.

Backpacking Topo Map: Meeks to Dicks Pass                Backpacking Topo Map: Genevieve to Phipps Pass

Mileage and Elevations

next:
Stony Ridge Lake

Hiking North

Lake Genevieve

North and South trail guide compass.

Hiking South

Stony Ridge Lake

Backpacker Forums

Post it on
TahoetoWhitney.Org
The Backpacker's Forum.

Welcome to Tahoe to Whitney
The link above brings us to the Front Page of the High Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums. Below we break the forums down into its basic categories:

High Sierra Trails High Sierra Topics

Anyone can post text comments in the existing forums, but only members can post up new topics, along with images, maps, and formatting.

Become a Member

As we addressed some gear issues on the page above,
these forums are pertinent:

TahoetoWhitney
GEAR
Forum
TahoetoWhitney
BACKPACKER'S
Forum

If you have experiences, comments, questions, trip reports, trail conditions updates or pictures and/or videos of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from Meeks Bay to Lake Genevieve, and camping around Lake Genevieve and up the valley, post up your images, experiences, notes, and advice here as an unknown hiker or as a member:

Section
Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Segment
Crag Lake

North: Lake Genevieve                                                                               South: Stony Ridge Lake

Trailhead

Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Frosted Backpack

Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

Snug tent after Snow Storm
© Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail