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

NorCal Hikes Map
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hiking
14 hours ago

Popular trail with lots of hikers on the weekend. Beautiful views and pristine lakes that are well worth the climb.

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
1 day 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.

As of today, aug 12, 2018. Not amazing at all. Smokey, dry, way too hot and literally looks like it burned down yesterday. Very sketchy to get to and should not go by yourself. Hopefully in the cooler months and growth from rain I’ll try again but def bummed bc recent reviews said it was great.
......... also I was just informed that it’s hunting season up there. Def not safe right now!!!!

hiking
2 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!

hiking
3 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
5 days ago

Good solid grind going up. Still hazy but the view is still amazing. Bring water! I brought 3 liters and drank 1.5. Always have more then you think you’ll drink. Having less is horrible

off road driving
5 days ago

Went with a group of vehicles back in the first of July. this is a fun trail and if your rig has 35" tires or smaller you will be scraping your undercarriage. A few one rig got some body damage, one broke a ball joint. I would suggest taking at least one person with experience on this trail. Plan spending more time because there is a nice stream to hangout at and Lake Alpine, plus some of the obstacles can be tough.

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

Nice trail. Beautiful views.

off road driving
6 days ago

Solo run yesterday. Fantastic trail. Clear of fallen trees. Bring your swimsuit

backpacking
6 days ago

The smoke Aug 5-7 was quite heavy, which limited our ability to enjoy the lake. Smoke prevented seeing far and we could feel it in our lungs. With a clear sky we would have had a wonderful experience.

Nice camping spots, and the island at the middle of the lake would have been a great swimming goal.

trail running
8 days ago

It's nice out there the scenery and everything, I was able find two of the lakes. Had to use my phone to find the others since you can see it on the map. I didn't bother at first and I got side tracked which let me down the trail to PCT. It's another nice trail but had to back tracked since I wanted to view all the lakes.

hiking
8 days ago

Very doable and fun for all ages! I recommend going onto the mountain top off to the side of the back lake, gives for a great view of Alpine Meadows on a clear day!

off road driving
8 days ago

New reroute is open

Awesome

Awesome hike. Moderate (most elevation climb is in first half) and once you get to the lakes, so many options to explore other trails (PCT). We went at 7am on a Sunday morning and didn’t see a soul till we hit the lakes, where we saw 2 tents and a hammock camper. No mosquitos at all and we sat in the water for a good 30 minutes. Biggest lake is definitely the only one you could feasibly swim in - the others are very stagnant, shallow and murky. We continued on to join up with the PCT for a bit and then came back to get more mileage in. On the way back down, it was about 11am when we started the descent, the trail was PACKED with people coming up. Definitely don’t plan to start this hike after 9am I would say if you enjoy your space and solitude. Most of the people coming up were city slickers/tourists.

hiking
9 days ago

August 4, very smoky, mid 70s most of wildflowers done, not many bugs. .5 mile road to trailhead is 4WD. Solid hike, would be good for trail running if air quality was better. Nice island ~30 ft from edge of lake. Trail is very rocky, hard on the ankles. Lots of fallen trees on the trail.

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

hiking
11 days ago

Great demanding trail and not for the faint of heart. I’m just starting to get back in shape and this trail really challenges me. Due to time constraints and my current capabilities I took the shortcut using the Pig Farm Trail route which made it about 1.5 mile hike round trip.

I agree that it is a hard hike, especially coming back down. If you have a knee issue, use poles to soften the impact on the rocks, tree roots and just altogether steep and rugged trail terrain. The lakes are worth all the hard work to reach them. Middle Loch Leven is about 6 miles RT, but don’t get fooled by the shorter mileage. It’s still tough go. I have thought to make it a shuttle by putting a car at the Salmon Lake TH & hiking out by way of Salmon Lake & in at the Loch Leven TH. This would make hiking out less strenuous on folks with knee problems like I have.

hiking
12 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.

The scenery on this trail is ever changing! Which made it interesting and fun:) It wasn't challenging in any way, very chill. Adorable, really. Good for everyone! Adults and kids. Wheelchairs not so much).

There was no sign on the fork & we didn't think of getting a map before we started so we took the trail on the left & apparently it was the more difficult one. About 3.5 miles in we saw a black bear near the trail ahead of us so we ended up having to walk back in fear & in silence without even seeing the waterfall. I've never walked so fast in my life. It was a great workout, but the trail could use some maintance.

Great view from the top. I could see this hiking bing amazing during a season when it’s not so hot and dry. I would recommend bring LOTS of water and some good shoes. This hike is a little challenging.

Wild flowers are now pretty much gone. Granite Lake is a nice little alpine lake but Hidden lake is nothing more than a glorified pond. If you are hiking for the exercise then walking to Hidden Lake is worthwhile. If your going to see a nice classic Sierra lake don’t bother. At least the mosquitoes are gone.

One of my fav hikes

This trail wasn't worth the effort. It's long, hot and honestly not that pretty (like some of the women from my past). The trail is not well maintained, lots of plant life growing into the walking path you can't avoid walking through, a fallen tree you have to climb over. If you are with a lady in booty shorts, she won’t like it and will keep telling you how much she dislikes it, trust me I know. There's one good look out point where you can see the waterfall but you're not very close to it. Other than that spot you can't ever really see it. When you get to the top of the waterfall the angle is bad and you can't actually see the bottom or the water go off the cliff. I will say the water at the top is nice, clear and refreshing to get in. If you like pain with no payoff, this is for you, you masochist.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice out and back with beautiful scenery along the way. The majority of the trail is exposed so bring a hat, wear your sunblock and be mindful of the sun/heat during summer. The large lake is a great place to find shade, enjoy a lunch, and go for a swim. Heavily trafficked and well marked trail.

This trail kicked my butt! Thankfully I went with a group who knew the trail, otherwise I never would have been able to stay on track. There are portions where you’re climbing/hiking over big slabs of rock and I still have no idea how they knew which way to go. I’d definitely recommend having this mapped out before losing service (although my phone worked the whole time). The views were beautiful at the top, but this is definitely strenuous; it was uphill the entire way. My group hiked up to the second lake because it wasn’t much further and it was worth it. We stopped there and had lunch, got in the lake, and then went back. Be prepared to work hard and bring lots of water because you’ll need it! The way down was a little rough too just because it’s very steep and my poor knees felt the impact the next day. Overall- great workout and beautiful lakes.

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