|Round Top Lake and The Sisters, Sierra Nevada, California|
|Path to Round Top|
The near-timberline Round-Top-Lake area is reached by either ascending from the Woods Lake Campground or from Winnemucca Lake. Taking the Winnemucca route, you need to cross the outlet at the northwest corner of Winnemucca Lake, from where you will hike the one-mile-long trail to Round Top Lake.The trail ascends across open slopes to a granite ridge. From the ridge crest, you will head west between shrubs and occasional whitebark pines until Round Top Lake comes into view.
On a warm summer day, you will find hikers and backpackers taking a break in the meadows around the blue-green lake. Others may attempt to climb to the top of Round Top, by taking the path next to Round Top Lake's inlet—shown in the right-side picture above. This unsigned trail leads to a saddle between Round Top and the east Sister. From there, magnificent panoramic views will be enjoyed, whether you manage to continue your summit climb or start your return.
Round Top lake is a cirque lake (see, for example, Round Top Geologic Area), carved out of the bedrock underneath an Ice Age glacier, whose tremendous weight forced it downhill from its position between and aside Round Top and The Sisters.
Geographic Keywords: alpine lakes, extinct volcanoes, Eldorado National Forest, Mokelumne Wilderness, Carson Pass Management Area, California.