Warren Lake Trail is a 15.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Truckee, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road exit, which is immediately west of the highway's Donner Summit Roadside Rest Area. On the south side of the highway there is a sign reading: Tahoe National Forest Trailhead Donner Summit Pacific Crest Trail. Follow the directions on the sign turning east for 0.4 miles to the trailhead.
Real nice day hike. Right at 17 miles from rest area to Lake shore and back.
Great hike. Beautiful views. Watch out for the mosquitos!
Warren Lake Trail to Warren Lake is 16+ miles (depending on where you start) in and out with at least 5-6000+ vertical feet of climbing. The 5 miles stated above is to the lookout over frog lake & is the first ascent. It's amazing, but it took me about 6 1/2 hours of non-stop expedited solo day hiking to get to warren with a 10 minute resting stop. My first attempt I didn't make it because I ran out of water and daylight. There are many places to go to that are great for day hikes that are worth it, but going all the way to Warren is really meant for an overnight excursion because it is so insanely beautiful.... There is a lot of conflicting information on distances so bring a map or take a picture of the trail maps provided at the trail head they are reliable!
Great! We started on the trail on the right side -I will get the exact name - lots of cool flowers and rocks. Little streams and shade until you hit the cut off to the right that over looks frog lake. That view was amazing. We tried to go to the left down to Warren Lake bit way to much snow to maneuver around and we didn't have the proper equipment to go that far or that Steve wants to know. So we're going to try again on overnight
A lot of snow. Good uphill first half. Great views at the top . Lake was frozen :)
Started at the PCT Trailhead just to the east of Boreal Mountain Ski Resort. Great moderate hike. We started a little later in the day than we wanted to but got back to my truck just before flashlights would be necessary to see our way. Make sure you are watching your map and posted signs. Lots of 3 and 4 way junctions of trails and you just need to watch yourself to make sure you stay on the Warren Lake Trail.
We went June 13-14 and the trail is mostly clear of snow except in a few spots. There are some pretty muddy sections. Warren Lake was surprisingly warm to swim in, but the mosquitoes were fierce! The wildflowers are beautiful and diverse this time of year.
This would be a tough hike for one day and I recommend it as an overnight so you can relax by the lake and not have to climb the steep hill out.
Our distances were about 8 miles each way, according to my GPS.
Warren Lake, Paradise Lake and Devils Oven are among the best when it comes to high alpine lakes. My Dad, brothers and I have each been countless times, spending 2-5 nights each time. We fish, climb, slackline, swim and day hike to fill time on each journey. On the hike in there is a lot of loose rock leading up to castle peak but nothing too difficult. Crossing the ridge is simple and breathtaking, always terribly windy though. Finding where the trails drops off the ridge onto the backside can be a bit tricky, but if you stick to the far left you'll be fine. The weather can change up in a matter of minutes up on the ridge, from sunny and calm to 100pmh+ gusts and hail. Trust me- I have experienced this twice.
Over all a wonderful hike though, great campsites all around the lakes, rocks to jump off of, clear water, what more can you ask for?
I'd say this is definitely an overnight at least. We just did this in early June and despite the drought and 0%-of-normal snowpack the trail was still covered in a lot of snow, and would be hard to follow without a GPS. There is not a lot of level ground on this trail - lots of up and down which all tends to be steep, and lots of streams draining the snowpack off Castle and Basin peaks. Much of the trail turns into a stream and the few flat areas it crosses turn to mud. On the way back, once we knew the trail, I measured it as 6.4 miles and 2600 feet of ascent.
Definitely worth it though. The views from Frog Lake overlook are nice and Warren is ringed with high granite cliffs and complete with an island. There are many good campsites along the shore, I get the impression this place might be popular on summer weekends, but there were only a couple fishermen there this time.
Beautiful backpacking trail. We hiked in and stayed the night at Warren Lake as I could night imagine doing this in one day. The hike down to Warren Lake is pretty steep and has a lot of loose rocks and if you are looking for a trail that is flat, you will not find it here...you are either hiking up or hiking down. Having the entire lake to ourselves was definitely worth the blisters on my feet. We have a little dog and thankfully decided not to bring him, though a large dog would have no problems. Lots of stream crossing and plenty of places to filter water. Campsites are good once you find your way through the brush that surrounds the lake.
Our SAR team had to do a rescue up on this trail. We started out at about 0230 which made the hike a little more difficult for the first half. The hike back out was better since the sun had come up.
The trail itself is pretty steep at the beginning with a lot of loose small rock so footing can be difficult at times. Once you're up and over the first saddle, it's a bit easier.
It was a good work out and there are some great views of the back side of Castle Peak and the valley below.
Start early if you're going to return the same day, or plan on staying the night at the lake and returning the next day.