By Jon Crowley
I rounded up a few friends who just so happened to also have purchased some of my previous builds and we did a day trip into Barrett Lake in the high Sierra’s near Lake Tahoe.
Barrett Lake OHV Trail (12N77) lies in the Sierra Nevada near the famous Rubicon Trail. The Barrett Lake Trailhead is located at Dark Lake just North of Wrights Lake and 8 miles north of Highway 50. The Barrett Lake OHV Trail is rated by some to be tougher than the Rubicon because there are no bypasses or alternate routes around tougher sections of trail. The trail is a dead-end, so you leave the way you came in and it is about 6 miles long.
The trail is closed for most of the year and only open once it has dried out. Typically only open for the summer months. Eldorado Forest has information on trail status or you can call 530-644-6048.
The gate at the trail head keeps overly wide rigs out. Our Can-Am Maverick X3 (72-inches wide) had no problem getting through.
Here is a time lapse video we took on our way out from Barrett Lake back to the trail head at Dark Lake.
Here is the bridge that was installed in 2013 to help avoid a sensitive meadow near Desolation Wilderness area. The trail is in an environmentally sensitive area running on the border of Desolation Wilderness. Deviating from the established trail, driving onto Desolation Wilderness land or walking onto Desolation Wilderness without a permit has and will result in heavy forest service fines.
This is the “Rock Garden”, which is one of the tougher obstacles on the trail. This video is taken on the way back out.
The trail ends at the Barrett Lake Campground. The campground is a primitive campground with no conveniences. You will need plenty of fresh water unless you plan to purify the lake water. While at the campground please do not park or camp on the lake shore and please observe all posted boundary signs, please pack out all your trash when you leave.
The trail is often closed without notice due to inclement weather. The open/closed posting on this page reflect seasonal closure, not daily closure. It is suggested you contact Eldorado National Forest for current trail information. One of the contact numbers for the Eldorado Forest Service is 530-647-5415. They are usually there from 8 am to 5 pm, weekdays. You should stop at the Forest Service Office on the way in and pick up a wilderness permit and check on fire permit requirements and restrictions.
Parking with trailers is very limited and you will need to disconnect your trailer and park in a slot separate from your truck.
Our latest Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC build
Dave’s 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo
Rich’s 2017 Polaris RZR XP Turbo
John’s 2018 Polaris RZR XP Turbo Dynamix Edition