Explore Day Trips - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Day Trips Map

The lake is beautiful... the hike is not. The last half mile and the walk around the lake is pretty. Hiking on a gravel road is not nice. The bikes have made the trail a mess in places. Lots of road noise

21 hours ago

Great little walk.

Easy enough for the kids! Great hike and such a beautiful spot!

Fantastic hike! The meadows at the end of summer are mostly yellow and dead, but the lake was fantastic and secluded. The foot traffic is very light, and we swam in the lake to islands. The parking for the hike is kind of hard to find because you need to follow a very small road down from highway 89.

on Bassi Falls

3 days ago

I hiked the trail on 8/10/18. I enjoy destination hikes, especially waterfall hikes. I had no idea what to expect at the end of the trail. I was mildly disappointed that Bassi Falls was just a trickle this time of the year. The trail on AllTrails was very different from the route that I took. The trail is in the process of restoration and if it weren’t for trail markings I probably would have been lost. I had trouble finding the trail back to the trailhead. I had to rely on shoe prints and paths that looked to have had heavy foot traffic. Hopefully they make better trail markings for the rerouted path. However, I will definitely come back to see Bassi Falls in all its glorious flow, perhaps in the Spring time.

Amazing views!

on Echo Lakes Trail

5 days ago

This is an amazing hike. I went out and back from echo lake trailhead to tamarack lake in 4 hours. It’s a hell of a hike without much shade. There aren’t any steep climbs but don’t expect a nice dirt trail as it’s mostly rocks. Nice views along echo lake.

Beautiful hike. Would do it again.

7 days ago

Beautiful hike. Lower and upper lake taxi tour is a fun extra. Hiked the PCT to Tamarak lack last year. There was still a lot of snow so we trekked back earlier than expected. Will do this one again for sure!

10 days ago

Can be moderate for some due to altitude and heat, but so so so worth it. Amazing woodsy beginning and then a drop down to beautiful pools and falls.

Nice trail. Beautiful views.

Nice mix of rocky path and forested trail, sun and shade.

16 days ago

Go early and wear sunscreen, and you will love this trail. I don’t usually like out and back trails but this is a highlight of our week. I’m not sure you can find an empty trail in late July so we were thrilled that it was such light traffic. Also, the adventurous can go beyond the lake for a longer trip. Those who are tired can do the water taxi return for $14. Highly recommend.

First solo backpacking trip. Was beautiful

19 days ago

Nice mix of terrain but not much shade and can get hot, lakes and creek are nice place to cool off. On my trip to Island Lake we didn't see a lot of places to easily relax by the lake but we didn't explore all around the lake either. As others have stated, picking up the trail on the granite sections may be more difficult for newer hikers.

Fantastic hike. I recommend for experienced hikers only.

Our group hikes in this area every summer (for 17 years). The first 1/2 mile is the steepest part. Trail beautiful. Heavily used this year with many youth groups backpacking. 4 stream crossings, which I walked thru, but others hopped the rocks. Shallow enough to not go over the top of my hiking boots. Wonderful variety of conifers and other trees. Not to many wildflowers but a few groups near "seep" areas. A stunning hike and Dardanelles is one of the most scenic lakes nearby (not counting Lake Tahoe.

21 days ago

super busy trail, get there early cause parking is sparse. Lots of good trails nearby. An easy place to set your feet on the PCT.

21 days ago

Walked this trail on 7/22. Pros: probably great for kids, easily accessible from where we stayed, and had some small pools of water to put our feet in towards the end. Cons: very little to see along the way, broken glass along the path, and the waterfall was just barely flowing.

21 days ago

This trail was great. Signage was lacking in some spots, so have a reliable GPS on hand (Gaia GPS). Beautiful views and sawmill lake was a great spot to camp. This was my first backpacking trip (day one of three was on this trail) and moderate is accurate in my opinion as someone who cycles/runs/hikes 5/6 days per week. We were on this trail on a Weds and didn’t see a soul. It was amazing!

I ran to this lake on Tuesday of last week from the Big Meadows trailhead. There are so many great aspects to this trail: the wildflowers, the meadow, the super nice people, the Aspen stands, the creek crossings...i could go on! But when you get to Dardanelles Lake, prepare to be blown away. This has to be one of the most scenic, striking alpine lakes I've seen. I only had 10 mins before I had to turn around and head back, but it left me wanting to come back for more time there. Give yourself time to sit down and take it all in.

24 days ago

This was a really beautiful hike but I thought the trail could have been market better. We somehow veered left somewhere on the tail and ended up very lost and had to climb up a lot of rocks to get back to the trail. If you don’t get lost, this trail is great and the lake at the top is very refreshing on a warm day!

25 days ago

Beautiful and clear views! The lake was perfect for swimming. Not too many mosquitoes and only one other overnight group.

27 days ago

Nice trail but very little shade, lots of gravel and rocks and no waterfalls in mid July. On a blistering hot day you better wear sun screen, have a wide brimmed hat and have a good pair of hiking boots. Difficult to locate the trailhead if you have not been there before as signage is poor and the elevation will wear you out quickly unless you are accustomed to hiking in the mountains. Very few people for a Saturday afternoon.

trail running
27 days ago

It is about 6 miles total from the parking area. Very very rocky in the beginning. Almost impossible to run. It’s worth it as you get to the summit and then a great run back to the parking area. Running up to the summit is really hard at a high altitude! Beautiful area!

It was a little rough in the beginning, because there was some Altitude increase, but that only goes on for about a mile. I’m kind of a beginner to hiking, but the 8 miles it took to get there, and back was easy enough. Great place for hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, and running!

Great hike. Solid uphill and downhill both ways. The lake is beautiful and lots of flowers along the way can only imagine what it’s like in the spring. Only downside there was a decent amount of people there and we prefer more isolated areas.

Great trail with great views of Lower and Upper Echo Lake. Just wish there wasn’t so many cabins along the shoreline.

29 days ago

I did this hike last summer it had a nice view when you get the the top but it was right next to houses and cabins and lots of people. Took away from why I hike. Beautiful yes and fun to swim because you need too considering this is VERY exposed. No shade. It was okay but I wouldn’t do it again . The boat taxi back though was fun. So that’s also an option if you don’t want to hike all the way back

Amazing wild flowers end of June through July

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