Explore the most popular lake trails in Sierra 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.

hiking
1 day ago

First off, thanks to all the previous AllTrails members for the parking recommendations. Directions: go through the China Peak entrance (the gates were open enough to fit a car through). Drive past the following places: the restaurant, the bridge to the lifts, the boat storage, and past the employee mobile homes. You are not there yet--drive on the gravel/dirt lot toward single post and blank sign (see my photo for trailhead entrance). The six of us started in pouring rain (mid-May) and it included kids age 2 and 3 and a spry 75 yr old. Views are certainly a big reason for the 5 stars. The river was raging. The trail itself is about 80% flat with the remaining some rocks to climb over; easily marked but with one or two spots that required a bit of investigation (mostly where there was some granite to get over). Took us 40 minutes to get to the top clearing but we stopped several times for photos and the little ones have small strides. At the main clearing you will see a few stacked rocks (ducks) and a mini chair made from a tree stump. We very carefully dipped our toes in (along a pooled edge) and snow run off isn't for the faint of heart. We went on Monday and were absolutely the only people on the trail. Highly recommend for an easy trail walk with amazing river sights and sounds.

backpacking
5 days ago

I agree with the two previous comments from several years ago! This trail felt longer than stated...it is definitely all uphill with lots of switchbacks. We didn't make it to the lake and complete the whole loop. About 6 miles in there are several rivers and waterfalls...according to the map the split to start the loop should be right around there and we couldn't find it. We kept going up the trail, past where the split should have been and still nothing! This was a beautiful place to stop and set up camp...but we're bummed we didn't make it to the lakes.
Lots and lots of water, fallen trees to climb across, river fishing etc... I have never seen so many waterfalls in one place! I'm wondering if this trail would be more passable later in the year when there is less flowing water.

We'll definitely be back to try it again! But prepared for a longer, more challenging hike.

The first few hundred feet seem like it is going to be a steep haul up but it levels out soon and becomes more gradual. informative markers along the way, a trickling stream through the rocks and great views. there are some burnt trees from several years back that do scar the otherwise beautiful landscape . The hike is short so we went another 1/4 mile past and further up for a higher view point .. overall easy and very good

hiking
9 days ago

Done this hike many times, sometimes as a backpack, others as a day hike. Always a great trip. Last day hike was the most interesting. It was early September, so the weather was great. Instead of starting out on the trail, we did the full loop of almost all the lakes, we left the trail within a couple hundred yards after leaving the parking lot. We crossed the creek and headed up the ridge and contoured around and went to Eastern Brook then Rainbow to Swede. We continued on the trail for a short time and then up the ridge to Fingberbowl, Island, and Rock Lakes. Back on the trail again, we took a side trip to Little Lakes then to Second Dinkey and then cut cross country to South Lake. We got back on the trail and passed Swede (again) headed to Mystery and then then back to the trailhead. That's 10 different beautiful, yet different, high Sierra lakes. All in about 6-7 hours. The trickiest part of the hike was the first section up to Eastern Brook and Rainbow Lakes, otherwise the route finding was pretty straightforward (as long as you're pretty good with a map or gps).

My Wife and I took the trailhead from just past Millers Landing going towards The Forks. The hike overall was great but we did not quite make it all the way to the lookout as it was late in the day and the trail had not been cleared from the winter. The trail markers were not great so be sure to upload this app before you go. We went approximately 2.5 miles up the gradual but fairly steep narrow trail, climbing over multiple fallen trees, and through narrow patches that seemed almost unused for years. 5.0 miles round trip including a picnic lunch at a clearing about 1.75 miles in, at a leisurely pace took approximately 2 hrs., winds were kicking up and clouds moving in so it was time for a shorter hike around Rocky Point then a few pints of the local brew at Miller's Landing, Overall a great hike and a great day at Bass Lake ..

mountain biking
13 days ago

It is a must-do mountain biking trail whenever you are in the area.

Loved It! Not too difficult terrain wise; trail is tough to follow. The app works pretty good with GPS where it gets iffy. Had a Bald Eagle fly right over us, got some decent pics for phone cam. Highly recommend this longer than 5.7 mile hike; with the occasional 'detour' it was 7.7 miles all the way to the lake and back.

4 stars for ease of getting there, views and getting to see my most favorite wildflower: Mariposa lily!
This rating is not for the hike since it's more of a stroll.

off road driving
23 days ago

Most challenging trail I’ve done, with a trailer! Be prepared for this trail and awesome views!

Fun trail for small children. Lots of wildlife surrounding the trail and in the pond. Nice old farm home and picnic area.

Fishing’s not that good! A lot of mountain lions you can hear them crying out when the sunsets & when it rises keep a eye on the dogs & kids.

nature trips
1 month ago

Fun little trail around the pond! Great for children.

Very enjoyable hike featuring views of Shuteye mountain

Walked on this trail for a bit today. It was a nice, easy walk through the woods on a paved trail. We had a really hard time trying to figure out where to park as the trailhead listed on this page is well past the locked gate. We finally parked by the boat launch and walked on the road (which is all the trail is anyway). We ended up taking a logging road for some water access and had just the best time jumping over the tiny streams that pop up everywhere during the spring thaw.

Super cute, fun, stroller friendly trail that’s short enough for my young kids to walk themselves. And lots of fun stops along the way.

Cute trail. My son enjoyed it. Big owls nest with eggs , a painted tunnel.. nice interactive loop trail.

hiking
2 months ago

A bit different than the trail shown on the app. Fun trail info along the way. Great view at the top and some cool granite too. Little creek running up top that the kids loved.

camping
2 months ago

This is a great hike from Mono Campground. There are TALL rocks to sit on and jump off of. The lake is large but just small enough that you can swim across to the far side and jump off of Eagle Rock if you have balls of steel. There are lots of harmless little black snakes and fish. This lake is also known as Tule Lake because of all the reeds. So much wildlife, and very peaceful.

hiking
2 months ago

This place is like the veins of the earth. There are places to explore and swim here where no other humans have ever trodden. Some of the most beautiful scenery and peaceful feelings you will ever experience.

Good hike, lots of inclination to do, got to be ready for this hike! Not for beginners hikers, good to hike in the spring time, summer will be to hot..it’s hard to figured out where to follow the trail, so I put out fine pictures to help you ..

scenic driving
2 months ago

Awesome road done a very long time ago...

Perfect Sunday hike. Subtract .4 miles from our total due to initially missing the initial right turn up the hill. There was a lot of snow going uphill but was not difficult to walk through and most had melted on our return down the hill. I would rate this hike as easy due to the very gradual climb out to the watch tower. 10.3 total.

3 months ago

Great campsites near the lake.

Great easy trail to hike! Love the river. highly recommended.

backpacking
4 months ago

Theeeeee best little scenic loop ever! I typically do this during mid-late September & the weather is perfect (a little cold). I hear the mosquitoes are bad during summer but I’ve yet to experience them. You get a pretty little lake about every 1-2miles. So rewarding! Stop at the Auberry ranger station before heading in. They’ve got great little maps with the best service road entry highlighted for you & also good info (reports of an aggressive bear last time I backpacked it).

Trail isnt very well cleared so we didnt make it all the way up, and I’d say mostly not kid friendly due to some steep drop-offs. Wonderful view of the lake at the top.

A beautiful winter hike with a spectacular view of bake lake and the valley from the fire lookout. The way there was a steady incline with various types of trees, birds, and moderate amount of nats. The hike ended up being about 13 miles long so we had to run back to beat the sunset, which was the funnest part :) I don’t recommend this hike for young children due to the length and incline. We will definitely do it again with less time restraints!

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is beautiful this time of year, just a little snow and ice here and there so be careful going over logs or rocks with ice on them. China peak gates were closed so our family parked across the road and walked in to the trail head. It was worth the extra walking. We have done this trail before but with the closed gate we were the only people hiking it on a Saturday morning.

There is no vehicle access from Dinkey Creek Road to the start of the Trail.

Nice wide trail. Rolling hills with a view of Bass Lake. We only hiked in 2 miles.

Load More