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

Sierra Lakes Map

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

Right now (feb 19th) snow shoes are needed from spooner summit down to the lake. Wind blown snow drifts present. Beautiful regardless.

Completed on 2/18/18. Used microspikes for a little more than half of the hike, snowshoes for about the last quarter mile. Saw many people without spikes or snowshoes that were hiking so doable just harder. Great views at the top.

If you’re doing the loop just know you’re going to have to walk on the street for like a half mile to get back to where you parked. It’s closer to 9 miles.

The real scoop... the west side of the loop, the long side, is interrupted by several camp sights. So it’ll be awesome and then you’ll walk the huge camp sights and finding the trail and getting back on track can be a pain. The east side, around a mile shorter, is amazing. Great trail. Ups and downs. My gf and I enjoyed it a lot.

The waterfall is awesome. You have to walk past the bridge, can’t miss it, and you’ll approach it. We sat and had our lunch here. For a man-made waterfall is amazing. Still beautiful and would go back to see it any time, but would only hike the east side and not do the loop.

Nice and pretty easy hike. It’s beautiful and this time of year, not many people on the trail.

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is a nice mellow ride with a lot of great views. I recommend going counter clockwise around the lake. make sure to stop and check out the water fall near the East part of the lake called the meadows area. There is a lot of pine needles on the camping side of the lake.
There a couple of Free to Park areas that are very small and a couple of $5 day use parking areas outside of the main gates. Just ask about them at the entrance of the lake.

beautiful! went a few days ago and once you get passed Spooner lake the snow can get deep. I still wore hiking boots and did fine. snowshoes would've been helpful

BEAUTIFUL hike, but let me tell ya, when its covered in snow there are quite a few tricky spots, and we lost the trail a few times. also the lakes are completely snowed and frozen over right now. enough that when I thought I was solid i hit the edge of the creek coming out and managed to fall knee deep in ice water. Definitely beautiful, but maybe wait til snow melts.

Great hike! Pretty steady incline on the way out but great downhill on the way back. Wonderful for dogs. Amazing views of Lake Tahoe! Some icy bits in the middle and we couldn’t get all the way down because the snow was to our news but it was great nonetheless. About 3 hours for 6 Miles

Absolutely stunning views. Hiked this 1/6/18, there's snow past granite lake and the last 1/4 is about 1' deep. It was worth it.

Really great moderate hike, beautiful views in the meadow and of the lake. The lake was frozen when we got there, ice was thick enough for several meters in for us and the dog to walk. The way up was snowy and icy - having microspikes helped basically the entire way. To the lake and back took about 3hrs, and we took our time up.

Be prepared. Icy in spots but lots of snow at top.

Great trail! There was lots of snow and beautiful views!

Great peaceful hike. Spotted two bald eagles. Including a baby.

Don't get me wrong with the three stars. It's pretty and well maintained. It's also very convenient location wise. Without having to drive at least an extra half hour more, this was as woodsy of an outing I was going to get of a hike in El Dorado that I saw right off the highway.

It's a GREAT place for kids and larger families. If you're looking for quiet and less people around this is not your place. Almost never had a clear photo shot without a human, auto or boat, or man made something in the shot. It was also kind of noisy with lots of talking and loud machinery on the north side. Even the waterfall is not natural it seems. The trail around the lake also makes you go on the paved road for quit a while which was a bit of a bummer. There was a bit more trash than I could pick up while walking but honestly for the amount of people that use this area I am surprised how clean it is.

I also think $12 for day use for a regular car is very high. I'll make sure to push to go out a little further next time.

3 months ago

North side of the lake isn’t well marked but south side is. Great views and good hike for older kids.

3.5-4 hr

Beautiful trail! The lake on the way to the top is great and there are a lot of early vistas to keep you interested. In late November there was a significant amount of snow as you move past the lake and towards the top though so definitely wear hiking boots and start earlier than us (1pm) if you’re trying to go to the top.

4 months ago

Went September 2017. Easy hike to the lakes. Even if you get off trail there’s tons of cairns to always help out. Got hailed on but it quickly dried up!Too windy to fly fish. Lots of off trail explorations with easy exposed granite as access.Mosquitoes not a problem due to constant low mph wind.

Trail was clear until towards the top of the ridge on the hike in, 1-2" of snow in patches. Same with around the lake. Weather was cold and windy, plenty of downed fire wood around all the camp sites. Didn't catch any fish but they are there. Climbed up the rock formation, not recommended with snow.

The meadow is wet in the Spring and braided trails are developing. Buttercups bloom first then Asters both are beautiful. Round Lake had a pair of nesting bald eagles this year. A great hike with access to Dardanelles lake as well.

4 months ago

great hike one day AFTER it rained no dust on the trail lots of bathrooms along the 8 mile trail water fall was flowing strong

A nice out and back hike. However, do not underestimate the gain involved with this one. Even though it’s a relatively short hike in horizontal distance it’s almost entirely straight up and then straight back down.

The trail is loose soil most of the way along switch backs that zig zag up through forests and then chaparral. The trail is easy to follow until you get to the final ascent. At the last junction you basically turn south and find your way up to the top. There are some indications of trail but you’ll have to find your own way mostly. There are cairns that have been setup but they are hard to see and you must pay close attention to find them. But if you do you’ll know you’re on the right path. You’ll be greeted by an altar of granite boulders which provide a great platform to view granite lake, cascade lake, emerald bay and South Lake Tahoe.

Reverse your steps and find your way back down. 1.5hrs up (with a 10 minute break) ~50mins down.

The climb down is fine, getting back up will slow people down. Great scenic hike!
I"ll go back.

A good workout, along with amazing views.

I have been on this hike several times including the new hiking route portion. It is suitable for more most hikers.
I have discovered something rare, topograghy-wise,nearby the new hiking trail. i wonder if anybody else has noticed it, hint, it is near the wooden footbridge.

Hiked to Grouse and Hemlock yesterday through a light coat of early season snow. The trail was a fun and solid workout, and the views up top were gorgeous.

on Island and Twin Lakes

5 months ago

This hike is the one I have enjoyed the most, the hike encompasses all kinds of terrain. It was too windy when I reached the lake and could barely stay for 15 mins by the water. The trail is not well marked and uses cairn as trail marker, As the 2nd half of the trail is through rocky terrain and has scattered stones, it is very easy to miss the cairn especially while on the return and possible to get lost. It is advisable to have the compass and Map and rely on that for this hike.
All said and done, The hike is more pleasurable for a moderate hiker than the scenery around the lake. One must hike this trail at least once.

on Big Meadow to Round Lake

5 months ago

This is pretty easy to moderate hike having a paved terrain. Hiking through the lush green Meadows was very pleasing to eyes. The lake by itself serves a good place for backpacking. the hike is almost fully through the dense wilderness and hence was very pleasurable. The rating of 3 has been provided based on the scenery around the lake, as the other side of the lake features a rocky terrain.

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