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Tough hike but very rewarding. Visited the three lakes and Lake Salmon on the way back. I’m glad I wore ankle high hiking boots over the rough, rocky and rutted trail.

I love this trail! I've hit it in skis, snowshoes, and hiking boots. Good times all around.

backpacking
11 days ago

Perfect Beginner Backpacker 3-Day Trip.

Don’t camp in your car the night before hitting the trail. Ranger Rick didn’t like that at all. Otherwise the trail follows a highway for the first two days. The second day you stop by Big Basin HQ where you can reload on any food or gear you may need. Even have showers. Third day you leave the highway sounds and follow a creek that leads to the ocean. This is the most rewarding and beautiful day. (Camped at Waterman Gap and Jay Camp)

Apparently the shuttle no longer exists. We hitchhiked to downtown Santa Cruz and then 50$ Uber’d to our car at Castle Rock State Park.

Weather was never permitting long sleeves, even at night. The shade under the tree groves was perfect, no chance of getting sunburned. Mosquitoes were heavy though and had to remain in our tents any time we weren’t moving.

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

I agree that it is a hard hike, especially coming back down. If you have a knee issue, use poles to soften the impact on the rocks, tree roots and just altogether steep and rugged trail terrain. The lakes are worth all the hard work to reach them. Middle Loch Leven is about 6 miles RT, but don’t get fooled by the shorter mileage. It’s still tough go. I have thought to make it a shuttle by putting a car at the Salmon Lake TH & hiking out by way of Salmon Lake & in at the Loch Leven TH. This would make hiking out less strenuous on folks with knee problems like I have.

This place is getting trashed unfortunately. Would be helpful to try clean up the area. We filled the only bag we had but still had to leave with a ton behind. This place/waterfall was more beautiful when there wasn’t graffiti everywhere.

This trail kicked my butt! Thankfully I went with a group who knew the trail, otherwise I never would have been able to stay on track. There are portions where you’re climbing/hiking over big slabs of rock and I still have no idea how they knew which way to go. I’d definitely recommend having this mapped out before losing service (although my phone worked the whole time). The views were beautiful at the top, but this is definitely strenuous; it was uphill the entire way. My group hiked up to the second lake because it wasn’t much further and it was worth it. We stopped there and had lunch, got in the lake, and then went back. Be prepared to work hard and bring lots of water because you’ll need it! The way down was a little rough too just because it’s very steep and my poor knees felt the impact the next day. Overall- great workout and beautiful lakes.

mountain biking
23 days ago

Do not attempt on a mtb. I couldn't find any info saying it's not allowed. You'll find yourself carrying your mtb 80% of the time and that's from RR tracks and down. Was not fun.

The hike/walk to the waterfall was very nice, we got there later than we wanted to, we got there at 10:30AM. It’s definitely up to you and your enjoyment but due to the heat and very little shade, I recommend getting there earlier. But the sun did feel very nice on my skin ☀️ and don’t forget your sunblock. We took the upper trail that lead to the waterfall. It took us a little over an hour to get to the waterfall then we climbed our way down to swimming hole. The waterfall was very nice but the scenery to the river was gorgeous! I could have spent forever there. One more thing, if you decide to take your pet(s) please check the weather, go as early as possible, and take a lot of water. We ran into a few very hot and dehydrated pets. Fortunately my friend was a genius and brought quite a few water bottles with her that we were able to give water away to them. Please be safe.

backpacking
27 days ago

Took my kids up to the middle lake for two nights. The lake was beautiful and perfect for swimming with some great jumping rocks. Trail was rocky and steep at times. Did it in running shoes and regretted not having hiking boots. We were tired so decided not to head up to the upper lake, also heard it was pretty crowded up there. The lakes were beautiful but the rocky trail was tough on the feet. Would do it again!

Great trail and great views. I took about 6 hours, but I like to stop and take lots of pictures! Definitely wish I had hiking poles for this hike since there was a good incline/decline! My Fitbit had me clocked at 7 miles round trip! Not a bad day!!

I’ve hiked this trail almost every year since middle/high school. Absolutely breathtaking views at the top with incredible (and diverse!) scenery along the way.

Great hike, definitely a little work out but amazing views at the top of the fire look out.

backpacking
1 month ago

Up hill to lake..lake seemed to be dead ( no fish) pretty but better hikes

A great hike to ser the non tourist side of Lassen Park. It is not as diificult as rated with exception of the hike up the conder cone. spent the night at Snag lake and heard our bear visitor trying to get to the food canister, no luck so it moved on. A few hours later it roamed back by. Exciting.

Great hike, but hot this weekend (Mid July). Bring lots of water. Plan to swim or bring a float to enjoy the beautiful lakes.

This hike is awesome and makes you feel so accomplished but it is a little harder than “moderate”, especially on a hot day. The first half is entirely inclined and not mildly. Make sure to bring a LOT of water and food. You won’t pass any lakes so if you have dogs make sure to pack lots of extra water for them. It is a dog friendly trail though, and my active dog loved it. The view at the lookout is truly spectacular and makes the whole hike worth it. I’d say it took us around 4 hours to complete from the lookout trailhead.

Stellar scenery on the way up and fantastic views at the lookout. Can't wait to do this again.

Loved this trip because it was pretty isolated and not as difficult as others have rated it.

Awesome 360 degrees views. Will be back!

Pretty crowded, but that is most places this time of year.
Easy hike. Gorgeous flowers everywhere!
3 stream crossings that can be crossed by rocks and avoiding wet feet.
Mosquitos will eat you alive, even with bug spray, but they thin out depending on the hour.
Parking is limited and fills up. Vault toilets at the parking lot, no water.

Finally did the hike today. Such amazing views and what a workout! All the sweat is paid off when you make it to the tower.

Loved this hike. Waterfalls, streams, big beautiful rocks and 2 amazing lakes. Gets a bit steep. Bring bug spray there are so many mosquitos. I’ll do this hike again!

Did this again on weekend of 6-29-18. Has become my early season Sierra stretch out. Really nice and bugs not bad. No trail hassle with deadfalls, but make sure you get into your trail camps early to get a decent pitch area. Not a solitude destination with road noise and weekend campers at Big Basin, but a great trek nonetheless.

recently backpacked loch levens for an overnighter. trail is mostly uphill and rocky, but not horrible. The hike was quick and lower loch leven had a great camping spot towards the back. Overall, was a great hike and camp.

Great trail! Fun swimming spots, but beware there is little to no shade and on a hot day it’s a bit treacherous. Take extra water!

Day hike, over night camping, fishing, dog friendly and beautiful granite basin lake to swim!

great trail good hike pretty country

Did this with 3 of my family members and a friend, decided to cut a mile off the hike by going down a "equestrian trail" what a mistake. As we got to the bottom sign reads not advised for hikers. this is mostly a downhill hike all the way. Very hard on the knees. Got to the point I thanked God for any up hill parts of the hike. Beautiful scenery. I say go for it. I am 55 years old.

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