Home » Through The Lens » Twin Meadows and Burgson Lake (Almost)

Twin Meadows and Burgson Lake (Almost)


IMG_5286With the wine vintage in full swing I decided to make a bit of a solo trip to the mountains this weekend to explore some of  the highland lakes I haven’t visited.  Ellie and I ventured into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness to the southeast of Spicer Reservoir, starting out our day by making the trek across the reservoir’s dam and spillway.  Shortly after beginning our walk we heard a chorus of bells in the distance only to be greeted by a sizeable group of highland cows roaming free in the woods.  Although the topographic map I had outlined a trail leading to Twin Meadows and onto Burgson Lake we soon discovered that most of the trails in the area southeast of Spicer are in fact cow trails rather than walking trails, so can be a little confusing at times. 

Highland cows on the way to Twin Meadows (left), and the trail to Twin Meadows (right)

IMG_5296Twin Meadows is about 90 minutes walk from the reservoir, there are a few beautiful spring-fed sections of the trail on the way, each one of them boasting quite an array of mountain bird life and some great flowers.  Unfortunately the cows made for some very dusty trails in some spots, I had to stop and empty my shoes of dirt a few times, but better than no trail at all, I guess.  There’s a sign pointing to Twin Meadows where the trail forks; left to Twin Meadows and right to a myriad of highland trails eventually leading into the Dardanelles.  The Meadows can be reach by walking about a half mile around a small dome of rocks (or by going over the dome if you’re energetic as we were on the way back).  The meadows is very picturesque and has a great view of the cliffs above Lake Alpine to the east.  There’s no trail at all once you get to the meadow, but it eventually winds itself into a creek at the eastern end which, after about half a mile, makes its way to Twin Meadows Lake.  Unfortunately no fish in the lake, I think the ease of access for the cows reduces the water quality too much for trout, but it looked like it’d be a good spot for a swim in warmer weather.

Ellie and me taking in the view at Twin Meadows [the cliffs above Lake Alpine are to the right of the photo] (left), and Twin Meadows Lake (right)

Twin Meadows looking west as we walked back to the main trail (left), and the view from our lunch spot up on high with Twin Meadows to the left and the cliffs above Lake Alpine on the right (right)

IMG_5330It was only early afternoon by the time we’d finished at Twin Meadows so I decided to try to make it to Burgson Lake, about another 3.5 miles from Twin Meadows.  The trail to Burgson Lake begins as a well defined route, but it crosses a number of meadows along the way and completely disappears when it hits the grass.  When we crossed Clover Meadow and Wheats Meadow we basically had to scour the edge of the large clearing to relocate the trail each time; luckily I had Ellie’s nose to help with things…  The guide book in which I read about Burgson Lake mentioned that there’s not much of a trail for the 1.1 miles from Wheats Cow Camp up to the lake but I figured I’d give it a shot.  Even though I had a passable topographic map with me we didn’t have any luck locating Burgson Lake.  Very frustrating given that I could have sworn I was standing in the thing once or twice and the fact that we bouldered around canyons and cliffs at 6,500 feet for about 90 minutes trying to find the lake!  I think I’m going to have to take a look on Google Earth to see if the lake is really there at all!

Wheats Cow Camp on the way to our Burgson Lake search (left), and Wheats Meadow on the way back to the car (right)

The square-shaped peak on the left forms the cliffs above Lake Alpine, the round peak in the center sits just to the west of Duck Lake and the ravines on the right form the beginnings of the Dardanelles.  Somewhere in the foreground should be where Burgson Lake is located!


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  1. Katrina says:

    Great photos! I especially like the one of you and Ellie. That’s a framer.

  2. Webmaster says:

    Yeh, that one’s my favorite too. It took my quite a few attempts to get her to hold still!

  3. Greg says:

    A great adventure in some beautiful country.

  4. John Westoby says:

    Thanks, you’re a good adventure writer. The pictures help to tell the story, thanks John.

  5. Brooke Bakker says:

    Love your photos as usual!

  6. Chris says:

    Man I love the spot. Would have liked to see you bag a few trout though. Next time hey. I reckon the dog’s a good travelin’ companion when you have no real idea where it is you are going.

  7. Bruce says:

    If the cows knew they were highland cows they would get uppity.