Forest Service staff, at the Big Bend Visitor Center, informed me that the Upper Loch Leven Lake is open with some patches of snow and some water running down the trail. Otherwise, the trail is open and clear for hiking; according to the USFS the ridge (where the lakes are located) is totally clear of snow and only the wooded areas have snow patches as of today June 30, 2010. So please be prepared and equipped to deal with patches of snow and water on the trail during our hike to Upper Loch Leven Lake on Saturday. This should be a beautiful hike and well worth our effort.
This is a fairly strenuous hike but please don't let that scare you off
Duration: +4 hours
Distance: Upper Loch Leven, 8 miles (out and back)
Elevation Change: 5,680 to 6,850 (1,070 feet)
USFS Loch Leven Trail Map
Special Note: I stop often to take photos and enjoy the scenery during my hikes so please note that this hike will be at a reasonable pace. Also, consideration should be given to hikers of all abilities on this hike so when car pooling please take this into consideration. This will ensure an enjoyable time for everyone involved.
The trail begins one-eighth mile east of Big Bend Visitor Center on old U.S. 40 (Big Bend exit off Interstate 80). A restroom is available at the trailhead. The trail begins across the road from the parking area.
The Loch Leven trail leaves the South Yuba river canyon, crossing the ridge above to reach the glacially formed Loch Leven lakes chain, small bowls in the granite.
The trail works its way upward on a moderately steep grade to the southwest to the Union Pacific Rail Road tracks, then trends southeasterly. Granite outcroppings and glacial erratics are numerous along the first portion of the route, and the trail can be difficult to follow on the bare rock sections. As the trail ascends, it crosses minor hogbacks and depressions, generally trending upward.
Near the railroad tracks, a small bridge spans a creek that flows swift and cold in early season. The railroad tracks are on the original 1860's route of the Central Pacific railroad, built by hand with Chinese labor, and it remains a major freight and passenger route in and out of California. After crossing the tracks, the trail becomes steeper, going from 6,000’ to 6,800’ in 1.25 miles. At the top of the ridge, the trail descends gradually into the Loch Leven lakes basin. The trail in the basin is primarily level, but follows the topography.
Please remember to bring:
- A positive and adventurous attitude
- Plenty of water
- snacks and a lunch as we will eat and relax at Upper Loch Leven lake
- Appropriate clothing (bring your lightweight rain slicker in case of an autumn afternoon thunder storm) and shoes
- Mosquito repellent
- Sunscreen and hat
For more information contact Dale Price @ (916)[masked] or by e-mail @ [masked].