Explore the most popular camping trails in Tahoe 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.

loved this hike, steep but so worth it!

3 days ago

nice vistas

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

6 days ago

One of my favorite hikes. Unbeatable views.

This hike is stunning with all the small lakes scattered about every mile. For backpacking, I agree with Tyler that the second half of the hike is very underwhelming because after Lindsey Lake, you are walking uphill on a road. I would definitely backpack this route again but I would do an out and back from Carr lake to Upper/Lower Rock Lake.

Great hike with amazing views! Going down was a little tough/slippery... bring gloves!

8 days ago

I have done castle Peak at least 5 times. I have completely circled it and spent a night at Warren lake. I have also done Andesite and Basin Peaks.This is an amazing area. It is loose and steep up the final ridge. Bring poles. Also you can park closer if you have a high clearance vehicle. We mad a video of our last ascent it can be found on YouTube at Chris and Bobs adventure channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpJF3zCamY0

8 days ago

Starts to get difficult but the views are beautiful! I did run into a lot of fresh bear poop! Everywhere so I turned back. Definitely hike in groups

I've done this hike several times. Unfortunately, the way back up never seems any easier (but what's a hike without a little or a lot of heart pumping and sweat inducing glory?).
It is very steep though, both down and up. I would recommend people with bad knees or ankles to keep braces handy or bring trekking poles. And water, it's not a nature stroll in the city so come prepared.
Due to it's difficulty it's normally a very secluded trail which adds to its loveliness even more.

9 days ago

Hike down and up was not especially scenic. River spot was awesome. Good swimming and rock jumping. Water is crystal clear. No one was out there when I went.
I did hike down around 4 pm mid September. The bugs were bad. Really really bad. I inhaled/ swallowed a dozen at least. They swarmed my dog and my face constantly even though I’d used bug spray. Felt like the only break I got from em was when I was underwater.
The elevation gain from the bridge back up to the trailhead is less than 2K per my Garmin. Nice for a quick work out.
Oh and when you’re driving out there there’s a right turn before you get to the restrooms that provides awesome views of the canyon. Beautiful sunset spot

Very beautiful, but hard. There are multiple starting points to reach the Sierra Buttes look out but starting from Sardine Lake area you take the Tamarack Lake Trailhead that is on the right before you reach the campground based on the directions from the app and then continue past Upper Tamarack Lake towards the lookout. My friends pedometer clocked us just under 14 miles round trip for this hike. My dog was a champ but the trail is very rocky and she was unable to do the stairs up to the lookout at the end, so hiking with a buddy is helpful so one can go up and enjoy the look out while one stays with the dog - then swap so you both get to enjoy the beauty at the end of the uphill climb. Hike is very hard, but very rewarding! Bring LOTS of water!

Love Glacier Lake and Island Lake. Favorite Is to go from Carr Lake to Island Lake day 1 and then to 5 lakes next day and back home on Sunday. My favorite local backpacking spot.

Great day hike. Poles would've been a smart idea since it is rocky and slippery in spots. Beautiful views ❤️

12 days 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.

*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.

13 days ago

Hi all, my friends and I are undertaking this hike soon, is hike 10 miles there and back or 10 each way (20 total)? A couple of sites I went to doesn't seem to clarify this and people are confused.


14 days ago

I’m not sure how anyone else made it to this trail. I took I80 to Foresthill Rd and my GPS took me to Sugar Pine Rd and it was very narrow, rocky and steep. I made it about two miles on that dirt road before I turned around because I felt like my car couldn’t make it any further (and I even have an AWD SUV). May try again using a different route.

absolutely beautiful

15 days ago

Unleashed Dogs... Nice Dogs... Barking Dogs... Growling Dogs... Attacking Dogs... Unleashed Dogs everywhere with ignorant owners in tow. "Oh don't worry... Spike won't bite you"... As he's charging me at full speed with his teeth bared, hackles up and gutteral growl going.

Trail is beautiful. Lake is great. Views from the rims are wonderful. Hike is easy with a couple moderate tenth mile stretches.

Did I mention the Unleashed Dogs!

on Paradise Lake Trail

17 days ago

Out and back Hike was terrific. Lake is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in the area.

17 days ago

Just finished this hike over Labor Day. Started at the Carr Lake TH. The road really wasn't that bad up to the TH. Just take it slow and go around the big rocks. Not much parking up there at the TH. Creative parking for sure. The trail starts on a dirt road, travels past Carr Lake and Freely Lake. Lots of families and kids swimming here. For the most part this 6 mile hike to Glacier Lake is pretty easy if you're in good shape. Last two miles is uphill, but really not bad. I did it in less than 3 hours with a full pack and several stops. Lots of campsites at Glacier, but this busy weekend made it pretty crowded with some loud campers late at night and early am. Hiked the Sandy Ridge trail back west the next day. The ridge affords some fabulous views, but the 1000 foot drop is on a rocky, steep trail, typical of older trails without switchbacks. We took the north trail up towards Sawmill Lake finally camping at Rock Lake almost 8 miles later. You pass Shotgun lake on the way to Sawmill. No camping there. This section of trail is through forest and really no place to camp. The climb to Rock Lake was long. Rock lake is nothing spectacular but had a few nice sites. Day 3 we hike from Rock Lake south past Penner Lake and back to Carr Lake. This section is really beautiful with lakes that have some private sites near rocky cliffs. Much prettier than Rock or the Shotgun lake side of this loop. Lots of people out here on day hikes which is what I expected for Labor Day. I would do this hike early season when there might be more water and when there's snow in the higher country. I gave this 4 stars only because there were so many people out there!

I took the trail head in off of Old Donner Summit Road near Mary's Cabin. It's a nice hike with average elevation and is rocky for the first 1/4 mile and open then the trail flattens some and you have some nice tree covering. I recently had hip surgery and didn't have any trouble with this hike. I saw about 25 people through out the day and will do it again soon.

* peaceful if you ignore highway 80.
* level. shady.
* can go all around the lake trail, very nice.

The hike back up was definitely hard. Bring bug spray, there was a constant swarm of gnats in my face along most of the trail.

Lower section is open to high clearance vehicles in summer. Suggest taking Pacific Crest Trail to the junction near Castle Ridge. Also note short extension on PCT to Peter Grubb Hut at Round Meadow.

Accessing the trailhead was fairly easy. the last 2.5 miles or so is dirt road, but the majority of this road is well maintained. It was really only the last quarter mile that was really bad. My Ford Fusion definitely dragged bottom a bit, so for power profile cars I would recommend stopping short and parking a little ways back from the main trailhead parking area

The trail itself was beautiful with many amazing views. The last part of the trail, maybe 1/2 a mile from Lake Penner is the steepest portion and gets a little rugged; but is likely manageable for kids 4+

Other reviewers have mentioned an accumulation of human waste and toilet paper around Lake Penner. I did not encounter too many campers around Lake Penner (there were far more campers around some of the other lower elevation lakes along the trail) and did not see the same accumulation of waste mentioned in other reviews. That being said, I did not traverse around the entirety of the lake, so cannot tell you what it is like around the entirety of the lake. However, I did not come across a single piece of trash on my way in or out and actually thought the trail was well kept given the number of people I encountered.

20 days ago

I salute those of you who day hike this baby. I even had a man running who passed me twice! I am new to the backpacking world, but this hike kicked my butt. I would like to thank the gentleman a couple of post below for the good call on the sign that says Warren’s Lake +1 with and arrow on a rock going left. Do not go left! All Trails also said to go right, but I remembered your post just in case! The All Trails app and my trekking poles saved my butt on this one. It was an incredible adventure. So beautiful and so quiet. Trail was nicely marked. I only saw one couple on the way in. The hike is up and down a lot, but on the last decent to Warren’s lake it was grueling. Trekking poles were a must for me. You’re going straight down rocks and gravel and to my credit I only fell once ha! As I was backpacking with full gear on it took me a bit longer then without. At the bottom I found a secluded little campsite to the right with its own fire pit and beach trail. There are more campsites out to the left and up the rocks after the site I chose. A lot of hikers and backpackers camp here so you’re really not alone. Absolutely beautiful lake and worth every moment of agony.

Unfortunately, Patrick’s review is right, this area is just too impacted. There is a fair amount of toilet paper scattered about the area, as well as other trash. It’s too bad, because it was a great hike and the views are amazing.

trail running
21 days ago

Great trail run. Ran it on Labor Day, and crowds weren’t too bad.

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