Saturday, September 8, 2012

From Lower to High Loch Leven Lake

The Lower Loch Leven Lake is the first in reach on a hike from the Hampshire Rocks Rd. trailhead out of the South Yuba River Canyon to the Loch Leven Lakes. From the trail junction at the shore of the lower loch, a marked trail branches off to Salmon Lake, while the Loch Leven Trail continues over Little Granite Creek and winds through rocky landscape to Middle Loch Leven Lake.

In summer you will find overnighters at the campsites along the shore of the middle lake. The trail follows the lakeshore to the south tip, where the Cherry Point Trail begins at another junctions. From this junction head east-northeast for about 0.7 miles to get to High Loch Leven Lake after a short climb and walk over bare rock sections. A sign says you are at an elevation of 6920 feet. Take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery of granite cliffs and slopes, which are lined and interspersed by heather, bushes and conifers (picture on top: looking northwest from the south shore). Weather permitting, get ready for a swim or for sunbathing on one of the granite slabs and sprinkled rocks in the clear, blue water of the lake.

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