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Good trail with a nice climb and great views along the way and at the top.

hiking
9 days ago

One of my favorite hikes! Kids can do this one if they are used to short strenuous activity. The altitude makes it a little more tiring, but once you arrive at the lake it’s amazing! There is a lot of beauty a long the way too! The road in can be rough! You just have to go slow.

So close to town! Great spot to get away for a quick break. We took the Flanagan route this time and plan to go back soon and finish the Chamise side. Nice little get away for a couple hours without a long drive to make it happen.

Breathtaking, stunning, wonderful. Lake 2 is nice if you need to get back. Bring your camera!

Good hike, great trail, and just off of I-5 by 5min if you need to stretch your legs on an I5 road trip. Uphill for the first 2.4 miles then you can come back down on the same trail.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

This one was fun, as it had some fresh snow had to use snowshoes after the first 1k feet of climbing - barely had any tracks to follow, not a well marked trail by any means (which makes it fun)

Recommendation is to use the all trails app to make sure you're close to the trail. Thank you for putting the cairns or else we'd never be able to find the trail!

Absolutely beautiful in the snow. I recommend wearing snow shoes towards the top. Is a little tough but worth it. Heart lake is covered in snow and unable to see but the view of Shasta and it’s surrounding mountains is incredible.

Beautiful hike. It’s fairly easy, took me about an 45 minutes up and 45 down, with my puppy stopping to sniff occasionally. Most of the views are in the half which is by the peak.

backpacking
24 days ago

Pretty hike! Get to the parking area early to get a spot and make sure you park in an appropriate spot, as the rangers do ticket. We went in mid-November....Lake Aloha was great when we went plenty of water, but very cold when the sun went down. I imagine it would be absolutely perfect in the spring and fall!

Did this back in August as part of the JMT to get our resupply. The pass can get challenging if you have 45lb packs on....otherwise a nice hike!

It was hard to find the path sometimes but it was amazing hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Didn't follow the advice of "best used from June until October." Hiked this in mid-December without snowshoes or poles. Doable without snow equipment but I still recommend it. Tough hike but the view from the peak is well worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

I did a couple of nights on the trail and opted for the counterclockwise route from Black Lake to First Lake (~20 miles with all the side trips). Less crowded campsites are Fifth Lake and Summit Lake. Explored all the seven lakes including Black Lake and Summit Lake. Reserved permits are hard to come by, but easy to obtain walk-in permits in October

1 month ago

great hike

This is one of my favorite hiking trails in Northern California. It’s always worth the extra effort to make it up to Middle Ridge overlooking heart lake, castle lake, castle crags, black butte & Mount Shasta. Only downside is that castle lake can be crowded at all times of the year & the road to the lake is closed in mid winter - perfect for snowshoers seeking solitude though.

Stellar snow shoe, worth hiking past the lake up the ridge to see views of the backside of Castle Crags.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked one night (Dec. 1-2nd). This was my third time on this trail. I was hoping to reach the top of the first lake, between the first and second, to get a good morning photo. I got a late start and the snow kept me from even making the first lake. I ended up camping at the Cabin and didn't have enough time to continue on. Can't say what the conditions are after the Cabin, but expect deeper snow. It was about knee deep in most places and deeper after the first falls. Its all fresh snow and soft.
Overall amazing trail in summer and winter. Temps were around 1-5F at night with a negative wind chill, but the wind died down. It was about 11F this morning around 8am. Nice easy hike down after plowing.

I was wearing outer shells and snow shoes. I'll post some pics. Happy backpacking.

Recent snowfall from Nov 29/30 will make your trek longer if you decide to do the full loop...not sure what the conditions look like as I only hiked a mile in to scope out the trail and will return in the spring! It is gorgeous. If someone does the full loop with the current snow let us know the conditions and time!

this is a great trail!!! I was able to do the whole loop in about 4.5 hours. I took time to take in the scenery and have lunch also. this is a great day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy but beautiful trail. All I want to see is the second lake!

backpacking
1 month ago

Scenery is beautiful, gets a little tougher when you’re strolling through snow.

hiking
1 month ago

I LOVED this hike. It's about 11 mi round trip if you go to lakes 1-3. We went on November 23 which was the day after the first snowfall, and it was gorgeous -- I could see it getting slippery in certain places once the snow has a chance to melt and refreeze a couple of times. Nothing insurmountable, but hiking poles could be helpful in the winter.

As far as the level of hike -- I was bracing myself because people have been citing it as a pretty challenging hike, but there was not any particularly challenging moment -- the distance makes it tiring and by the end I was feeling my legs running out of steam, but neither my partner nor I are overly active (we've recently been doing a 2-3 mile hike maybe once a week and yoga maybe once or twice a week, in addition to daily walks with our dog) and it was totally doable with enough water, snacks, and layers. The way up is pretty consistently uphill, but you're not climbing boulders the whole time or anything; it's just a mountain!

Timing -- I think that for the average healthy person, 7-8 hours is probably a good amount of time to give the hike if you want to stop for photos, food, exploration. We left just before 8:30, got to the 1st lake around 11 AM, meandered to the 2nd and 3rd lakes and back to the 1st again, stopped for some food and chatting (and some dog play between our dogs and other awesome dogs on the trail), and were on our way down around 12:45, then back to the car by 3 PM.

I can't wait to come back and see how the lakes look in other seasons. Can't recommend this hike enough.

Stunning hike but we got a bit lost between Lakes 5-7 as the ground was covered in snow and we couldn’t find the trails (hiked November 24th). Might be advisable to turn around after lake 3 in snowy conditions if you’re not familiar with the route.

hiking
2 months ago

This was the perfect hike! A little challenging due to the distance and carrying about 25 pounds, but definitely doable. It was a gradual incline so nothing too brutal. After the first mile, you are walking next to a beautiful river the entire time. Got to see a waterfall, then Lon Cheney’s cabin, and then the lakes were gorgeous. We only made it to lake 2 due to time, but we will be back to do the entire thing. HIGHLY recommend, one of my favorite hikes.

Love the sierras.

Amazing hike with great views.

hiking
2 months ago

Thanks to an unusual delay in winter storms, we got to enjoy this hike in mid-November. Although it is late in the hiking season, we still saw a number of other hikers on the trail. We knew Lake Aloha would be drained, but other lakes on the way still provided beautiful scenic views, Lake of the Woods in particular. To see this one, you’ll have to add a small loop with a steep climb, but it’s worth it!

As far as the hike itself, it was not terribly difficult. I didn’t enjoy hiking on the scree, but it is par for the course in Desolation Wilderness. The trail is well marked; just keep an eye out for the wooden posts marking various converging and crossing trails. Some people had their dogs, but I was glad I left mine at home since it is primarily an exposed, rocky path.

All in all, a great hike that I look forward to doing again in the summer!

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyed a beautiful day on this trail, unusually warm and sunny for mid November. A fair number of people were out today, but most that we encountered were within a mile or two of the trailhead. Lake Aloha is drained at the end of the season, so we missed out on experiencing it in its full glory, but the other lakes did not disappoint. Lake of the Woods is worth the uphill climb you’ll encounter after you visit, so I recommend adding a loop on to see it.

Great hike, the rock scramble by the waterfall is terrible. Once you get through it evens out a lot and is so much better.

On the way down you can crab walk or butt scoot next to the waterfall for the first portion. Its a little dangerous and I only recommend it for advanced hikers. You get down a lot faster and its so much more fun than the rock scramble. Be safe and watch out for smooth granite. This hike is great and is really pretty. Goodluck and have fun!

You’ll definitely loose the trail a bit. Great swimming holes to explore near Ropi.

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