Explore spring hikes - 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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Pretty lakes & mountains with snow caps

Rocky mountain

hiking
24 days ago

This is a pretty easy hike--neither long nor strenuous, and it's beautifully built and maintained. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the top.

great trail, not too hard at all. At the very end you have the option to go over to Verdi Peak lookout. Really enjoyed myself however there were so many atvs and dirt bikes that it was a serious damper. May have been my fault for going on a Sunday but it was pretty unpleasant getting dusted by someone riding up behind me every ten minutes.

tough climb

Outstanding hike and views! We missed the fall color up here but still well worth the trip!

I would suggest hiking to the top. As we did this and we got lost, A LOT.

We ended up taking the gondola up and did a variation of this where we went to the top of one of the peaks (HIGHLY suggest!!!). but it was gorgeous, and we went in July and there was still snow out that our dog loved. So it was a fun hike, just be prepared for a very overgrown trail. Also would suggest going up and taking the gondola down. Personal opinion though.

Oh yeah. Trail starts you at 10000 feet and hikes you incredible views of the eastern escarpment of the Sierras. Not bad for a 7.4 mi day hike.

One of our favorites

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely wonderful hike. Great fall colors and views of Donner Lake.

I drove about 2 miles up, I was short for time and wanted to hike a little. I hiked the road from then around summit lake about 1.8 miles.

We loved this trail! Great for a hot day. There are clear cold lakes to jump in every half mile or so. There were a lot of people but everyone was very friendly and didn’t even make comments about my dog off leash. My pup is very friendly but she is a pit bull so many people make incorrect assumptions about her. We all had a great day. I was wishing I had brought sleeping gear. I wanted to keep going and going!

Beautiful trail, the lakes are amazing,our dog enjoyed it too. The trail starts at mosquito flat, just follow the rock creek road to the very end, the road to parking lot gets narrower but the parking lot is huge.

This is a great trail. I was under the impression it was not very shady. Not true. Plenty of shade. I parked at the Olympic Valley Inn. There's a restroom there, plenty of parking and it sits right at a trailhead that intersects the Granite Chief Trail. It's a steady climb up and up. Lots of people run this trail. I went to Granite Peak and then to the top of Emigrant before heading to the Squaw tram. Sept 30 is the last day the tram is open so I made a quick decision to do this hike. I was alone and so didn't stop much. I only saw a few people on the trail, including 3 hunters in camouflage. After descending Granite Peak, I accidentally got on the trail back the way I came. Once I figured that out, I turned around and found the right trail. The AllTrails app helps..

If you are looking for a challenging hike with beautiful views and a free tram down, this is it! My only disappointment of the day was that the restaurant was closed. I really wanted a margarita.

Ok hike. To many people

Best hike ever, you will not be able to take a bad picture, the whole trail is huge a scenic view, each lake different, each unique.
Highly recommended!
Not a difficult hike, but moderate rating is correct

hiking
2 months ago

This is a treasure of a short walk. We did it twice during our week stay to warm up for longer hikes. Go clockwise for an easier "up." Nice stream running along the hike, healthy beautiful coniferous trees. We collected some HUGE and perfect pine cones. Nice boulders along the way to sit. We saw very few people, mostly local dog-walkers. Highly recommend for a short hike.

For those who’ve been on the trail recently, what are the weather conditions at the top of the mountain, ie lowest Temperature, wind speed, rainfall?

we hiked all the way to the summit...totally worth it! We went with our 11 and 16 year olds. Very diverse trail. There are about 5 lakes on the way up. Mostly shade and moderate climbs. Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best walks 17 september 9 miles , saw 5 bikers in 6 hours and no other walkers, after rough track start 0.5 mi, good track to climb, beautiful sky and trees , more footprints of deer and bear than people, top view of squaw valley and wilderness and lake Tahoe. beside lake view chair. alpine meadows..

This is stunner. I do it every time I visit the area. One of my very favorites. Word of caution for older hikers with bad knees, hips, etc, however. Allow extra time for return due to multiple "steps" as you approach trailhead. I did this hike again yesterday. I had no trouble with altitude since I live in the mountains. Took me three hours to reach Gem Lake including 30 min lunch stop at Long Lake. Took four hours to return from Gem Lake to parking area since I really had to take my time on the descent due to my bad knees. Probably best to allow 8 hours to be on the safe side. Best to get started early morning due to limited parking also. Bring hiking poles to save those knees! Those with no knee issues will complete this hike much faster though. Enjoy! It's a beauty.

can be crowded but very few places have so much to see in such a easy hike

3 months ago

Great trail, stunning scenery. Did it the week after Labor day so reasonably quiet. the only downside is that it starts at 10,000 ft so a day or two at altitude before is a good thing.

Great day hike out to Gem lake with my two sons. (17 and 27) At my normal pace it’s not a difficult hike, but trying to keep up with the two of them make the hike more difficult than it should have been. Lots of opportunity for great pictures and you can gauge your progress by the number of lakes you pass. Only negative, there was a lot of traffic on the trail. We were rarely alone. If possible, I would avoid this trail on busy weekends, otherwise great hike.

Went with my friend Don. Camped at Chickenfoot lake and day hiked to Gem Lakes. Awesome scenery. This is a very easy hike for a couple of 58 year olds. There was some pack animal traffic and a lot of day hikers. We had one late afternoon thunderstorm, but not too bad.

hiking
3 months ago

The gondola ride was 45 pp. plan on spending the day bring you suit to jump in the hot tub. Plenty of trails and check out the PCT

I docked a star from my rating because the trail is so dang busy! I hiked it on June 10, 2018. Arrived around 8:00am and had plenty of parking spaces to choose from. We took our time (more of a stroll than a hike) stopping frequently to take photos. By mid - day there were hikers in view almost constantly. Many had dogs. Consequently there was no sign of any wildlife other than birds and ground squirrels.

As stated in the trail description, this trail is entirely above 10,000 ft. You will pass by many different lakes. The views are awesome and its almost impossible to take a bad picture. The only drawback is that this is a very popular trail head and parking can be a challenge so come early.

beautiful scenery and so many lakes within relatively easy hike .

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