Woods Lake and Campground
Woods Lake Road off of Highway 88
Eldorado National Forest
Kirkwood, California 95646
Local Phone: (530) 295-5624
Shhh! This gem of a campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis between May and October, snow levels permitting, and getting in is no simple feat, especially in July and August. Midweek is your best bet. Bring a coat no matter what month you visit; at 8,200 feet elevation, it's always cold at night.
The small lake (no motorboats allowed) is set among Ponderosa pines at the end of a winding, two-mile road off of Highway 88 near Carson Pass. The main attraction for hikers is location, location, location. The trailhead for one of the prettiest hikes in the Northern Sierra is here, and by camping a day or two before you'll be acclimated to tackle the huffer-puffer portions of the trail. Hike the loop in a clockwise direction for quick reward with views of Little Round Top, a volcanic peak specked with snow well into late summer. You can turn back at Little Round Top Lake for a three-mile loop or continue on to Lake Winnemucca for a six-mile excursion. Bring hiking poles to test the depth of snow patches that can persist well into summer during wet years.
The Round Top-Winnemucca loop is in the rugged, 105,165-acre Mokelumne Wilderness. Dogs must be leashed or under immediate voice control. Please remember to pick up after your pet!
Campground fee is $22 per night.
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