Grouse Lake is a picturesque isolated lake surrounded by rocks and cliffs, nestled near South Lake Tahoe in the scenic Mokelumne Wilderness, California. Grouse Lake Trail starts on the southern shore of Upper Blue Lake where you can park in the dirt parking area. At the start cross the metal footbridge and then spot the trailhead marker on your left. Grouse Lake Trail is 10 km (6 mi) long and takes you through diverse landscapes from the forest in the beginning, then past meadows and through the treeless section for the last couple of miles to Grouse Lake.
After you follow the trail for about 2 miles, you will come to Granite Lake. This is a beautiful spot to camp at, take a swim in, and enjoy a picnic. After that point, the trail winds up a series of steep inclines, rocky slopes, and grassy hillsides. You will get great vistas if there is no fog impeding your view.
The trail descends steeply as you approach Grouse Lake, which is surrounded by beautiful cliffs. You will find plenty of spots to set up camp around the lake. Take a dip in refreshing lake waters or sprawl out on the rocks under the mountain sunshine. The area offers lots of places to explore from your camp.
It is a great hike with overnight stay and excellent vistas into the impressive canyons that make up the Mokelumne Wilderness. One of the perks of the trail is that you can easily summit Deadwood Peak from the trail before descending to Grouse Lake. From the summit of Deadwood Peak, you get a great perspective over the canyons and miles up and down of the Sierra Crest.
The best time to complete a Grouse Lake Trail is from mid-June through September. Visitors need a permit for camping in the Mokelumne Wilderness. You can find a trail map on the Forest Service website.