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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
Don't go. Not good.
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.
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.
Beautiful views. Wonderful lakes. Poorly maintained trail with lots of loose rocks. Be careful.
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.
Excellent. Nostalgic. Great vista on the way to the top. Unfortunately it's a bit heavily trafficked
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.
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.
No snow on June 11. great hike !
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.
Extremely beautiful! A bit difficult going up, but well worth it.
Awesome hike, the view is amazing and lakes are beautiful. The water is usually very cold, but good for swimming after a mildly difficult hike. There are a couple of great spots to set up camping, it's a fantastic trail to get in shape for bigger backpacking trips.
Went June 1st, and wore low top hiking shoes (oops). I don't love traversing, but most of all, hiking over loose rock is a pet peeve of mine. I understand the reasoning to preserve the trail from snow runoff damage, but it is mostly hiking up a creek right now, a wet mess. The snow banks covering the trail closer to the top were slippery and melty, thanks to the sudden hot weather, and the trail was hidden by snow banks nearer the top. Love the lakes, nothing new there!
There was a still a good amount of snow covering trail making it hard to follow. Also trails had a lot of water coming down. Overall it was nice hike.
Awesome. Still some snow