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

9 days ago

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

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.

My husband and I completed this hike in two days- creating a little back packing adventure out of it. We did this trail in Oct. 2016. The hike was fairly easy (for the most part) with various scrambling sections over a few rocks. There were patches of snow in shaded spots but we mostly hiked along the mountain ridge and through several meadows. Take plenty of water!!! The altitude can really get to you if you aren't used to it.

We camped in Meiss Meadow along Meiss cabins and continued on the following day back to Echo Summit. I'd say the hardest part was Hawley Grade. It was a steep climb back to Echo Summit.

2 months ago

Great hike, dogs loved it. Views we’re stellar! Snow was perfect for snowshoeing.

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.

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

3 months ago

Also went parallel with the plan to catch the actual trail on the way down, but couldn’t get to the Peak with the snow. Snowshoes helped but in certain areas, especially getting up to the Peak, yaktrax or some kind of spikes would be most helpful. The views from the Ridge were amazing none the less.

3 months ago

Amazing views, great trail. We hiked this from Carson pass and it was about 12-14 miles total. Even in the middle of summer, there were snow here and there and it got pretty cold at night. During the day it was great and people were coming up to fish in the lake. Beautiful spot, we will be going back

3 months ago

Snoweshoed up to the peak on 1/11/18. We didn’t travel on this trail directly, instead we went parallel to it and then came back on the opposite side, making it a loop. Most of the trail was pretty easy with snowshoes, with the exception of the top, where you really had to dig your crampons in to get yourself up the final stretch. The top was stunning and we even watched a snowing cloud moving in towards us. The effort was worth it!

Interesting and always a little different depending on the time of year. In the summer make sure you have the right gear on for a swim at the top!

Don't go without ice trackers. Icy granite is no fun in just hiking boots! It was my own fault for not being more prepared, but I will be back, it's absolutely beautiful. probably made it a half mile in before hitting an impasse and turning around...

4 months ago

Next time I'll wait for spring or summer to do the full loop.
We did this trail and continued to Castle peak. View are good.

First part of trail hard to follow. Had to look for stacked rocks to figure out which way to go. Hardest part of hike is to the first lake. Make sure to go the extra distance and hit the second lake...it was stunning. Third lake was difficult to find and I'm not sure we even found it or it was really just a small pond. We went in early part of September

5 months ago

Attempt with 3 of the Dece Scouts. Amazing weather, beautiful hike, but more snow than expected. We would have probably made the lake if we had our snowshoes with us. Definitely want to come back and try it again.

Route Description:
Park your car in the Ralston Peak Trail parking lot. We shall return via this path.
Walk on US 50 (away from South Lake Tahoe which is the downhill direction. You will pass the Pyramid Creek Trail head (You can choose to fill up the wilderness permit here).
Keep walking till you hit the Pyramid Peak - Rocky Canyon Trail trail head. There is no trail head here! Its marked as a big rock with faded white paint blotched on it. If you cross a stream then you have missed it. Check on alltrails.com on details on how to spot the trail head.
Scramble up the rocks - about 15 feet and you should be on the trail.
This trail is relatively easy to follow and its a use trail. For the first mile the stream will be on your left. After a mile the trail will cross the stream and then the stream will be on your right. The trail parallels this stream till there is no trace of it. At this point it will follow the lowest point in the topo map (valley) as it progresses upward leaving you to some boulders to traverse. There are cairns here to guide you, if need be. You will then have to scramble up the boulders to get to Pyramid Peak.
There is no trail or signs from this point. You just walk the ridge to the next two peaks - Mount Agassiz and Price Peak. Note that one side might be less sloped than the other. If I remember correctly, the right side had sheer drops, whereas the left side was more gentle. Hence, pick an easier side to traverse it.
After Price Peak, descend down to Mosquito pass which runs between Clyde Lake on the left and Lake Aloha to the right.
Next climb up Jacks Peak and walk the ridge to Dicks Peak.
From Dicks Peak there is a use trail with cairns in boulder areas to guide you to the PCT.
Take the PCT all the way till you hit the Ralston Peak trail.
Take the Ralston Peak trail all the way to the trail head and back to the car.

Note: Roughly 10 miles is off trail and Class 2/Class 3 and hence progress is much slower. Time is well spent in route finding to get on top of the peaks which involve a bit of scrambling.
There is no fee to park at the Ralston Peak trail head. A free wilderness permit is required for the day hike. You can get one at the Pacific Ranger District Ranger station in Pollock Pines. Alternatively you can fill the wilderness permits up in any major trail head. The Ralston Peak trail head is not considered major, as I did not see any place to self issue a wilderness permit. On the other hand, the Pyramid Creek trail head might have them.
Carry gloves for the rock scrambling.

5 months ago

amazing view

5 months ago

phenomenal experience. can't wait to do it again

Spectacular views. Very interesting tree formations just at the timberline -- they are working hard against the downslope drift it appears.

There are many false trails in the beginning. You really need a GPS to stay straight. The uphill is like climbing stairs. At times like climbing up a dry creek/waterfall. Did not make it to the lake, so, only 3 stars.

6 months ago

Nice hike. Went as far as Lower LL lake as a day hike. About 7.5 miles, but had some false starts at the beginning that added a bit. Most of the first 3 miles is uphill, but not to the point it is extreme. I found coming back down to be more fatiging, as there are a lot of large steps down. Felt like an hours worth of squats in the gym. Most challenging part is staying on trail during the first quarter mile or so. The trail goes across rock and isn't obvious. Lots of false trails that lead nowhere.

Very beautiful views, crystalclear lakes, nice nature. The climb takes long (3h with little breaks) for a non-experienced hiker. The descent is very steap and took us 1h, because we were in a hurry due to the sunset.
We only made the first loop, which apparentely is the harder one.
Only critical point: the last 20min along the street. This is not nice and kind of dangerous.
Recommendation: start towards eagle lake - very nice climb, I guess nicer than towards granite lake.

One of the best hikes I did near Tahoe area. If you are doing the loop just as AllTrails, make sure you plan early. This one can be a long hike with so many scenic points that one day feels to be on a tight schedule. I did the loop starting from Bayview trail and ending at Eagle creek trailhead.
If you are climbing from Eagle falls side, be aware that its somewhat steep compared to Granite Lake side. Rest assured, the views at Dicks Lake and Fontanillis Lake make up very much for the effort. Would like to plan a backpacking trip next year just before snow completely melts away. Definitely one of the top hikes near South Lake Tahoe.

Fantastic views. Did it just after the first snow. A bit cool but a wonderful backpacking trip with my daughter.

7 months ago

Did this trip as a mid week, 2 nighter. My girlfriend and I had the lake to ourselves which was sweet. Overall the trip was great, we did the warren lake loop as a day hike which was fun but lots of elevation/not for the faint of heart.

Only complaint I have is that there were no signs of trout in paradise lake! I brought my gear but didn't see as much as a minnow. I did see some big ones jump in warren lake though, would have tried my luck there if I had my rod on the day hike.

great alpine views and swimming

7 months ago

Very disappointed and offended. First off I have been going to these lakes since the 1960's when my father took me fishing here as a young boy. Yes, back then there were fish in these lakes and my father taught me to catch and release here to preserve the fishing so others could enjoy later down the road. We have a cabin just miles from the TH so this was a place we would hike on a regular basis. My father passed when I was 12 years old, I have continued to go here throughout the years to present date.

When I was younger this trail was rarely used, in fact there was little to no erosion on the trail, yes that's right the trail was easily hiked on back then. Now to the present time. Thanks to the internet and word of mouth this trail and the lakes in the area are over used and being abused by people that have no clue what they are doing in nature. The trail has eroded to a rock ruble torn up mess, the lakes have all been fished out by selfish so called anglers and the backpackers are leaving behind human waste along the shores and surrounding areas within the 200 foot space and burning illegal camp fires.

So, all of you reading this....... If you come to this beautiful place, leave no trace ! If you are camping here and using the land as your bathroom, do it right, get away from the lakes a minimum of 200 feet, dig a hole at least 16 to 20 inches deep and bury your crap !! Pick up your ass wipe and pack it out with you !! I saw so much human crap and ass wipe on my last hike here on Labor Day 2017 it made me sick.

I am a regular here and have been for over 50 years, I practice what I preach and care for the natural resources I use. I keep a lookout for those abusing the area and yes If I see you doing something wrong I will let you know about it, take photos of you doing illegal tasks and report you to the rangers, so treat this place with respect.


I just called the USFS in Nevada City , CA. I have requested to speak to one of the land resources managers there. I have also emailed them with links to posts on Facebook that some visitors of Loch Leven Lakes have posted with campfires burning. FYI, CAMP FIRES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE AREA ! I am going to push to have rangers do more patrols in the area for illegal fires and littering of human waste and ass wipe. I am also going to push to have human waste bags a requirement here when doing over night campouts.

You have all heard the phrase, " one bad apple ". Well, there is more than one bad apple using this area and I am going to do my best to clean it up !

Beautiful! Want to go again!

7 months ago

HARD but beautiful trail. Expect lots of uphill and a rough trail. It looks like the trail has eroded a lot from rain/snow melt--so lots of boulders and rocks. We packed up to the High Loch Leven lake--worth it to escape the crowds and enjoy the beautiful lake. Lots of granite rock scrambling nearby and a ridge near the lake to climb for a great view.

7 months ago

It was gorgeous but one of the hardest hikes I've done. Especially the scramble down through rocks 1000 feet in one mile to get to the lake. The wildflowers are incredible though and the lake is beautiful!

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