Take Highway 88 to Caples Lake. Shortly after passing the lake, turn right to go to Woods Lake. Parking starts before you get to the lake. There is now a $3.00 fee to park. Get there early. This trail is open by mid-July. The flower display is best from late July through mid August.
Sierra Club: 1B Approximately four miles and 1200 feet of elevation gain. This hike starts at nearly 8200’ and tops out near 9400’. Start slow and be aware of elevation sickness. Head ache, nausea, faintness are early signs…go back down if these symptoms occur.
What to Bring
The 10 essentials: Hat, Water, Sunscreen, Lunch, Map, Pack, Whistle, Flashlight, Moleskin, Pocket knife. A camera is a must! Consider a friend or two to share the beauty.
Start by crossing the bridge over the creek near the picnic area. You will start out through a lightly wooded area. Flowers are nice here, but only a taste of what is further up. Soon you will pop out of the trees. Walking along the bottom of an ascending ridge, you follow the creek on your right. STOP! Look up along the ridge. Purple Lupine and red Indian Paint Brush are the first flowers to grab your vision. However as you look closer, numerous other species are abundant. As you climb toward Lake Winnamucca, the creek has a series of small cascades and pools, adding to the joy.
Lake Winnamucca is your first destination. You may be ready for a snack here or you can wait until cresting the saddle above. Some hardy souls will take a dip in the very c-o-o-o-o-l water here. Continuing up at the base of Round Top Mountain, new flowers appear. Use them as an excuse to stop and catch your breathe periodically. A short jaunt up into the rocky ridge to the right of the trail will reveal a nice view of Caples Lake and the surrounding area.
Round Top Lake is the next stop. From here you will take the trail to the right. This will take you back to Woods Lake. There are still some bursts of flowers as you follow the creek. You will see some old mining equipment belonging to the Lost Cabin Mine. A short, but steep run down the hillside will bring you back to Woods Lake. This might be a better spot for a dip before leaving! ENJOY!