A Day Hike to Leavitt Lake

posted Aug 27, 2017, 10:16 PM by Paul Wagner
This past weekend we went up to our cabin near Twain Harte, and managed to get in a day hike to Leavitt Lake.  We'd always been curious about this trail, since it is also a 4x4 road, and we wondered if we could drive it in our 2WD Escape.  Either way, it's a very good route into the upper reaches of both the Emigrant and Hoover Wildernesses.  So we decided to hike it and find out exactly what it was like. 

We found at that the road is really pretty rough.  We certainly saw standard 4WD SUVs taking this road slowly but surely.  But we didn't see anyone with a 2WD do the same thing.  It's not bad for the first third (a bit less than a mile) but once you cross a creek, it gets steep, rocky, and pretty rough.  We were glad we chose to hike it rather than test our driving skills.

That said, it's a really nice hike to the lake.  The views are wonderful, and there are creek crossings, meadows, peaks, ancient trees...everything you'd want in a nice Sierra day hike.  And at the end of it, you get Leavitt Lake.  

Yes, there were maybe 10 4WD vehicles scattered about, and we met about ten cars on the road during our hike, but it was still a nice way to spend a summer day, and we're glad we did it.  

We're also glad that we now know exactly how hard it would be to take this trail up to the PCT.  It's less than 4 miles total to the PCT. and since it's an old road, it is pretty well graded without major steep climbs.  It's already on our list of places we're going to hike next year. 

And at least one of those 4x4s did us a nice favor.  After we had walked around the lake, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the outlet stream.  Yes, we could have waded it (it was too big to hop across) but a nice guy from Jamestown gave us a quick 75 foot lift in his 4X4 through the ford.  Apparently, he lives down the hill in Jamestown, and his family makes the Galvan fly reels.  Nice to know....

On our way home, we stopped to explore a bit of Highway 108 and its
surroundings.  It's a beautiful highway, with lots of intriguing things to stop and see...but often we're too focused on where we are going to stop and look.  This time, we looked.  We found waterfalls, granite peaks, a section of the old Emigrant Trail on the far side of the canyon, and a forest fire slowly burning away on the way home...

Just about a perfect day in the Sierra.

Here's the usual link to the rest of the photos: