Desolation Wilderness: Cup Lake

Email: sixmhz@yahoo.com

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Trip Mileage: approximately 8 miles

We drove out from the city on Friday night after work to get a head start the next morning. Although we passed by several campgrounds, all seemed to be completely full. We ended up camping on the side of the road. We hit the trail up to Cup Lake around 8 AM I think. If you take one look at the topo map, and you'll know why not too many people go there. Two miles of trails and two miles of off trail, steep climb from 5000 ft to over 9000 ft in altitude. So basically you just keep going up until you can't get any higher. And set up at the top of the peak like volcano with clear blue water as lava, you have Cup Lake. Cup lake is one of the few homes to the rare Golden Trout. This fish is found only in a few of the alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and its snow melt tributaries. The 'volcano' that cup lake is set inside also has very steep slopes, with only one place to camp nearby. Since the Desolation Wilderness has a quota system, we had the entrie lake to ourselves. Up on the ridge on the north side of this catch basin, some amazing views are possible. You can see a large portion of the park and even to Lake Tahoe. Fishing for golden trout is tough, they don't seem to eat anything. We did manage to pull in two of them, one for me and one for Brent, they were quite tasty. We spent two nights at Cup Lake and saw only one other person. That place was really beatiful, I'll have to go back there soon.

Last updated: 04/03/05
Copyright 2005, Greg Miller
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