This is an Overnight hike with stunning views and abundant wildlife. Be prepared though, even though the hike is short it is very strenuous.

The trail to Wheeler Lake begins at the Woodchuck Basin Trailhead. This trailhead is located a little over a mile east of Lake Alpine on Highway 4. The trail starts off relatively flat and winds through forests and meadows, taking you into the Mokelumne Wilderness. Time it right and you'll be met with stunning wildflowers.

The trail then begins its way up to Wheeler Ridge, taking you up over 1,000 ft in elevation. The views from the top of Wheeler Ridge are breathtaking. You will be able to see Lake Alpine and the Dardenelles off in the distance. There is virtually no cover once you begin your ascent up the basin wall to Wheeler Ridge so plan accordingly. Make sure you have proper sun protection with you, such as sunscreen and a hat, and be sure to stay hydrated.

Continue along the ridgeline and the trail will take you down the other side of the ridge to Wheeler Lake. The descent is about 1,000 ft, so don't expect much of a break on the way out.

This hike is challenging and full of amazing views. I definitely recommend it.

Trailhead GPS coordinates: 39 degrees 29'36.68" N 119 degrees 58'51.51" W

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camp stove
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water filtration system
  • Warm layers
  • Sun protection
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Hiking boots
  • Book
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RT Distance 7.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Hunting, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fun Hike

This is a great hike with a great view and more often then not you will be able to enjoy the view to yourself.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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