Bull Run Lake Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length7.7 miElevation gain1,479 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyBackpackingCampingHikingHorseback ridingRunningForestLakeWildlifeSnow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (135)
Photos (164)
Recordings (110)
Completed (210)
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Marianna Pix
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Hiking
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Ann Leclaire
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BackpackingGreat!

Great one night backpacking. Beautiful scenery and terrain. Mixed elevation. Very high reward at the lake, and plenty of camp spots. If you don't see a trail post roughy 2-2.5 miles in saying "Bull Run Lake", at a trail fork, you are not on the trail. There are rock towers ALL along the trail. They are KEY! Once you reach the lake, you can drop your pack and hike up a stunning .25 mile up a mountain for a stunning view.

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Deana Corsa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2020
HikingRocky

All trails app says it’s 7.7 miles. My Garman showed it was 9 miles to the lake. There are several dry creek beds that are crossed. There is a directional post at the sharp right turn to go up to the lake Beautiful lake. Very rocky and trail gets confusing have to watch for rock cairns Took us 5 hours and saw no one on trail up or back Wonder have those creeks are crossed in the spring

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Susan Neu
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Hiking

Nice place for a weekend backpack trip.

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Maureen Welsh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful day hike and backpack trip. Mix of meadows, aspens, pines, rock and (dry) streams with the destination of a wonderful small lake.

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evelyn loo
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BackpackingGreat!

At approximately mile 3.1 there is a nondescript turnoff going up a small hillside on the right. This is the start of an easy secondary trail leading to the lake. Very easy to miss. Today we marked it off with a large arrow made from wood scraps and put up rock cairns. If you don't take this secondary trail, but proceed on the main gravel trail, you'll end up in a big rockfall that has obliterated it. The all trails map takes you right into the rockfall. It's difficult to climb over and difficult to pick up the trail again. The secondary trail is the easy way up so I hope others find it.

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Dan f
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Camping

Nice hike with lots of shade. Variety of terrain. In September trail was in good shape. Only a few other people out for a hike

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Monica Fox
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Hiking
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Paula Kelly
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Hiking

Difficult to navigate near the lake

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Karen Kalanetra
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Hiking
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Cassandra Durkee
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Hiking
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Stephen Wiebe
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Hiking
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Aurelia Moore
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Hiking
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Sean Paxton
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CampingGreat!
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Chelsea Hayes
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Hiking

I loved doing this trail over 10 years ago as a day hike AND still love it now! Three of us girls chose this gem for our one night backpacking trip this weekend. It did not disappoint! Pros: Gorgeous scenery, refreshing lake feature at the end, meadows, tall trees, granite, views, moderate (just enough challenge), some wildflowers — what more could you want? Cons: Only con for me personally was the amount of people. It’s definitely a popular trail. Lots of dogs & some children crying in the evening made the nature experience a little less peaceful than I’m used to when I backpack, but it was tolerable & certainly didn’t ruin the trip.

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Allison Friedenberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Amazing trail - and all kind of terrain. Parts that are pine needle covered and soft and then sections with good size rocks and boulders. The lake is beautiful and big. Many people backpacking and camping there. Views all along the way of the granite slab mountains!

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Cyndy Guerrero
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Beautiful trail, very nice and green! Only con is that it's very easy to lose the trail, thankfully some hikers left lots of rock markers. The trail is also very rocky, definitely bring some good shoes. Once we got up to the lake we went for a swim, definitely worth every burning step!

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Sonam C.
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HikingBugsRocky

Challenging hike. As others have said it can be relatively easy to lose the trail especially as you get closer to the lake near the rocky terrain. As a hint, look out for rock pyramids and "i" marks on trees to find the trail if lost. It took us about 6 hours / 8.5 miles to finish the out and back. Views along the hike are amazing, meadows, forest, creeks, mountains, and a alpine lake at the end with an island!

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Tony Moses
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

From highway 4 parking at Stanislaw meadow to our campsite was 4.4 mile hike. About 1.4 mile from parking down hill /flat. Last three miles up hill to the lake Is a moderate hike. We camped on west side of lake which was sunny in morning and shaded in the afternoon. With a ten minute hike up the hill from camp site could view sunset (definitely worth it). Mosquito activity was light. Only used repellent for first evening was there. Could have gotten away without using it. Both days in late afternoon thunder storms. One day windy no rain. One day rain and hail (no wind). Swimming in lake was great, water temperature was comfortable at lakes edge and at top. Not too many over night campers. Counted 4 groups. And 4-7 groups of day hikers each day. All in all great hike will do it again sometime in future !

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Jovan I
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HikingBugsRocky

Well worth the pain

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Emilia Zin
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BackpackingNo shade
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Francie Reynolds
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HikingScramble
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Stephanie Teleki
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HikingRocky

Good trail, nice destination! Keep in mind that the trail can be hard to follow, but there are some cairns to keep you on the trail. I recommend to anyone with a directional sense. (If ya don’t know which way is up, don’t go on this trail LOL) Great hike, try to arrive by 2:45PM or you might end in the dark . There are some rock scrambles and steep sections so you should be careful (or not LOL ) IDK if there is snow on the trail in a snow year. FYI The trail does cross the woods so a good combo of terrain. IMHO any okay hiker can go this. GO ON THIS TRAIL! P.S. This review was written by my 11 year old son who picked this hike for our family to go on. It was an excellent choice!

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Kelvin C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 29, 2020
Hiking

With a group of six that left the trailhead around 3pm. We were a little concerned wondering if we’d find a spot to camp seeing so many cars. We ended finding a great location. There are quite a few sites around the lake. The hike up is a nice challenge with a few water crossings. The water flow at this point is minimal. No issues with mosquitoes. Beautiful lake!

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Devin Kerns
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HikingBugsRocky
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c dehnert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
Hiking

Hiked today (6/24) with my 15-year-old daughter. We had a great time. it's not a strenuous hike, but as many have pointed out, there are areas where route finding is a challenge - mostly as you get close to the lake. We were off route a few times going up, but did a much better job going down. The lake was beautiful. It's worth the effort, even with the friendly mosquitos keeping you company.

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Sara W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
HikingRocky

Just did this hike today (June 20) solo, and it’s a good one! The lake truly is gorgeous, and most of the trail follows rushing creeks, so you always hear that sound. I was glad I’m a decently experienced day hiker because of the number of times the trail disappeared and I had to rely on all context clues...and even GPS. Obviously not ideal. If it weren’t for GPS I would have had to turn around about a third of the way to the lake. A couple at the lake (first time on this trail) said they had to rely on it too. The trail has a good amount of sun exposure so plan for that. If I were in this area often I’d do it again.

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