Friday, September 14, 2012

Shealor Lake Trail

The Shealor Lakes wilderness in the Eldorado National Forest embeds four small alpine lakes surrounded by steep granite cliffs, hillsides, canyons and ridges with shrubs and conifers. It is a great summer hang-out to look for wildflowers and insect life such as pretty face and bluet damselflies.

Manzanitas, white and red firs, Jeffrey and lodgepole pines and Sierra junipers are plants that you will see along the trail and on the slopes. After a short gentle climb through mixed forest and rock sections, the steep descend to the first of the lakes follows various switchbacks down the granite slope. Most visitors do not hike past the first lake, where they get ready for a picnic and even a dip into the lake water. If you adventure further and climb the opposite granite slopes, you will find colorful lichens. The vistas are amazing, both from the lakeshores to the granite ridges as well as from the tops into the lake and canyon sides.

Getting to Shealor Lake Trailhead
The trailhead is on the west side of Highway 88 between the north and south end of Silver Lake. An information board at the trailhead lists eleven Highway 88 Corridor Trails. According to this board, the 1.5-mile-long Shealor Lake Trail (one way) is classified as moderate and open for hiking and horse riding. Dogs and mountain bikes are given an OK in Mike White's Afoot & Afield hiking guide (Trip 25 in Kit Carson Country). The elevation of the parking area is about 7440 feet, while the lake levels are 200 to 400 feet lower. Every source highlights this hike and outdoor attraction as an enjoyable experience for kids.

Keywords: trail map, nature, wildlife, outdoors, hiking, swimming, Sierra Nevada, California.

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