Richardson Lake Trail

Richardson Lake Trail – 14N39

This trail turns south off the Rubicon Trail about a mile and a half out of the Tahoma staging area, just past Miller Lake.

For the most part it is a logging road that does not offer a lot of challenge.


But the drive to the summit is well worth the trip.


I think that it Rockbound Lake in Desolation Wilderness. You can see most of the lakes along the Rubicon from this summit.

The trail drives past Richardson Lake and the Sierra Club’s Ludlow Hut.

It crosses the Pacific Crest trail and provides access to a communications building at the summit used by Placer County and SMUD.

The Eldorado National Forest does not currently have a Richardson Lake Trail page.

Here is a map of the trail showing the nine “meadows” along the trail. Meadows 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 are not impacted by the trail. Meadows 1, 5, 7 and 9 are impacted by the trail. Volunteers have repaired meadows 1, 5 and 7. The meadow issue 9 was repaired by the ENF this year and the trail reopened in full on August 21st.

14N39 map w meadows

Here is a ‘before’ of the one of the worst ‘meadows’ on the trail:


(Please note that this photo was taken after the 42 Trails Closure, thus the reason for the mountain bike)

This is a photo taken during the rebuilding of the meadow crossing. The Forest Service dug out all the compacted soil. Some was replaced but most was used to build two rolling dips on either side of the meadow. Fabric was put down and then large boulders were placed on the fabric. Smaller rock was placed on the boulders to fill in the gaps.


The trail was closed for a few years but is now open to the summit. There are a few posts about this trail. Search for “Richardson” or “14N39”

Blog posts about the Richardson Lake Trail:

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