Backpacking Bucks Lake Wilderness (Again)

Last year I attempted a loop that goes from Bucks Lake Staging Area to Spanish Peak, down to Rock Lake for a night, then on to Bucks Lake for a second night before returning to the parking area. Because of the late snow, I ended up doing a simple out-and-back overnight. So this year, I kicked off the season by actually finishing the complete hike.

Day 1 – Bucks Lake Staging Area to Rock Lake

I started out from Bucks Lake Staging Area at 1:45 and reached Spanish Peak by 5:15. The wildflowers along the way were beautiful.

From there I traveled down the ridge to the Three Lakes Trail branch, for a night at Rock Lake. I arrived as the shadows from the ridge were beginning to cover the valley, and set up camp before dark. There was a full, yellow moon, bright as a spotlight.

Day 2 – Rock Lake to Rainbow Point

The next morning I returned to the ridge and back tracked about half a mile to the Right Hand Branch trail, which would take me down to Bucks Lake. I arrived at Rainbow Point about 2:00 in the afternoon, where I fixed myself a big lunch and lay in the sand readingĀ You Deserve Each Other (a clever twist on the old enemies-to-lovers romance trope).

Day 3 – Rainbow Point to Staging Area

The next morning I followed one of my old favorites, Mill Creek trail, back to Bucks Lake Highway. Crossing the road, I continued on Bucks Creek trail back up to the staging area, arriving by about 10:30.

I closed out the trip with a socially distanced back yard breakfast at a friend’s house in Quincy.


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