Location: Kirkwood, CA; El Dorado National Forest
Distance: 3 miles
Type: Day-hike; Out-and-back
Permits & Fees: There is no fee or permit required for this hike.
Driving Directions: Parking is located in a small paved lot off of Hwy 88 and is free. Driving directions can be found here. Keep an eye out for this sign that reads “Shealor Lake Trailhead”.
Preparation: Water, sunscreen and good hiking shoes. Arrive early to ensure a parking spot (parking is limited).
Dog Friendly? Yes!
After parking in the paved lot, locate the following sign:
The start of the trailhead is located to the right of this sign. The hike begins along a small dirt path and is marked by a different sign that reads “Trail”:
The first half of the trail is well marked and fairly easy to follow. Continue on the dirt path until the lake comes into view.
Note: This tree will be helpful landmark on the second half of the hike; make sure to keep to the left of it:
After the lake comes into view, continue down the side of the mountain. This part of the trail is very difficult to follow, but don’t worry; there are a ton of trail ducks! Another helpful tip is to approach the lake from the left side instead of hiking straight down the mountain:
After 1.5 miles, the shore of the lake is reached:
It is slightly difficult to find the trail again on the way back, but use the trail ducks to stay on track. As mentioned above, the tree can also be used as a landmark to help guide you. The slight climb back up the mountain is the toughest part, but totally manageable. Find the trail again towards the top of the mountain and take it back to the trailhead.
Enjoy the views and solitude!