Loch Leven Lakes Trail

HARD 88 reviews
#2 of 102 trails in

Loch Leven Lakes Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, CA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.3 miles 1639 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

High alpine lakes aplenty in the Tahoe National Forest. Located directly of Interstate 80 this trail will have you hiking deep into the Tahoe National Forest in no time, in search of scenic high alpine Sierra Nevada lakes. Because this trail needs to be tackled during the summer and fall months to avoid winter conditions this popular trail can get quite busy, but the hike still remains a worthwhile trip. Elevation gain: - 1,250ft (from 5,800 - 6,900ft)

I am not ready for hard trails but was able to make my way almost to the top and back. I had a blast. I am looking forward in trying this trail again and making it all the way in and out after i achieve more in weight loss and get more in shape and have hiked more trails. the weather today was gorgous.

1 month ago

Beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

This is just a great hike. It's simple yet strenuous at times especially in getting to the first lake. But once you're there you forget all the muscle aches.

1 month ago

Classic high Sierra Nevada terrain and a great day hike. Parking is free and the trail head rather easy to find. The trail is marked but I suggest a map (as always) because it is easy to get off the trail. I rarely worry about "the trail" and we actually got off of it to climb the rocky peaks. Yes, I would recommend .

hiking
1 month ago

Super fun trail! The first mile or so is a killer because it's straight up but after you get warmed up its awesome. I really really enjoyed this trail. The only downside to it was every now and then we would loose the trail. overall this is definitely one of my favorites.

2 months ago

This hike starts with some rocky terrain on big granite surfaced which create a nice moon surface like feel and then passes through some fir and juniper forest with ferns below. A relatively steep ascent over the ridge follows but the lakes are well worth the effort.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked late September in 2016. Got caught up in rain on day 1 (pretty fierce storm caused flash flood warnings in the morning). Had the trail and High Loch Leven all to ourselves that night. While on the trail, keep your eyes peeled for cairns and bright orange spray paint on the boulders. Only at one point between Upper and High did I panic when the trail took a near 90 degree turn to the right and I couldn't see it. At that point, we back tracked, calmed our nerves and tried again ( I hope the cairn I made is still there, LOL). Day 2 was clear and beautiful with a pleasant hike back out. One of my favorite trails. We plan to return and try the trip via Salmon Lake trail.

2 months ago

Was a goodum steep heading up took me about 2-1/2 hrs to get to furthest lake but only about 35 minutes to get back down to my truck at trailhead

backpacking
2 months ago

Definitely my favorite so far in tahoe. Despite being a climb the first couple miles it's not too far and you have a choice of a few lakes to camp at.

Gets crowded in the summer but you can have campfires and there's no permit required.

Trail can be confusing to follow at times. Just look for the stacked rocks.

3 months ago

Don't go. Not good.

3 months ago

Oddly difficult to find the trail in the first part of the hike, you'd think that would be the easiest section to maintain... keep your eyes open for foot prints and cairns and print out a topographic map to stay on track. Mostly the trail is very rocky and steep, a moderate hike that leans towards difficult. I did it in sneakers but I'd recommend heavier soled hiking boots due to all the rocks. I went on a Monday in late August and saw about 12 other folks and four dogs. The lochs were beautiful and refreshing and there were plenty of mountain top views. I hope I can come back some time and camp.

3 months ago

4 months ago

I like this hike. It's just long enough for a full 5 hour hike with some stops for snacks and photos. There were many people out on the Sunday we were there. I would categorize it as moderately well traveled. Be prepared for lots of rocky, uneven, unstable surfaces. This is definitely not for those with weak ankles. Many dogs on the trail appeared to be enjoying themselves. The beginning is a steep climb up the boulders- easy to get lost from any sort of real trail, follow the stacked rocks as best you can and head right and up. You'll hit the trail and follow it to the first lake. Continue the path right if you want to get to the second lake. The third lake it also just around the corner; the path is hard to follow but there are a few orange marks on boulders and stacks of rocks again. Use your best judgement and pay attention, lots of wobbly and uneven surfaces. Moderate trail for sure- harder for those unexperienced folks, a very nice moderate hike for those with experience.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views. Wonderful lakes. Poorly maintained trail with lots of loose rocks. Be careful.

hiking
4 months ago

The lakes themselves are pristine and beautiful. The actual trail itself was challenging but very annoying. The trail is mostly loose rock on large stretches, and even with good hiking shoes, i almost slipped or rolled an ankle plenty of times on the way down (not as big of an issue on the way up). Also the trail itself does not have too much to see aside from some rail tracks until you get to the lake. I will take the suggestion from other reviewers and try getting there from Salmon Lake next time to enjoy the lakes and not hurt myself doing so.

5 months ago

Excellent. Nostalgic. Great vista on the way to the top. Unfortunately it's a bit heavily trafficked

5 months ago

The lakes are the only good thing about this trial and it's easier to get to the lakes via the Salmon Lake Trial, which is shorter, less elevation gain, and beautiful. This trail should not be the designated loch leven trail; salmon lake trial is the most direct and it's beautiful too. Check it out.

hiking
5 months ago

This is not an easy hike but it's worth it. The serene beauty of the lakes will take your breath away. The hike is steep with over 1400 foot elevation gain. There are loose rocks and boulders you have to climb but the views are beautiful. It's 3 miles to the first lake which is gorgeous but pales in comparison to the second lake. The second lake is only 1/4 mile farther and offers great swimming.

hiking
5 months ago

No snow on June 11. great hike !

hiking
5 months ago

Very beautiful trail but definitely challenging. The trail gets really rocky for awhile, and the first few miles are a climb but the lakes are beautiful. Bug spray is a must on this trail.