To reach the trailhead for Bushnell Lakes park in the turn out close to Hayden Creek Campground. Walk back to the campground and find campsite #2. The Rainbow Trail begins there. Cross the bridge and begin climbing the hill. Follow the Rainbow Trail North 2.5 miles to the junction signed Bushnell Lakes Trail. Bushnell Lakes Trail climbs steeply for 1.5 miles then levels out for the last 1 mile to the lower lake.
These lakes lie at the foot of Bushnell Peak in a beautiful steep-sided valley. The lakes offer some fine fishing in a pretty alpine setting. Native cutthroats are usually found in the Lakes. It is stocked with cutthroat every two years.
This trip can be done as a day hike, but because of the length and difficulty of the trail most hikers prefer to camp on the trail. Campers should camp well away from lake shores, streams and the trail to avoid damage to fragile wet areas.
Directions from : Drive east 20 miles from Salida on U.S. 50. Just before Coaldale, turn right onto CR 6. Follow this road 5 miles towards Hayden Creek Campground. Parking is in the turnout approximately 100 yards below the campground (please do not park in campground itself). Hike up the road to the campground.
June through Mid-October .