Pacific Southwest Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Baldwin Meadow.
Lyons Creek. Photo by Susan Durham.

Baldwin Meadow.
A Lyons Creek meadow. Photo by Susan Durham.

Lilium parvum
Alpine lily (Lilium parvum). Photo by Susan Durham.

Lyons Creek Trail

Forest: Eldorado National Forest

District: Pacific Ranger District

Description: Lyons Creek Trail leads to several hiking destinations along which subalpine and alpine wildflowers can be found. The first section, which is less than two miles, leads to the junction with Bloodsucker Lake Trail. This section passes through several meadows and crosses tributaries to Lyons Creek. At places the trail runs near Lyons Creek and its shallow pools in granite. Beyond the junction, Lyons Creek Trail begins to climb and then enters Desolation Wilderness. After crossing Lyons Creek, the trail splits. The east-leading fork continues to Lake Sylvia, which is at an elevation of 8,050 feet (total one-way trip is almost five miles). The north-leading fork continues to Lyons Lake, which is at an elevation of 8,400 feet (total one-way trip is five miles).

NOTE: If you plan to enter Desolation Wilderness, obtain a permit in advance.

Viewing Information: The best wildflower viewing is along the first section of trail between the Lyons Creek Trailhead and the junction with Bloodsucker Lake Trail. Peak flowering time is late June through July. The many wildflowers include alpine lily, Sierra larkspur, western columbine, Leichtlin’s mariposa lily, yampah, spiraea, and bigleaf lupine. At the lakes, enjoy red mountain heather and labrador tea.

Safety First: Use caution making the left hand turn from eastbound US Highway 50. Wrights Road is paved but narrow and windy. Beware of oncoming traffic.

Directions: From Placerville in El Dorado County, travel approximately 35 miles east on US Highway 50. Turn left onto Wrights Road (Forest Route 4 or Road 11N26). From South Lake Tahoe, travel approximately 13 miles west of Echo Summit on US Highway 50 and turn right onto Wrights Road. Drive 4 miles along Wrights Road to Lyons Creek Trailhead on the right hand side.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Eldorado National Forest, Pacific Ranger District.

Closest Town: Kyburz, California.

Additional Photos

Delphinium glaucum
Sierra larkspur (Delphinium glaucum). Photo by Susan Durham.

Calochortus leichtlinii
Leichtlin’s mariposa lily (Calochortus leichtlinii). Photo by Susan Durham.

Allium campanulatum.
Sierra onion (Allium campanulatum). Photo by Susan Durham.