Five Lakes Trail

MODERATE 218 reviews
#5 of 117 trails in

Five Lakes Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine Medows, 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 and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1151 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

snow

Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just north of Lake Tahoe, the Five Lakes promise dramatic yet tranquil surroundings, a place to relax, fish, or swim. Best visited after the snow has retreated in the summer, the Five Lakes Trail is one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Granite Chief Wilderness so you're unlikely to have this trail to yourself. Don't be disheartened if the trail is busy however, as the lakes themselves allow for plenty of chances for quiet and solitude. Great views, beautiful wildflowers, and plenty of room for exploration. It's like a playground but better. Stretching is encouraged since almost all of the elevation gain is accrued during the first mile or so of the hike. Once at the lakes, you can take it easy, swim, eat, and lay out, or you can continue on and hike around the ski resort, or head west or south and hit up the PCT and other trails.

hiking
2 days ago

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2 days ago

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6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

I enjoyed the views of the alpine lakes near the end of the hike, great place to sit and eat a lunch. The ascent isn't as spectacular as there is little to no cover/shade. We hiked on a Sunday and there were a ton of hikers. Plus, the fact that chair lifts are all around you takes away from wilderness factor in my opinion.

Pretty end point, pretty forgetful ascent. Busy/crowded

hiking
8 days ago

9 days ago

Daily trail always awesome with the prize at the top

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12 days ago

13 days ago

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14 days ago

15 days ago

What a hike! Uphill for most of the trail but well worth the climb.

hiking
20 days ago

My family did this hike Labor Day weekend. This was a good hike, the beginning was a challenge. An uphill battle, coupled with the hot sun! There is a stretch that is completely exposed, it felt like a good while before we were in the shade again. Bring a lot of water. My husband and I brought our two little ones. He had an Osprey Child Carrier for our 2 yr old and I wore our baby, 4 months old, in a Tula carrier. They did very well on the hike, we just made sure to go hard for as long as they could handle and took as many breaks as they needed. Which, to our surprise, wasn't many! Our toddler wanted to walk most of the hike, and our baby slept in the Tula for most of the hike. We picnicked and swam at the Lake, but bring slippers or water shoes if you are going in the lake, the rocks hurt bad! Lol
Also, if you have a bit of a load like we did, make sure to use trekking poles. They were a tremendous help in balance, and helped take the load off the legs a little.
BTW, we both have nothing but good things to say about both carriers. The Osprey Poco AG is as light as it can be for as strong as it has to be. And my daughter was so comfortable in it. The Tula is also amazing. My baby feels as though she is being held or hugged the whole time, and she would fall asleep so fast once we would get started. And a plus, they were both very comfortable for myself and my husband to wear. Just make sure you take the time to really adjust them to fit you properly.

22 days ago

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22 days ago

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22 days ago

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22 days ago

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22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Nice hike. Great views. Basically a up and back, climb up walk back down about 2 or so miles each way. I would not recommend for fishing as it seems like the lakes are shallow enough to freeze solid in the winter, no signs of fish that I saw. Pretty lakes though. When the main trail hits the first lake if you keep left you will see the others, or check the map.

hiking
23 days ago

this was a beautiful hike. biggest downside was all the people! otherwise, really good challenge. mostly uphill from the start, and pretty exposed. bring lots of water!! the lakes were beautiful, and the views and rocks were amazing. definitely worth the challenge!

hiking
24 days ago

Not too hard to get to the Five Lakes, mostly uphill. Took us 46 minutes to get to the end of this trail. Would do it again.