Dinkey Lakes Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#5 of 70 trails in

Dinkey Lakes Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Shaver Lake, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1010 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

backpacking
3 days ago

I gave this 5 stars because, even though we didn't actually make it to the trailhead due to a tremendous amount of snow, we had an absolutely epic 18+ mile trip trying! Rock Creek Road was gated, so we figured we would just hike the whole damn thing back to the trail. It felt like it was uphill in the snow both ways. Camped at some truly wild spots, had some amazing campfires, a ton of laughs... and a fair share of suffering too. Nothing like spending most of your time surviving to help you out with some gratitude for the things you do have in your daily life. Can't wait for them to clear the road and get a little snow melt so we can actually get back there and fish those lakes.

As of Memorial Day weekend, if you want to get back to the trailhead and visit the lakes, bring snowshoes and be prepared to get your hike on.

14 days ago

This is one of my favorites! I love that it's a loop, love that it's dog friendly, and love the lakes along the way. The only con is that it's a bit of a drive but it's worth it! Take a car you don't mind beating up or take a vehicle with clearance and drive slow.

backpacking
22 days ago

Took my nephew (6 yo.) and my niece (9 yo.) on this. They did fine. The road to this trail can be tricky. Pay close attention to your map and numbered route signs. The road also has deep potholes and miles of teeth rattling bumps. Easy trail, beautiful lakes, swam in each of them. Plenty of restaurants back in town after hike was done.

hiking
30 days ago

trail running
7 months ago

8 months ago

backpacking
9 months ago

An awesome 2 night 3 day trip! My girlfriend and I, took my cousin and his wife on their first backpacking outing here. A great backpacking trip for beginners and also for people who love to fish! Over at swede lake every cast I took I came back with a beautiful rainbow.
I suggest going to longer route to the First Dinkey Lake(left) instead of Mystery Lake(right) unless you enjoy doing straight up hill climbs, then be my guest!
Gave 4 stars due to the terrible road getting up there and the darn meat bees! There's thousands of them. But overall once you get there, It's gonna be a good trip!

backpacking
9 months ago

If u can find your way to the trail, which the road can be confusing (which I would have NOT found if part of my hiking party didn't leave flags out) & survive the road, it's well worth the "adventure "! Island lake & Rock Lake is beautiful & the sunsets are breathtaking & peaceful. :)

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

People say the road up there is terrible, they aren't lying... It was terrible. But the hike itself was beautiful! Made the trip worth it.

camping
11 months ago

This was the third time that we have packed up here. The scenery is beautiful but the road is awful to get up to the trail head (expect to be on the road for at least an hour and fifteen minutes from he main road). We drove a buddies Jeep Rubicon up there but did see a few cars parked at the trail head (although I don't know how they did it).

My buddy and I took our eight year old sons up for 3 days and they absolutely loved it! Instead of going clockwise we decided to take the Mystery lake way (counter clockwise, which tools about an hour and fourth five minutes to reach the lake). Make sure that you pay close attention to the trail going up that way because without a GPS it gets a little tricky. We set up a base camp at Mystery lake and day hiked (and fished) up to Swede lake. The fishing was pretty good in the lake morning/early afternoon using either mosquito/elk hair caddies and the kids caught a lot of fish using some small Panther martin lures. We usually throw all of the fish back that we catch and that's what we did this time. The trail gets steep up to the the two lakes but the kids did great! My son and I have already started planning our next trip. We would love to come back up but are reconsidering the area based on the road up to the trail head which is stated above is terrible.

fishing
11 months ago

Pretty easy trail...heavily used

11 months ago

up hill some but beautiful

backpacking
11 months ago

The road to get to the trailhead was very bumpy and rocky, even in a 4 wheeled drive truck. The hike in was not too rough if you take the loop clockwise. There are gradual inclines throughout. We hiked to lake swede, the third lake on the trail and set up camp. The view was beautiful. We did a little fishing and had some success. The hike back was pretty much downhill with a stretch of steep decline, which is why I suggest going clockwise on the loop. There are pretty waterfalls along the trail and lots of creaks for water.

hiking
11 months ago

Once you made it to the lakes it was all worth while. It was breathtakingly beautiful, almost surreal! The hike was fun the whole way. We spent the hike back discussing and planning our next trip. To say the ride up to the trail head was "rough" is a huge understatement! It was almost treacherous, however let me preface by saying we were in a small VW Jetta. It is a road that practically requires an SUV or a truck. Somehow we made it up & down with no damage to the car, but we were lucky. Next time we will make the trip in a larger truck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

backpacking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

camping
Monday, August 25, 2014

We completed a overnight trip to Island Lake in late August. The conditions of the road and the trail were quite similar... for the most part pretty good, but where it was rough, it was really rough. We took the trail to First Dinkey Lake and then on up to Island Lake. The last little bit from the Second lake to Island lake is not maintained and pretty rugged. We made the hike in a about 2 1/2 hours. On the way back we took the southern loop past South, Swede and Mystery Lakes. We were very glad that we were going downhill as there are a couple of real good climbs if we were going the other way.

We managed to snag a very nice campsite on the northwest corner of the lake. After setting up camp we explored a little around the lake and up on the northern ridge, where there is a great view of First Dinkey and South Lakes. We didn't encounter a single mosquito, which was fortunate since my son informed me at the trailhead that he forgot the repellent. The only downside to this trip was that, due to the extremely high fire threat, no campfires were allowed. This was a real pity, because our campsite had one of the nicest fire pits that I have encountered in the back country.

camping
Sunday, August 03, 2014

Anxious to get back to this place. The 13 miles before the trailhead is slow but we had no problems at all with a 2003 Rav4. We saw sedans at the trail head but I'm sure they scraped a few times. We took the trail to Mystery Lake at the fork being that we came to this place to catch the variety of trout. Mystery lake is only about 2 miles from the trailhead and there's about a quarter mile of switchbacks right before you get to the lake. We had no luck at Mystery Lake after a couple hours so we continued on to Swede Lake where we set up camp on the SE corner of the lake near the cliffs. After setting up camp we trailblazed to Rainbow Lake and had no luck there either but was a pretty lake. That evening we fished Swede and caught a few on Panther Martins and Rooster Tails. The next day we hiked to Island Lake which is right below Three Sisters and was absolutely gorgeous. We caught 2 pure bred golden trout on the same lures which is arguably the rarest fish in the world. On the way back to Swede Lake we stopped at South Lake where we caught some brookies that were beautiful! Also caught a hybrid rainbow/golden which come down the waterfall from Island Lake. The rumor is true!!!!!! Overall great trip other than it raining the whole hike back to the car! JUST DO IT :)

hiking
Friday, June 13, 2014

The road is rough but very worth the trip. The hike is easy and packed with scenery including natural waterfalls, meadows, and high peaks. The mosquito are vicious at the lakes, make sure you have repellant and use it often. In only an hour of fishing at First Dinkey Lake we caught and released numerous brook and rainbow trout, best fishing activity I've ever witnessed.