I usually hike by myself, because you never know what kind of whacko might join your group. It might be someone who talks incessantly, hikes very slowly, and has lots of strange gear.
Oh wait. That's me.
And one of me on a hike is plenty.
This hike grew out of a discussion in a yoga class, and our party of four were the three yoginis and one friend of the instigator. The instigator had gotten a new Osprey hydration day pack from REI and loved it, which incited another in the yoga class to get the same pack (I think this was her first hike). So that's how this trip began. This was not my trip idea, I just tagged along (and provided the destination suggestion).
We met up in Placerville and divided up the riders into two cars (I get really really car sick unless I'm driving) and drove up to the trailhead, arriving about 8:30. An hour of hiking and breathing at elevation we were at the first Shealor lake, where I loafed in my hammock and the other three went wading.
While on our way to the lake, we took an inadvertent detour and found this large grinding rock.
We also admired the great views from the top of our climb.
We snacked some more at the lake, I refilled my water bottle using my filter, and we hiked back, taking a few unintentional shortcuts up steep sections, and a deliberate detour to a 7681ft (I think) high knob of rock at the north end of the saddle you climb up and down on your way to and from the lake.
That knob had great views! And many more grinding rocks. We made temporary trail markers on our way to the knob, dutifully knocking them down as we hiked back to the trail.
This is a hike that is UP then DOWN then undo that back to the car. A good first hike. The trailhead is right off 88 near Silver Lake. Plenty of paved parking. No portajohn (we drove into Silver Lake campground before we parked at the trailhead - 4 women 50 years or older = mandatory bathroom breaks).
No fee, no permit for day hikers. Don't know about overnights.
I just traced the line over on the 1993 topo map image. Seems about what we did.