Vivian Lake is nestled in the dense forests of the Diamond Peak Wilderness. The moderate hike can be done in a day, but with backcountry campsites located around the lake it’s also a great place for a weekend or a stop on longer adventure through the wilderness area.
The trailhead starts from the Salt Creek Falls Observation Site and travels south along Fall Creek with opportunities to take a short hike to Diamond Creek Falls. Portions of the trail are steep and sometimes flooded by the creek. After crossing a concrete bridge over Fall Creek, follow the signs for Vivian Lake. The trail continues through the forest and then opens up to a set of active railroad tracks. After crossing the tracks be sure to take the smaller trail to the left and not the forest service road as you head into the Diamond Peak Wilderness. There may be downed trees along the path, but they are passable. Fall Creek Falls are just a short distance off of the main trail and worth a look. Continue on another mile or so and you’ll reach the lake.
The cold, blue waters of this alpine lake provide a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the quietude of the forest. A trail leads around the lake’s edge with great views and access to backcountry campsites. The trail continues south to Notch Lake and other unnamed lakes.
Note: Wilderness permits are required. A self-issue permit station is located at the Diamond Peak Wilderness boundary.