A Classic Wilderness Loop featuring High Vista Views, River Meadows and The Classic Carson Iceberg Wilderness Landscapes.

The Wolf Creek drainage of the Carson Iceberg Wilderness is located just West of Markleville and is one our favorite locations for entering the Wilderness. A favorite for Horse Campers and Day hikers the Wold Creek area features trails that follow the water up long mountain valleys and climbs to some great vista view areas in wilderness.

The High Trail and Carson River Trail are located at the north end of the Wolf Creek Meadow. Parking lot is circular and has Pot Toilets available as well as Horse Posts for unloading.

Wolf Creek Parking areas for trails

The high trail and the Carson river trail start from the same location and connect together at approx. 6.5 miles to create a nice 13-14 mile trail loop for hikers or day use visitors.

The High Trail is what you would expect, it climbs out to the Wolf Creek drainage from 6500 ft. to a high point of the trail near 8,000 ft. The climb is slow and gradual over the first four miles of the trail. The trail in early season features multiple creek crossings, wildflowers, a great aspen meadow and wonderful panoramic vista views. The trail is well maintained but occasionally on our trip we reached areas where under brush crowded trail.

At the 4-5 mile mark you finally reach area where trail descends down to the East Fork of the Carson River. This decent is not gradual and the first sign that this is probably designed as a horse trail. The Forested Meadow area of the Carson River is a delightful region filled with wildlife and views of the Peaks in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. This year still draped in snow mid June.

Hikers, Backpackers and Horseriders have a choice at this point to continue on into the Wilderness to other trail loops or features such as Carson falls or head back along the Carson River Trail to Wolf Creek Lake and the trail head. We choose the loop on this trip.

The route along the Carson River is relatively flat and easy to follow {except for a small section through the meadow which trail disappears under meadow grass} plenty of access spots to the river for fishing, or taking a dip. The route is mostly under forest cover and does have a couple up and over ridge lines that but up next to the river, but the climbs are easier than the high trail.

About a mile from the trailhead region you will come to Wolf Creek Lake. Not a very impressive body of water, I wouldn’t swim here, but after a long hike it is a welcome resting area before a final climb over the ridge back tot he parking area.

Note many backpackers also do this route along the river to access Grays Crossing region.

Overall this loop is in the Moderate to Difficult area for a day hiker. Nothing on the trail is over Moderate itself, but the distance and all the different terrain make this a fairly difficult hike in the day. My body felt tired and beat up a bit probably because we didn’t stop and rest enough.