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

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backpacking
3 days ago

Camping here was pleasant, but only because we were able to find a spot away from the crowds as there were probably 7 or 8 other groups of people camping here. The lake was swimable and drinkable (with filter), but kind of scummy compared to other Sierra lakes I've visited. If your primary goal is swimming, I would look elsewhere. The hike itself, although short, was enjoyable and offered surprisingly diverse scenery. The trail was easy to follow, but would be a bit more difficult if there was snow. Our hike began with a hail storm at the trailhead haha, but it was clear skies and sunshine after that blew through. Despite the fire ban, one of the groups camping here (a dozen large young men with fishing poles) decided to have a large fire. It was disappointing and frustrating to witness. Please obey the restrictions in place. You don't have to burn things just because you're camping.

on Sayles Canyon Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely stunning view at the top. I could’ve stayed there all day. We were lucky at got a spot at Lovers Leap Trail parking inside Camp Sacramento. We did this hike at 2 pm on a Sunday so maybe that’s why, most folks were heading out as we arrived. Trail is mostly shaded in the afternoon. Rocky in the beginning and then again near the top. There a few forks, you generally stay going “straight” (don’t turn off on any of the forks) to get to lovers leap. All Trails map helped us stay on track.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice hike. Easy to find the trailhead. The trail is well used and easy to follow. Already frost in the morning.

About 3 miles one way, with the usual detours. A beautiful little lake.

My first peak hike. Stunning views at the top.

backpacking
13 days ago

This is my first post so I apologize if I forget to include any info. I backpacked & camped with z group of 5 people for 3 nights at Upper Sardine lake. Got there via the Mono Pass Trail that starts off at Tioga road from the east entrance of Yosemite. Not a hard trail but also not easy either, then again I’m a newbie. This was my first camping trip, never backpacked before in my life, first time to Yosemite, first time fishing, first everything and I loved it! This was the most beautiful amazing adventure I’ve ever had. From the start of the trailhead inside Yosemite to our campsite outside the park in Inyo under the trees next to the lake, the scenery was breathtaking to the point of bringing tears to my eyes, then again being my first time in the wilderness I was having a bit of sensory overload from all the beauty and the silence away from humanity. There were little to no mosquitos, saw a few deer, tons of fish in this lake, they kept jumping out of the water it was so cool! Took a day hike through Parker Pass to Parker Pass Lake which was the most beautiful color of cobalt blue I had ever seen. Throughout the duration of my stay we hardly saw another soul in sight except for a day hiker here and there. The one thing I underestimated as a newbie was the cold at night; during the day we had beautiful weather in the mid to high 70s, but at night it was in the low 30s and I suffered a bit, lol. But despite the cold at night, I enjoyed every single moment of this trip and can’t wait to go back. This trail was totally doable even for a novice like me, so don’t worry when the trail goes from easy to all uphill for about a mile and a half when you almost reach upper sardine lake, the view of Mono Lake far down below and the serenity of this place are completely worth it. This place is beyond amazing and perfect everyone.

hiking
13 days ago

This hike is fab!!! I went in late June with my cousins, during a very hot time of day. So hear this: Bring at least 3-4 bottles of water and make sure everyone in your party does, too!!!! Just every time you hike, make sure everyone has plenty of water. Although I was prepared, all my cousins only had 1 or 2 bottles, and 1 of them brought nothing. So I shared a lot, and so did my uncle, who just brought a cooler backpack filled with water and tea. There are no water sources or bathrooms at all.

Anyway, as long as your totally hydrated, this is a great hike! The further up the mountain we got, the louder my exclamations were at the lovely view. It's steep for almost all of it, and there are rock scrambles along the way. As you approach the summit, it's all rock- small rocks. So be careful with your footing.

Reaching the peak is simply incredible. All the negativity from being thirsty, hot, and tired evaporated. an immense view of Lake Tahoe, Desolation Wilderness, and so many other lakes and snow surrounded us. Although we saw snow, none was on the trail. At the top of the mountain, there's a small box with a few little notebooks and pencils where past hikers signed in and wrote nice comments. If you go, be sure to bring a small notebook, because when we went, all the notebooks were full. So maybe you'd like to add another and be the first entry.

It was an amazing hike. I totally recommend it!

Great hike. You hike with good view of Caples Lake for almost 2 miles and then head in and the hike is pretty up and down throughout with mostly tree cover and not a lot of unshaded areas. Nice wildflowers and a few streams. Trail pretty easy to follow out and back. Hiked on Labor Day and there were a few hikers up and down but not too busy considering the holiday. Take a lunch and relax once you reach Emigrant Lake or alongside Caples Lake when you get back down.

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked this as a day hike with some friends and the kiddos, ages from 6-14. All had a great time and loved it. It’s a relatively easy hike now the kids are older and would be a good hike for an overnight with kids to get them into backpacking. The trail does split of to the left fairly early on (about 1/2mile) along the small river with a fallen tree as bridge, at this point there were no markers to say where the trail went and could be a little confusing. Other then that the trail is easy to follow and really fun! Lake was cold and refreshing! Not too many beaches but enough rock to share. We’ll be back!

Fun trail! Best views of Castle Peak at the beginning of the loop and again at the end. Shaded by trees through most of the trail loop, but does get hot getting to the loop and when you finish the loop where most of the trees are off the path. Some of the trail is an off road track for trucks, so if you want a shorter hike you can drive your truck to the top of the loop and hike to Castle Peak from there.

hiking
20 days ago

the trail is great! I question whether or not it is moderate, as another reviewer said, there's quite a bit of elevation gain heading up to the lake in the first mile and a half. the south side of the loop around the lake is currently not maintained as of August 2018 Period start to finish with a decent break at the lake I completed in about 3 hours.

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Excellent 1-hour loop, if you are on-the-way to the Bay Area or Reno Tahoe areas. Easy access right off I-80 on the Castle Peak / Boreal exit. There are so many trails that connect in this area, as the Pacific Crest Trail leads straight through.

We were headed to Nevada City and wanted to do a hike in the Donner Summit area that is short enough for about an hour, but long enough to feel like a hike.
The Castle Valley loop fit the bill.
Varied terrain. Shade from towering Douglas Fir layered with lichens and moss, green and beautiful.
Striking meadow. Contrasting views of Castle Peak.
There is one trail fork that has no marker. If you come back the same way, just look for the rock signal.
Also good, this trail connects with the Summit Lake and Castle Peaks trails. You can connect to the Donner Summit rest area if you like.

Overall, we will take a group on this trail again for one of our trekking pole adventures. Excellent starter group hike, not too steep.

- Mike & Angel
EarthTrek Gear

Our dog really enjoyed this trail and the easy access to the lake water. Parking was a bit crowded but once we were on the trail it was great.

hiking
28 days ago

Great day hike. The elevation gain is fairly mild for most of the trail. The view from the summit is spectacular. If you want to plan your next backpacking destination in the Desolation Valley, then Ralston Peak provides the best vantage point with less effort than the surrounding peaks.

Gorgeous lake, easy trail at campground. Great birdwatching area, I saw Western Tanagers. Can be crowded at times.

Fun Trail, Awesome Views!

Had a wonderful hike to Ralston Peak. The views were just spectacular. During the hike, I thought of all the brave firefighters that are battling the many wildfires. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are putting their lives on the line.

backpacking
1 month 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.

on Sayles Canyon Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views. Nice shorter hike with some climbing. Nice to have All Trails to stay on trail when there were a couple of forks.

off road driving
1 month ago

Went up Saturday morning in my 2018 Tacoma off road.
Stock no mods, all weather tires, literally got it two days ago.
Trail was well maintained. We were behind an explorer that couldn’t make it up half way. .
Lots of hikers on the trail.
Definitely a fun trip.
Upper lake was beautiful.

off road driving
1 month ago

Gorgeous lakes. My brother and I drove up to Upper Sardine. People say it’s a gnarly road up, and while Subarus won’t make it up, my mild Toyota made it up without a single scratch. I highly, highly, recommend camping at Upper Sardine... We had it to ourselves and could see the PACKED campsite at Lower Sardine from where we set up camp.

We hiked to Sierra Buttes Lookout from Upper Sardine. What an incredible hike! Highly recommend it!

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail beautiful scenery and a very nice lake ☺️

Climbed to the rocky peak without any difficulty. So Smokey at top due to Yosemite fire could barely see the lakes below.
Ran into very large rattle snake on trail. 11 rattles.
Climbed Whitney 2 days later.

hiking
1 month 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.

5 stars for first half. 2 for last half (going clockwise from rest area) I do not reccomend doing the "loop". its not really a loop, I think it's just some guy recorded his hike and called it a loop for alltrails. once you get to the back end of Boreal or condos I think, turn around. The rest is exposed, hard up, hard down on a 4 wheeler dirt road. Thankfully it wasn't too hot today, but there is virtually no shade this way for the last 3 miles. the Trail was perfectly easy to follow so nice to this point. I really do not think the last part in Boreal is a trail. it's not marked and I got "in trouble" for walking on the property with my dog. So, save yourself the frustration i had and turn around when you get to the Donner Summit Resivour.

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