By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
Summertime brings us chances to do rock crawling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Besides the Rubicon which is our local favorite, we also love the run into Barrett Lake.
Barrett Lake Trail 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 Jeep 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.
I joined up with Mike and his son with their RZR XP4 Turbo, Miguel and his son in their Teryx4 and Rick jumped in with me in our Polaris GENERAL.
The Barrett Lake Jeep Trail (12N77) is only open for a few months during the late summer and in extremely wet years will not open at all. Check with US Forest Service, Eldorado National Forest for trail status (or check online at Eldorado Forest OHV Trail Status). Vehicles must be narrow enough to pass through this gate at the start of the trail (about 82″ between posts).
Our Polaris GENERAL
At the end of the trail, Barrett Lake lies at over 7500 feet in elevation. Although camping is allowed, we just stopped for lunch and headed back out. There are some hikes that start along the trail and also from Barrett Lake so if you camp and want to explore it is definitely something to check out.
Miguel and his son in our old Kawasaki Teryx4
The trail lies in an environmentally sensitive area on the border ofDesolation Wilderness. Deviating from the established trail, driving onto Desolation Wilderness land or walking onto Desolation Wilderness without a permit has and will result in forest service fines. Please Tread Lightly so the trail will remain open for future generations.
Mike and his son in their RZR XP4 Turbo
Camping is allowed at Barrett Lake. Please pack it in and pack it out. There are no facilities.
There is very limited space for parking at the trailhead where there is just a small loop. I would recommend a small trailer or in the back of a truck if you can do it. You can drop your UTV off at the trailhead and park the trailer over near Wrights Lake. It can be a bit of a hassle, but the trail is worth it. Be aware that if you bring a trailer, Forest service expects you to only take one parking space per vehicle or trailer. We received a warning for taking too much space…