Explore the most popular lake trails in Humboldt-Toiyabe 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.

28 days ago

Awesome hike. A lot of different sceneries- all beautiful. Definitely bring a hiking pole, you will need it towards the very end (the lake) when you’re jumping from rock to rock. Short legged dogs might have trouble with this part of the hike.

This a great little hike. It is steep and challenging but not technical. I hiked it for an overnight trip with a seven and four year old but any further would have been too much for them.

2 months ago

A nice hike following the west Walker river for a mile or so. Anglers can find access to the river along this stretch. You can also escape the large number of anglers who fish at the campground by the trailhead especially if you fly fish. We went to Roosevelt lake which is scenic then the rest of the loop. Secret lake is pretty and worth the hike. I would call this hike more moderate than easy because there are several steep grades and the trail has a lot of loose rocks at several points. Unfortunately the forest fires to the west sent smoke and ash which got worse throughout the day. Hopefully you will be able to avoid this.

A great hike through some wonderful scenery. Typically one could do it as a there and back, but we chose to make our way around the shore to the dam at the east end of upper Kinney, overlooking lower Kinney Lake. After a swim and lunch we picked up the jeep track near the south-east point of Upper Kinney. This took us back to Kinney Reservoir and highway 4. Then it is about 30mins back to the PCT car park. See route recording photo #43.

A lot of elevation gain, up and down. Very remote. Only saw 20 people for first 21.5 miles. 40 people from Frogs Lake to Carson Pass.

scenic driving
3 months ago

We took Monitor Pass from South Lake Tahoe toward Lee Vining. Scenery is wide open at the top with meadows and views of the Sierras in the distance. Then the scenery changes and you see wide sweeping views of the valley from high above Topaz Lake. Finally you cut through the rocky ridge at the bottom to bring you out to I-395. Nice views and several opportunities to stop. They just repaved sections of the road in June/July 2018 so smooth blacktop. Enjoy the ride!

3 months ago

Loved this hike yesterday. Except for the initial climb from Hwy 4, this is a fairly tame trail with not too much up and down. It is a beautiful trail with a number of little ponds along the way. Took us about an hour to reach the lake and then we hiked half way around and had lunch. There were a number of primitive camping sites around the lake evidencing that this is a popular spot for some short overnight hiking. Trail was littered with a myriad of wildflowers. There was even still some small patches of snow along the trail (at the end of June). The description says it is about a 4 mile hike round trip but with the trip around the lake my Apple Watch told me we hiked 6.5 miles in total, that includes the 1/4 mike to and from the PCT trailhead parking lot. Highly recommend this beautiful hike for a quick day or overnight hike.

Gorgeous hike with the trail all to ourselves- didn’t see a soul beyond the errant ground squirrel or jay. The elevation gain is a not for the faint of heart, and the trail gets slightly overgrown in some areas. Like others have said, it’s not 8 miles, it’s more around 10-10.5. The views and lake are fantastic.

Was recommended by someone to go here for snowshoeing we couldn’t find the trail due to all the snow.

Difficult long hike, very steep.
Gorgeous view and nature. It worths the climb.
Easy to follow the trail and the hot springs award after the hike is awesome

scenic driving
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Top 3 scenic Sierra Nevada rides whether cycling,driving or hiking. Endless area to explore and some of the finest fall color.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mileage alert! It's actually 10.5 to 11 miles round trip, according to park rangers and signage, not 8.

Anyway. Great hike! The lake is more of a large pond, but the views on the way up are wonderful! And the last mile or so is a very pleasant flat meander through the upper meadows and forest. Do it for the hike up, not for the lake itself.

Did this one with the whole family 7,13,15 year olds and a pup... a bit much for the newbie to hiking but well worth it for those that hike regularly. Spectacular views... and a nice lake at the top.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hiked this trail twice. Worth the effort for the views. Good variety of scenery. Should be in shape for this one.

mountain biking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Tough climb at times, beautiful lake, fast descent. Few trucks going by, some campers at the lake. Pretty trail to the top with lots of green and several streams.

We hiked this trail 3 years ago. All and all it was a beautiful hike, but you better be in decent shape. Loose footing and a few tight spots from over growth were really the only issues we encountered. We started from the hot springs and made the up hill trek first, which turned out to be a good idea. Most of the elevation change happens in a few miles and this is what made it a challenge for my valley dwelling brothers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A deceptively hard hike with big elevation gain, worth it with such a beautiful clear lake at the end.
More small lakes are beyond and the center peak can be seen from 395. Had snow in September, one of my favorite hikes of all time.

scenic driving
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Monitor Pass or highway 89 is one of the finest, most scenic roads especially for motorcycles in the entire state of Ca. You drop three thousand feet or so in just a few miles with a very nice road and a view from the top all the way down to Topaz.... For me the best pass hands down through the Sierras. A truly incredible ride and view!

trail running
Friday, July 15, 2016

This is 5.5 miles one way with about 2.5 miles climbing 2,500 feet (11 miles rounds trip according the signage at the hot springs). The Manzanitas near the top are pretty overgrown, some over my head, so the trail needs some work but we didn't see one person on it (besides up at the lake) and it has stunning views. Most of it is very steep so bring plenty of water - we ended up filling up a bottle in the creek up top and thankfully didn't have any GI issues after it.

mountain biking
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

So I'm a bay area mountain bike guy that happens to be spending more time in the Hope Valley area.
I'm not the body armor, full-face-helmet rider I sometimes see up here. I was looking for an entry route to evaluate my ability to ride at higher altitudes this was a first choice. It's a good grind, but not that hard, up to the lake from your starting point at the RT88/89 intersection called Pickett Junction. You'll break a sweat but not kill yourself. Many places along the way to gaze out over Hope Valley and mountains to the west. Burnside Lake is small but beautiful and provides cool snow-fed water to take a swim in before starting your adventure back down hill to your starting point. You can also option to deviate up fire-roads and attempt a climb to higher mountains to the east.

mountain biking
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Steady climb for 6 miles on dirt road. The road allows motor vehicles, so we ate dust a couple of times. Lake was pretty, nice picnic, camping or fishing spot. Fairly intense aerobic workout.
We went on the single track trail through the meadow beyond the lake. Super bumpy ride in the meadow!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Assuming that this is the trail that begins in the Grover Hot Springs State Park and spirals its way up to Burnside Lake, the trail is well built and not too busy. It is very steep and most people only make it to the falls just outside the campgrounds before meandering back. I was rather disappointed with the hike in terms of final destination. We were new to the area and unaware that the lake is accessible by vehicles.After scrambling our way to the top, we were expecting something of a beautiful lake or a nice viewpoint. Burnside is dusty and crowded with people who accessed the lake from Hope Valle.y. Big let-down. The views are in the ascent so if you Go, make sure that you stop along the way and absorb the scenery instead of rushing to the top. I remember a section of the trail near the top that had a poor creek crossing in early summer, in which I was crossing a wet log and fell in, so be careful in watching for where the correct trail crossing is.

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