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

First Kids Backpacking Map
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backpacking
3 days ago

Came here instead of Aloha Lake because we couldn’t find a permit. Absolutely gorgeous, totally manageable hike leading to an absolute playground. Round Lake itself is a tiny Oasis with an absolutely gorgeous view of the entire Tahoe Valley if you’re willing to do a little climbing. Despite camping relatively close to the lake we experienced no bugs, the weather was perfect, and we even caught a little meteor shower. What more can you ask for?

Make sure you check out the other Lakes too.

hiking
4 days ago

It isn't too smokey to hike here (Aug 2018) but views are not what they are when it is clear. We just spent a couple nights by Rock Lake and Jamison which are both nice. The hike into the lakes from the mine is uphill, hot at mid-day. and rocky, but with nice forested areas, a waterfall, small streams, interesting geology and good views. Nice stars at night despite all the fires to the north and south. It took us about 2 hours to hike in, and 1 hour to get out. We really enjoyed hiking up to Mt Washington from Jamison - it is an exposed, difficult rock scramble at the summit, but beautiful!

hiking
5 days ago

Do you need a permit to backpack overnight here? It would be great if AllTrails had a section with permit requirements for each trail.

hiking
12 days ago

This trail was rough on my knees because of all the rocks and large steps, but the view at the top was worth it! We made it to the lake and went swimming, and hiked back down shortly after. Also visiting the waterfall on the way down was my favorite part, also it was quite steep climbing down to it. I don't recommend it for anyone who doesn't have great balance or strength to climb back up.

hiking
17 days ago

Great trail beautiful scenery and a very nice lake ☺️

hiking
17 days ago

beautiful hike. my 79 year old dad found the trail a little tough though, lots of rocky sections. also is more like 5+ miles, 5 according to the sign and 6 according to my GPS.

hiking
18 days ago

In response to the review "no facilities and services", I don't think you should have to expect any since it's only 2.3 miles in, it's dispersed camping, and there are facilities within 2 miles each direction from the trailhead. Trail is easy to follow if you use the AllTrails app; I literally just took a snapshot of the trail since I don't have the pro version. If you think you're getting off trail - yes, it may get a little confusing going over the rocks - look for the stacks of stones and the dirty part of the rock where people drag their shoes through....you don't need mountaineering experience. Anyway, nice trail, not much elevation gain. We camped there 2 weekends ago from a Saturday to Sunday and still only saw 3 or 4 other campers. Only advice is to please not camp close to the water even though someone else has cleared space to. The campers closest to us were only 15 ft from the water, did not leash their 2 dogs, and had a campfire. They were friendly enough, and quiet, but still...RESPECT THE RULES OF THE FOREST!

Beautiful lake, fun to swim, few mosquitoes and leeches. Great trail to get your kids into backpacking!

Great, easy going trail! Trail was very easy to follow. Expect to see a lot of traffic on the trail but everyone was polite!

backpacking
23 days ago

We came to Lake Tahoe hoping to do a 1-night backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness. Permits for the easy hikes were sold out.
So we tried Big Meadow / Round Lake trail.
Best decision.

My favorite 1-night starter backpacking trip I’ve ever hiked.

I lead groups on outdoor treks. This trail was fantastic. We had a first time backpacker, as well as some seasoned trekkers, and this loop satisfied them both. It fits a short schedule. 2 and half hours one way with loaded backpacks and multiple breaks.

Saturday night trip.

Plenty of parking. No backcountry permits required. Easy to start.


The trail starts with a terraced incline leading up to Big Meadow, which is an impressive midway spot. Continue a gradual incline along aspens and fir to the top of the ridge, with nice views of the Tahoe Rim Trail and Sierra backcountry. The peaks still had some spots of snow, mid-July. Beautiful. Yet trails were dry.

Then a quick descend into a basin with a small incline up to Round Lake.
The lake is surrounded by interesting rock formations. So much to explore.
Small warning, the ground is rocky with a natural cement aggregate like soil so finding a flat camp spot can be tricky. But we found one, if you continue on the left side of the lake about half-way you may see our spot.
This lake is good for rock Jumping, photos and more. Cool areas to explore. The right (west) side is better for swimming and diving.

The area is quiet, yet had a few other backpackers that made us feel safe enough yet away from crowds.
We could hear a bear crunching through the woods late at night, but no issues or encounter. We felt fine with the handful of other backpackers scattered around the lake.


Bring your swimwear
Bring good shoes
Don’t miss the sunset

One of our hikers had some slight soft knees and the trekking poles came in handy for the whole hike.

This hike is a must for Tahoe area backpackers. Also would make a good half-day hike

backpacking
23 days ago

Great trail and hike with some mining history nearby. Got a late start, so we couldn't find any spots along the west shore on a Saturday, but found a beautiful camp site for two tents on the East shore that were perfect. No one else on the east shore, so we were able to camp naked with the warm weather ... Gorgeous view of sunset and sun rise. Didn't even need bug repellent!!!

hiking
24 days ago

Best hike so far. Easy trail for the most part. We didn’t have any problem following the blazes like some reviewers. This hike has a lot; wildflower meadows, forrest streams, evergreen groves, mountainous ridge top views and of course the secluded lake. Not too many people there on Thursday afternoon but might get crowed on the weekends.

backpacking
25 days ago

This was a very strenuous hike carrying 50lb backpacks to camp. Three log crossings and lots of rocky and steep granite sections. Trail is not well marked in sections, especially at the end. The scenery is beautiful though and the lake was very peaceful and quiet to camp at. Note, there are no facilities or services whatsoever from the trailhead to the lake.

backpacking
28 days ago

Spent 2 nights on west shore of Jamison Lake on a perch above the water. Trail was fantastic with no sign of wild life. Nights were quiet and peaceful and the stars were incredible to see. Fish hopping and caught a few. saw a few other camps but was very quiet especially after the day hikers left. weather was hot during the day but perfect at night. Will definitely be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Trail is well marked except at end when you hike up a granite boulder when you near the lake. Go to the left here. Wildflowers were beautiful and lake not too cold to swim in!!!

Great hike with a nice overlook to 4th of July lake if you go around the mountainside.
Nice gradual elevation with several spectacular mountains.

hiking
1 month ago

not sure i liked this hike. loved all the flowers but trail was not described well by all trails. lots of boulders to navigate and granite to maneuver up and down. Lost trail and never made it to the Lake. I hike a lot but not sure this was for me.

backpacking
1 month ago

went backpacking two days ago with my 5 yr old son. the trail was rocky and very steep for him. we camped on the west side of Jamison near the island. Fish jumping around, bring your pole. the water was still very cold. too cold for me to fully submerge. very beautiful! like a dream. we will be back with the rest of the family. lots of butterflies, and saw a deer. no bear or cougars.

Good hike and the lake was beautiful to see at the end

Relatively easy scenic hike to an OK lake. The journey was much more enjoyable than the destination so we didn’t spend much time there.

hiking
1 month ago

loved it was awesome views will do it again

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike to a gorgeous mountain lake. Wild flowers were lovely. Some good bouldering and scrambling opportunities for 13-year old boy that kept him interested on the trail.

This was a nice hike with lots of wildflowers along the way. I downgraded it just a bit because I also tracked to Dardanelles lake, which was more scenic than round lake.

Great hike with lovely views and a good workout. But like most places that are featured on social media (Carson Pass Visitor Info Station has its own Facebook page), it is no longer "lightly traveled" - you now have to arrive early to get a parking space for the trailhead and at least on weekends, the trails are pretty busy. Alltrails may want to edit their description.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is dry. No snow. No extended climbs; good for kids. 2 log crossings, but wide and fairly easy

hiking
1 month ago

This was a fantastic hike! We started at the Parks Creek Trailhead and hiked in along the PCT, meeting many other hikers along the way. There was an abundance of wildflowers and the seeps are flowing, gorgeous! Mount Eddy was socked in at the top, but still worth the trek.

A couple of lakes really. Last September I joined Jere's Jaunts for a COLD fall hike. Early morning temps were literally freezing. Lucky I packed warm. one of our group, Marty, showed up in shorts as usual and a light fleece jacket. He and his wife got out of the car and upon seeing the frozen water in the parking lot at Carson Pass immediately began complaining. To his credit he made it half way before saying we were all nuts. LOL!

I loved this hike. Fairly moderate with only one slippery, icy water crossing. We all made it with ease. I also like it cold. So refreshing up in the Sierras!

We primarily were looking for wildflowers - we started at the meadow trailhead, not the PCT trailhead. The meadow is full of flowers, and not too difficult to cross (multiple soggy spots). Fantastic flowers

backpacking
2 months ago

We did an overnight trip on June 9th & 10th. There was a sign at the bottom of trail warning of a mountain lion in camp at rock lake on June 8th (great reminder of wildlife in the area). We had no problems and no sightings.
The hike and lake were great. We made camp on the east shore of Jamison to gain a little wind coverage. On our way out we hiked up to Wades lake and back around. The camping area up at Wades lake is a bit better, but lake access is more difficult.

The last review mentioned that the road was closed. This is no longer the case.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike, beautiful lakes and a multitude of trails make for a superb weekend camping destination.

The Alltrails route actually follows the Pacific Crest Trail for the first part of the trail, and switches to Deadfalls Trail right after the Lower Deadfalls Lake. The actual Deadfalls Trail trailhead is about 3/4 mile further south on Parks Creek Road and starts in the Deadfalls Meadow, which is definitely worth visiting - I recommend making a loop out of the trails even if it requires hiking back to your vehicle the last 3/4 miles on (low traffic) Parks Creek Road.

Starting from the Parks Creed Summit (where Alltrails' route starts), until the Middle Deadfalls Lake (the largest one), the trail is relatively Easy (unless you are coming from Deadfalls Meadow, which is a bit steeper), but above that it is mainly Moderate.

great trail! awesome terrain for novices like us. difficult to follow trail in some places. almost no snow left. prepare for some mud.

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