Explore the most popular snowshoeing trails in El Dorado National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Snow starts at mile 2.5 . Beautiful view at the peak as always! Ralston Lake still covered with snow.

Great hike. Snow for about 1/4 of the trip near the summit. Great views!

hiking
18 days ago

Did this hike today. Still lots of snow near the top which makes it a bigger challenge. It was warm for the first half but once you hit the snow we also were smacked with pretty windy conditions. I would prefer it later in the summer when the snow melts but for those looking for a more difficult hike, this could be it.

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked this trail late April. Still quite a bit of snow on the ground as the trail is mostly on a north facing slope. Trail was a little hard to follow in the snow. It was a gorgeous day and the view from the leap was amazing! Crystal clear day!

hiking
25 days ago

Did this trail today with my friends. Steady climb for sure Still a lot of snow Top was very cold but worth the view Good day on Mount Ralston

Packed my snowshoes just because and was glad I did. Still enough snow covering the trail to make it more challenging. Cold and windy at the top with no place to hide. Coming down was fun, the snow was melting a bit and it mage for some slippery going. Love this hike, worth the effort.

hiking
26 days ago

Great run today, no crampons, top third solid snow stayed hard till about 10.. harder run than no snow for sure,

hiking
1 month ago

The difficulty/reward ratio on this trail is in favor of hikers who want to complete one of their first summits and boast, "so yeah, this weekend I climbed a mountain... No biggie." At 6.5 miles total, it is brief and perfect for a day hike. Make no mistake, however, it isn't a walk in the park the whole way up. Your legs will get a work out.

Shortly after the trailhead, which is located at a parking lot along I-50 that is often not plowed between Dec-Mar, a series of switchbacks zigzagging their way through a densely forested area begin. This goes on quite a bit, and takes up a significant portion of the hike. Those who want spectacular views - fear not! - as the views begin once you get in the clearer area at a higher elevation where less vegetation grows. It will start to get steep and you may be wishing for those gentle switchbacks you were on recently.

Speaking of vegetation, near the summit you will pass contorted and twisted trees known as "Krumholtz", German for "crooked wood". Looking like something out of a Guillermo del Doro film, these deformed trees live a tough life due to incessant wind and snow. Soak in the views of Lake Tahoe, various other alpine lakes including Aloha Lake, Mt Tallac in the distance, from the summit.

Bonus: at your own risk, on the right side of the summit, there is a Class 3 scramble on extremely loose rocks and climb that can get you to one of the lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

I just did this hike today. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the top because of all the snow. I kept slipping and sliding and decided I'd have to come back and try again once it melts a little more! But the climb up was an awesome workout, and it's a beautiful trail :)

Cool hike especially if you are getting ready for longer trips. I went to the top on 4/13/18 and the last rain had washed away the previous footprints towards the top so having a gps made it a lot easier to follow. While following my footsteps out I found some bear prints next to mine that weren’t there during the hike up.

great primitive hut to rent, reserve online at recreation.gov During the winter snowshoe or AT ski in for a night. Spectacular sunsets during clear skies. heat and a privy are provided, everything else including water you must bring.

Super awesome hike!!! A little snowy at the bottom but clears up pretty quick! Great view at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

This was a great hike to do with my 8&9 year old. They felt so accomplished once they made it to the top. And beautiful views this late in dec! A little icy and slippery but it just added to the fun!

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of those trails which are are more about the journey than the destination. The lake itself is pretty meh. There are some granite cliffs next to the lake which are fascinating and very Yosemite-esque. I went on 11/26/17. There was a snowstorm the week before but the trail was clear. It is very hard to follow and there was swampy land and some water on the trail. So make sure you wear trail boots and socks. The ice ponds along the trail at this time were fascinating.

hiking
5 months ago

Went mid October for a mild climate and gorgeous views. We brought a lunch despite it being a pretty short hike and ended up at the viewpoint spot to eat. Windy but fun nonetheless. The starting point wasn’t too hard to find, but a bit odd as we walked through an old camp to get to the starting point. After that easy elevation gain. Would recommend.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Due this trail being so popular and short, I have tried to do this trail in the winter months.
The first time in early 2017 we were unable to complete the trail due to so much snow on the ground and high water.
This time we hit it just right! Headed up right after a storm that dumped snow only above 6000' and maybe 6 to 8" of fresh powder.
I do not suggest attempting this trail when snow is deep. To many areas where avalanches may occur. There is a ton of water on the trail so bring your tall boots.
The scenery was awesome!
Our tracks are a little off due to the snow cover but managed to stay on track better on the back half.

hiking
6 months ago

absolutely love this trail. The hike in was great even the switchback at the top isn't that bad. I'll make this a regular hike from now on. parking at the entrance to camp sacramento was easy.

hiking
6 months ago

I would rate this trail as fairly easy - not moderate. Trail is a little difficult to follow in spots. A couple of weeks ago would have been better for fall colors. Very nice hike.

hiking
6 months ago

I would recommend the Mount Tallac hike to this one. Also the distances are a bit skewed. At the trail head it lists it as one way 4.1 miles. I tracked about 3.8 miles one way - so much shorter than what is listed (Alltrails lists it at 3.2 miles one way which is a bit short than what it really is). The elevation gained also is about 2800 ft - a bit lower than what is listed in alltrails. The views from the top are excellent though.

great views

My soul is filled with the holy spirit of Mother Earth. Such beauty!

hiking
7 months ago

I started at Camp Sacramento. This trail is not very strenuous untill the last 1/8 of a mile which is almost streight up. it is a beautiful hike with well worn trail. Although the trail is well worn it is not well marked at a couple junctions. Keep right at the first junction and left (folow trail up hill) at the 2nd junction. The views from the top are outstanding. If you bring kids be mindful of the cliff side of the mountian. Well worth the short hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

A great trail! Took 4 friends and 3 dogs. We found that there was snow everywhere. Breath taking!! Most of the trail is well marked. The log across the stream was snowed over with ice, a bit of a challenge! Once we got to the granite, many of the ducks had been knocked over. Another challenge, but we found our way to the lake. We all had a fantastic time.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a great hike, you have to work hard to get to the top. Early snow for us but nothing unmanageable, glad we brought wind jackets for a quick lunch at the top. Must have been couples day, each group we passed was a couple. Coming down the trail is an equally good workout, my feet felt the downhill.

Such a good workout with the reward of amazing views at the top!

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing day- Clear sky's - Warm- not crowded at all
Definitely wear ankle high hiking boots - lots of climbing up rocks and it is steep downhill on them

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous hike!! We experienced an awesome thunder storm ⛈!!!

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail. Enjoyed how we were in and out of trees and up and down on the trail. Pretty rocky and some maneuvering on the bigger rocks. The trail makers were over all easy to follow until we got to the large tree trunk that kinda looked like a dead end but once we climbed over it we were able to find the trail after some looking around (over the tree trunk follow to your right and you will start seeing markers again). We headed out pretty early so we didn't see too many people on the way in but by the time we were on our way back their was a lot more traffic. Looking forward to going back.

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