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Five Lakes Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#4 of 113 trails in

Five Lakes Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine Medows, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

4.7 miles 1108 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

snow

Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just north of Lake Tahoe, the Five Lakes promise dramatic yet tranquil surroundings, a place to relax, fish, or swim. Best visited after the snow has retreated in the summer, the Five Lakes Trail is one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Granite Chief Wilderness so you're unlikely to have this trail to yourself. Don't be disheartened if the trail is busy however, as the lakes themselves allow for plenty of chances for quiet and solitude. Great views, beautiful wildflowers, and plenty of room for exploration. It's like a playground but better. Stretching is encouraged since almost all of the elevation gain is accrued during the first mile or so of the hike. Once at the lakes, you can take it easy, swim, eat, and lay out, or you can continue on and hike around the ski resort, or head west or south and hit up the PCT and other trails.

2 days ago

The start of the hike is a lot of uphill through very pretty alpine landscape; not a lot of shade, bring water and sunscreen on sunny days. Levels off into forest and, as described, five scenic lakes. Great day hike, not too difficult with a lot of payoff.

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous views! Will definitely hike again and recommend to others. The only reason I gave this four stars is because I felt the trail could have been better marked along the way. There were a few spots on the trail where we weren't sure what direction to go. Other than that, we thoroughly enjoyed this hike!

hiking
12 days ago

14 days ago

Great hike! Beautiful scenic views all the way to the top. You do have to go past the first entrance into Deer Park Rd further down the road and then the trailhead starts on the right side of the road.

hiking
21 days ago

Excellent hike with gorgeous views. We even jumped in one of the lakes at the end of the hike up. Little steep on the way up but children and seniors were trekkin' it so no excuses, it's a must do!

hiking
21 days ago

Great out and back hike. Perfect way to spend a few hours with the dogs. Moderate climb for the first couple miles then flat on top. The lakes are clear, clean and great for a picnic, swim or dog fetch.

24 days ago

1 month ago

Was a nice hike, camped overnight and plan on doing again.

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

A spectacular hike up a granite canyon, rewarded by a lovely chain of five lakes at the top.

1 month ago

Such a beautiful trail!

hiking
1 month ago

The lake at the top of the trail was great, beautiful scenery along the way and a well maintained trail. I would not call this trail "kid friendly." I took my 5 year old because it said "kid friendly." She is accustomed to some hiking, but this is way out of her league - she spent a large part of the hike on shoulders.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. 40 minutes away from Reno off I-80W

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike through varied terrain. The lakes at the top are definitely worth the journey up! Wonderful shaded spots for a picnic and a swim. The largest of the five lakes is a perfect spot to take a dip. Agree with the earlier posts that the first part of the hike is the steepest. The flat part starts once you enter the woods. Super fun!

hiking
2 months ago

awesome spot! the hike up is moderate, the unfit may find it strenuous though. great place to swim, would definitely come up here again, and even look into backpacking in granite wilderness! hike back is all down hill, very quick! make sure you've got some grippy shoes, the trail is very dusty with little bits of gravel. makes it easy to slip on the way down.

only minus one star because it is quite popular. trail was busy, and we passed at least one tour group. we did manage to find a place to hang out in peace, but there was underwear found in the bushes etc :P the area sees it's share of traffic for sure.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great trail, we had a toddler on our back and it was a great hike, not too challenging but not too easy! Lots of flat area at the top for lunch and so that our little one could stretch her legs. Lots of sights to see at the top, could even go swimming! If alone could easily do it in an hour and a half... Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect afternoon hike with everything you could want. Forests, meadows, wild flowers, gorgeous scenery and a beautiful lake at the end. We even saw snow. Our dog was thrilled that he could cool off in the lake before heading back down.

hiking
2 months ago

For me this hike was more about the journey than the destination. The views while you're hiking are gorgeous. I actually tripped multiple times because I was looking around instead of at the trail. The lakes were just ok. I could only find two of the lakes and they are very wooded. There was only one place to access them for swimming and it was crowded with people.