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

North Lake Map
8 hours ago

April 23, 2018: No trail blazes at all. Had to use All Trails app constantly to stay on the trail. Very mixed conditions, some snow coverage, then sand and rock. Unfortunately I had to turn around about halfway up the trail, when I came to a creek that had to be crossed. A snow bank on my side of the creek was so tall (at least 6 feet) that I could get down and to the other side. All footprints in the snow stopped there, none continued at the other side of the creek. I looked for other spots along the creek to cross, but the area is too grown in. I talked to other hikers on the way down, who confirmed that that's as far as one can go at the moment. Wish I had known. It was still a beautiful day and nice elevation gain and great view of the ski resort and tram the whole time.

Super easy hike. The driving directions to the trailhead are wrong the actual trail head is right off of Highway 89. Beautiful wildflowers a little bit muddy

Great hike. Still a lot of snow to trek through.

3 days ago

Hiked up the peak yesterday. The snow was well packed, needed snowshoes only on our way back. Great hike and wonderful views!

8 days ago

Our family has enjoyed this both as a day-hike and as an overnight.

Super easy walk to Picnic Rock. Great view of the Tahoe basin. Take a picnic and enjoy the sunny view. Good snow shoe hike in the winter. Could be 5 stars but copious amounts of dog poop require constant attention on the trail and detracts from outdoorsy atmosphere.

1 month ago

Nice short hike. Well traveled, slightly icy so we used yaktrax.

As others have mentioned, trail is a little hard to follow at first. look for footprints in the snow and cairns. Lots of ice on the trail, recommend yaktrax. Snow is deeper after the foot bridge. I turned around just below the first lake as the trail disappeared and I began postholing to my knees, snowshoes would be helpful here. Fairly strenuous trail and good views along the way. Dog loved it and I was the only one there on a Tuesday.

2 months ago

Overall a Kiss-A$$ amazing experience.
Our trip was an Over-nighter - A Snowshoeing - Backpack Camping Trip in February 2018. So my Review is in the Context of Winter Snowshoeing only.
The first thing I will note is that the many of the later parts of the trail are barely conducive to snowshoeing, unless you are extremely experienced or the snow is VERY deep. Technical Rocky steps - both up and down).
Secondly, there is one part of the trail (which we nicknamed the "Ice Field" where it is ESSENTIAL to stay Right On the Trail on the way down. It is a section of flat rock with a lot of water flow over it - and therefore, ice. Many of the "paths" down over this section (the trail closely hugs the uphill side) "cliff out" in a very dangerous way. We were lucky that this section was not covered with several inches of snow - as that would have been very dangerous. Use GPS.
The views were amazing and humbling.

Picturesque easy hike. It is walkable now (Feb. 10!) but very muddy with icy spots.

2 months ago

Easy effort, big reward!

Nice easy hike. It was a bit muddy in places but that's part of the experience of hiking. Can wait to come back in the summer and ride it on the bike.

Warning! In order to cross Sugar Bowl terrain during their ski season, a uphill pass is required. Even with an uphill pass, only some uphill routes are approved and unfortunately this is not one of them. I ran into a ski patrol while attempting this trail and was turned around. They told me to visit Sugarbowl.com and read the uphill policy for more information.

2 months ago

Had a great sunny day today. Snowshoes the entire trip. I will be doing this again.

Super fun in snow! Went snow shoeing with my best friend today, and it was a beautiful view up at the top! Not too difficult, the steepness is pretty gradual until the end. Would love to see it in the springtime.

2 months ago

Amazing Trail here one of my favorites so far!!

2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Park right off the highway as the road to the trail head is narrow and there is no closer parking. Trail was easy to follow the tracks until it crossed the ski runs.

3 months ago

We did this backpacking on snowshoes over 2.5 days - could have been two.
On the way in we followed this trail, and on the way back we went up the ridge route from the south-end of Paradise Lake.
The semi-frozen swamp with the invisible four-wheel drive trail at the end was the 'downside' of this trail for snowshoeing - at least on our trip. We were on top of the trail according to the GPS, but I have no idea where it was. At the end of a long day, that was the biggest downer of the trip - wet freezing boots and leaping creeks with a pack and snowshoes on :/ I recommend getting to the Paradise Lake sign early, and taking your time with route finding to skirt the swamp.
The ridge trail out, our ' I am not doing that again reroute', was beautiful, but also very hard work on snowshoes! It is a lovely area, and once away from the highway noise, a peaceful winter trip with the option to stop by the Peter Grubb Hut for a little Sierra history.

This time of year the PCT underpass is a knee-high frigid drain! Walking under the highway on the road shoulder from the SnowPark was much better on the way back.
Also note, for overnight trips you are required to park at the SnowPark, so remember to get a permit.

Amazing hike. Pack warm, waterproof hiking shoes and trekking poles

3 months ago

I chose this trail and location for my first foray into snowshoe backpack winter camping.
Before I describe the trip and trail I will leave a word of caution: don’t park at the trailhead anywhere during the winter months. You will get “snow towed.“ I did!
Despite that headache, I had an awesome time blazing Pristine trails through 8 inches of fresh powder, which had just dropped the preceding week prior to my Saturday morning trip.
Despite being obscured by the snow, the trail was easy to follow and AllTrails map is spot on.
Gorgeous winter-scape and views. See pics.

Beautiful hike not to bad of an elevation gain

3 months ago

It’s a good hike , very moderate- not to hard . Views are great.

You can’t go wrong with a trip here. Fun to get too from both trails.

Do this hike in the summer then come back and do it in the winter, it’s so amazing to see the change in the terrain. Such an amazing hike I recommend it to everyone

A lot of wildflowers during May

A bit muddy since there has been no snow and it’s been warm. Pretty creek.

Great hike! This area is beautiful

3 months ago

Great little trail around spooner lake. Easy hike, may be muddy in certain areas at times. Only downside is some dog poop or trash left by inconsiderate visitors.

3 months ago

Great easy trail for young kids. both shaded and non. Restrooms by the parkinglot (there is a day fee) with easy parking. little lake was beautiful and very peaceful. lots of birds, open grass and great wooded area. we only saw one other group there around 10am on a Sunday. Great for photos. Will do it again.

on Five Lakes Trail

3 months ago

Although there were a few spots I wished I had yakttax on, this was a wonderful hike. I was amazed by the frozen lake with a snowman built on it. The views are spectacular.

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