Explore to do - 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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Easy trail even a non hiker can handle this one, it’s on a paved fire road almost the entire way

7 days ago

Climb is up to the lakes only then a cool little loop to see all 5 lakes and all downhill from there. Just pace yourself up, and this will be a very nice outing-loop the lakes- and down. As others stated, follow your map on the app around the lakes. Not super defined, but not hard to adjust and figure out either. Have fun!

Great hike, great views. Did this hike last Thursday. Lower Johnson Ridge was closed on the way up, used Orchard Meadow trail to cut over and complete the hike up Hood mountain summit.

13 days ago

Trail is not well marked once you get to the lakes so keep your All Trails app handy! We ended up off trail several times but were able to get back on easily by checking the app!

My favorite Sonoma County Trail. Difficult, beautiful, not busy, and my dog gets to come!

Great trail. Route finding around the loop at the top was a bit tricky. If you are not comfortable with bushwhacking, stick to the main trail and skip the loop.

A great trail! lots of variations in the terrain. the views were amazing and was perfect with some up hill and down hills. will do this one again maybe running it. 6.7 mile loop.

We are so lucky this type of terrain is in our backyard!! Challenging up hill that really packs a punch as you wind up the mountain to the top. Super beautiful but also so sad to see the fire devastation so heavily on these trails. Packed a punch in 6 miles but worth every step.

We parked on willow creek road and hiked up Pomo canyon and back which was awesome. We hiked up through the redwoods, through the golden valley to enjoy vistas of the ocean as we neared Shell Beach. We stopped off at the rock overlook and enjoyed some snacks before heading back the way we came. Next time we’ll check out Red Hill; it was getting close to sunset so we stayed on what we knew to ensure we hiked out with plenty of light.

22 days ago

generally: easy trail near tahoe city with good scenery (open/mountains first part and along lakes for middle portion), not crowded on a fall weekday
road conditions: paved to trailhead, parking along side the road, no fee/pass needed, ~15 min from tahoe city
trail conditions: rocky/loose gravel for first mile then more packed dirt; find your way around lakes on footpaths
scenery: open trail w views of surrounding mountains and ski resort, upper trail around lakes with nice views off all lakes and surrounding mountains; some lingering fall foliage
difficulty: easy-moderate (first mile with ~1000' elevation, then flat thereafter)


I backpacked on the summit and it was awesome! great view, a big open space to set up your tent. It was a semi short hike, most of it was up hill. It took me less than two hours to complete. The only down side might be that water was very limited. there was a small creek in the beginning of the trail but that was all I saw.

1 month ago

9/29/18 Arrive early to beat the crowds! Quite stunning views and clear alpine lakes. Lovely to hear nothing but the occasional fish jump, duck quack, and wind through the trees! On our way back we encountered multiple large groups heading up. So get here before 9 or go on a weekday!

it's a great trail considering the length, difficulty and what you see on the way. there's enough views on the way to the lakes where u won't feel bored. i doubt it's good for winter time, the trail might get covered by snow. btw, the trail ends at the last lake, u might need to explore before finishing the trail if u wanna find other lakes

1 month ago

I hiked 5 miles around the first Lake. Nice day.
Lots of views to the local ski areas, houses when coming back lots of construction noises.
The lake area was quiet and nice.

1 month ago

The yellow jackets are aggressive on this trail. BEE aware and keep your dogs on a leash, they may trigger a bee swarm. We (group of 6) each got stung at least 3-4 times. And not only did it happen once, it happened twice on different sections, two different days, two wks apart. It's a beautiful hike! (I, myself will probably stay away, being allergic to bees). Haven't had that issue anywhere else in the Sierras. *knock on wood*

1 month ago

*Beautiful scenery throughout the entire hike
*Half of the trail is shaded making it a good hike for double coated dogs in the fall
*Bring water for dogs; the only good water source we found for our dog was the biggest lake
*Found some bear poop on the trail
*Trail is well marked making it nearly impossible to get lost
*Accurately rated as “moderate”; there are some short steep parts of the trail
*It took us an hour and 10 minutes to reach the biggest and last lake

Great hike with some beautiful views and you end in a redwood grove. They closed the trail while we were on it and must have been doing some storm damage clean up but we were able to go straight through without any issues.

1 month ago

nice vistas

Was a ice & easy trail. Me, my husband, kids, & our dogs had a blast.

I’m partial to natural dirt trails and this park is mostly paved road which is why I gave it 2 stars. With so many other choices in Sonoma County I don’t think I’d visit this trail again. Solely my preference.

1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes. Unbeatable views.

I would rate this more moderate than hard there are a couple steep sections.
There is also a creek crossing, I am not sure about the rainy season? The pond trail section is closed but easy to bypass it.
Overall a super nice trail, I measured it almost 8 miles of beauty.
You can see San Francisco and the bay bridge from gunsight rock.

2 months ago

Great trail, wonderful views, but it is not a Loop Trail. There is a small loop at the very top of the trail but that doesn’t make it a loop trail. We got a really good workout on this trail.

Not my dream hike experience; if it’s during hot weather, prepare for mostly uphill and I wanted more natural trails but to start it’s on an asphalt road for a while. It’s slow and hard going but perhaps worth it when you reach your destination. Upon leaving your knees really get pummeled so if you have knee issues- skip this!

*very nice hike.
*beautiful scenery, and great fun finding all five lakes.
*at the first lake a mama bear and her cub went for a swim.
*plenty of dog water too.

Great hike but grueling! Be warned, this is 5.8 miles and 1600+ ft gain, not what is advertised on All Trails nor on the park map! The Park map says this loop is 1100 ft gain and 5.6 miles. That additional unadvertised 500 ft gain is REAL. The ascent is quite steep for the first 2.5-3 miles without much letting up. I made the mistake of starting the hike with only about 2 hours of solid daylight left, thinking I was in for only an 1100 ft gain, and I had to hoof it really the whole way and made it back within 2 hrs and 15 minutes. I'd say this is more of a day hike than a quick jaunt, entirely due to the ascent. That said, if you are looking for an intense quick jaunt that will really test your stamina, this is your ticket. The views at the top are worth a great rest for a snack, some pics, and regrouping. I didn’t have time to do a real break, due to the waning daylight, but got some great shots before booking it back down.

Paul is spot on - you need to pay attention to the map or you could easily end up off the main trail. Strava GPS read 8.1 miles at the trail end/Armstrong tree. A great hike.

Great place to take the dogs for a walk/swim. Easy walk around the reservoir.

If you stay on the main trail it’s an easy walk/run. I love it.

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