Lawrence Lake, Desolation Wilderness, backpacking

The jeep road to Lawrence Lake is paved in dust and oil

I almost forgot about backpacking this year. Monthly trips and a vacation to Mexico took up most of my time, in between frantic busyness at work. Finally getting on to the trail, I took friend Kelli on her first backpacking trip late into August.

Lawrence Lake in Desolation Wilderness was the only spot I could find overnight permits for, so we dared spending two nights. My first warning getting to the lake should have been the 4WD drive road to get there. I figured we’d pass a few jeeps, but rutted out roads and huge boulders along with extremely dusty conditions (think moon dust), caused us a lot of effort in getting there.

Sore and exhausted after arriving, swimming in chilly Lawrence Lake soothed a couple of overheated hikers.

After getting nary a wink of sleep, odd for Lawrence being around 8,000 feet, we groggily got up, made coffee and oats, watched the sunrise over the adjacent ridge and packed up for a quick day hike to nearby Lake #3.

The way up we debated the entire time about staying the second night or not. Having slept little and beat from the trail wasn’t super fun, though Kelli didn’t mind either way. A quick swim at Lake #3 was super refreshing, especially on the way back in the afternoon heat.

Back at camp, we pulled the trigger on ditching out second night. A little bitter sweet, since we packed enough for both nights, but decided not sleeping against wouldn’t be too fun; I was already exhausted from two night prior of the same. At least we saved a butterflies life. 


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