Shadow Lake Weekend

Shadow Lake Weekend
Highland Trail from Van Vleck
El Dorado National Forest
Elevation 7,264 
We needed to get gone for the weekend and were looking for a place to go. I had been to Shadow Lake once before with my search and rescue team, but it was a quick hike in, make camp, sleep and head right back out in the morning. I knew that this was a place I wanted to come back to. It was too pretty of a site for such a quick trip.
We decided to make a whole weekend of it and hiked in on Friday. The plan is for Tells Peak Saturday and B17C Bomber Crash Site on Sunday.

This area is accessed from the Van Vleck Trailhead. 
You get there via Ice House Road off of Hwy 50 in Pollock Pines. 

After 23 miles or so, turn right at this sign.

After 6 miles down a roughly paved single lane road, you get to this area. You can park near the trailhead sign or near the Tells Creek Equestrian Campground. 

We are here...

Shadow Lake is located  just outside the Desolation Wilderness Boundary, but we will be entering the area when we hike to Tells Peak, so we need a permit. 

Trailhead selfie! We are ready to get gone!

The first couple of miles are on a service road. 
You will pass the Red Peak Trailhead as well as the Loon Lake Trailhead. 

Once you get to the weather station, you've arrived at the Highland Trail. 

It's mid July and the vegetation is still beautiful. 

We passed a meadow or two with water crossings and wildflowers.

This trailhead marker is hard to see, it's behind a bush and falling over, 
but this breaks off to the left of the highland trail about a mile in. 

We passed a pond

And at about the 5.2 mile mark, this was our first view of Shadow Lake! 
No idea why it's named that 

Home sweet home for the next few days. Loving it!

Not a bad place to wake up

Our thoughtful spot, right by the lake. 

The rocks turned orange with the sunset. 

Sunset on the second night was just as amazing. 
The shadow in the water is very cool. 

More awful views of the lake from camp.

Camp selfie. I love getting gone with this guy...♥ 

This beauty was on the trail on the way out. 

Our tracks on the hike in via Strava. 

A little bit of an elevation gain getting to the lake. 

This was an amazing trip. We had a great time exploring Tells Peak and on Sunday were able to find the Bomber Crash Site. This was definitely worth coming back to a second time. I'm sure it won't be the last time either. A fantastic place to get gone for a few days, maybe more! 



  1. This is a lovely account of your trip. Thank you for sharing. I plan to do this hike sometime this summer. I've been to the B-17 site several times. I saw some other links to the crash site. If you look at some of the older pictures, you can see that some of the wreckage has definitely been removed.


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