Your Scenic Guide to the Great Outdoors
TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes - Off Hwy. 88 Area
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Caples Lake looking southeast from the trail's edge
California State Highway 88 is one of the closest routes into the Sierra Nevada mountains from the San Francisco Bay Area. The trails in this section typically start at locations a short distance off Highway 88, and most are day trips that end at or pass by little sparkling lakes. Although Highway 88 trails reach into the rugged Mokelumne Wilderness, most of the TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes included for this region are less strenuous than those to the north and south of this area. The scenery, however, can be striking as you are treated to wide open meadows and plateaus surrounded by towering eroded cliffs and mountain peaks. In this regard, it is similar to the nearby South of Lake Tahoe area in this website.
Highway 88 bisects the Sierra Nevada at Carson Pass, where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses to the north and south. The elevation near this pass is around 8,000 feet, which can bring cooler weather and earlier snow in the winter to this area than to the passes around Lake Tahoe to the north. Yet the Highway 88 area can also easily be reached from the Tahoe area using the connecting Highway 89 from the north.
Route 88 is somewhat less commercialized than Highways 50 and I-80 that lead into Lake Tahoe. One of the main attractions along Highway 88 is the Kirkwood ski area and resort, which has lodging, food and gas, and is a summer resort as well. Silver Lake and Caples Lake are a big attraction for campers, boaters, and hikers, and Kirkwood resort is located along the road in between these lakes.
Many of the trails in the Highway 88 corridor can be accessed just off the highway, although a few require short trips along spur roads off the highway. There are also a few trails starting from the Blue Lakes area that require a longer side trip from Highway 88, but it is well worth the drive as it passes through the large, magnificent Hope Valley meadows along the Blue Lakes Road. The maps below give an overview of these trails' general location.
Off Highway 88 TrailPhotos Area California Location of Terrain Map
The yellow arrow on the Terrain Map above shows the approximate location and viewing direction of the photograph displayed near the top of this web page. The olive colored rectangle on the terrain map outlines the general coverage area for the Off Highway 88 TrailPhotos.
Off Highway 88 TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes locations (Red arrow shows approximate location and viewing direction of the photo shown at the top of this page).
TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes Descriptions
The TrailPhotos.com website has a thumbnail photo index and descriptions of ten Off Highway 88 Area trails. Descriptions of these TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes are available along with purchase information from this Photos: All Highway 88 to N. Yosemite TrailPhoto Guide Trails link for the trails listed below.
The approximate location of these trails is shown on the detailed area map above, matched to the corresponding numbers displayed below.
Off Highway 88 Area
1) Tanglefoot Trail to Shiner Lake 6) Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake
2) Devil's Lake 7) PCT North to Showers Lake
3) Shealor Lake 8) Roundtop to 4th of July Lake
4) Hidden Lake Loop 9) Charity Valley West
5) Lake Margaret 10) PCT North from Blue Lakes
The National Forest Service maintains websites with extensive information and park maps. These provide an official and useful complement to the detailed TrailPhoto Guides and maps on this website. The applicable National Forests and Wilderness Area for the Off Highway 88 Area are (these links will open in a new browser window):
Eldorado National Forest - Located around the Highway 88 area.
Mokelumne Wilderness - Located between State Highways 88, 89 and 4.
Other sources of Highway 88 area information (will open in a new browser window):
State of California Visitors' Information - Includes general information for the Highway 88 area.
TrailPhotos Index Site Map for all TrailPhotos areas and maps.
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