Frog Lake Overlook

HARD 23 reviews

Frog Lake Overlook is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1541 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

lake

views

wild flowers

A fantastic viewpoint of the Donner Pass region awaits at the top of Peak 8653 and the edge of Frog Lake Cliff in the proposed Castle Peak Wilderness. Multiple viewpoints of Castle Peak and Mule's Ear are other highlights of this moderate climb to the viewpoint. The hike begins in a forest of white firs and lodgepole and western white pines. Stay right at the two junctions with the Glacier Meadow Loop. At about 0.4 miles a shallow pond is passed before reaching a junction of the PCT near a meadow. Turn left (north) and follow the PCT along the western end of the meadow toward I-80. At about 0.7 miles the trail passes under I-80 in a couple of culverts. Continue by climbing slightly to a four-way junction at about 0.9 miles. Turn right (for Summit and Warren Lakes) and follow the trail as it climbs at a moderate slope through patches of mixed forest and open areas of granite to the northeast. At about 1.6 miles the Summit Lake Trail junction is reached just after passing a small meadow. Staying left at the junction, the Warren Lake/Frog Lake Overlook trail climbs steeply up through the mixed forest to a volcanic ridge immediately west of Peak 7888. Take a short side-trip to this peak for some great views of the surroundings. The trail continues to climb steeply from here and passes in and out of a few treed and meadow stretches before leveling out temporarily to cross a tributary of South Fork Prosser Creek. At the crossing, monkeyflowers and alpine lilies can be found. The steep climb continues after the creek crossing as the trail makes its way up to a saddle immediately west of Peak 8653. Below the saddle is a beautiful open area with loads of arrowleaf balsamroot and Mule's Ear as well as views to the south and Castle Peak to the west. At the saddle is a four-way junction (about 3.0 miles). Use-trails lead to the left and right. The left trail leads along the ridge towards Castle Peak and the right leads to the top of Peak 8653 and the edge of Frog Lake Cliff. The right trail leads to the fantastic overlook in about 0.1 miles. Sit down and enjoy the view over privately-owned Frog Lake and in just about any other direction for that matter. Castle Peak is directly west and Northstar is visible to the southeast. Once you are ready to leave the views get back on the main trail and retrace your steps down to the Summit Lake Trail junction. For those looking for more miles, continue northwest on the main trail for about 3.5 miles from the four-way junction and reach Warren Lake. Back at the Summit Lake Trail junction, follow Summit Lake Trail east through some open sections before descending back into the forest to the southern shore of Summit Lake (about 0.55 miles from the trail intersection). Summit Lake isn't terribly scenic, but it is pretty. Once you are ready, retrace your steps to the trail junction and then the trailhead.

hiking
14 days ago

2 months ago

Fantastic hike! A favorite for sure.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, lots of uphill! the overlook is beautiful, great views. Keep following the signs for Warren Lake trail until you get to the highest point, then head uphill to the east for the overlook.. Confusing at the beginning, be sure to download the directions below and bring them with

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike, with some good climbing. if you go to the overlook, follow the signs for Warren Lake. when you get to the saddleback and can see Castle Peak to the left, turn right and go up the hill and get ready for a spectacular view. Total elevation gain is 1880ft and 6.45 miles according to my hiking tracker. I started from the 80W rest area. signs are marked for Warren Lake, Summit Lake, Donner Lake Rim Trail a PCT. but not Frog Lake Over Look. it is well worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Very nice...took amazing pictures

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing views! The scenery continued to change and continued to surprise us! There are lots and lots of different wildflowers along the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful and challenging trail. To go from woods, to fields of snow, to fields of wildflowers with bunches of butterflies always made things interesting. The highlight was the summit overlooking Frog Lake.

hiking
4 months ago

Good challenging hike today. I started down the snow field towards Warren Lake. It didn't look safe so I came back up the trail. Hopefully the snow melts in the next couple of weeks. I will be back!

backpacking
5 months ago

The tunnels traveling under the I80 are both flooded at this time (early July). If you are going north on PCT you'll have to wade (up to the knees). That or head west until you reach the underpass and then travel north from there.

8 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fun half day or less trail with a great view

hiking
Saturday, September 10, 2016

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Nice trail. Definitely is a 4/5 in terms of difficulty. It's almost a constant climb beyond the Summit Lake junction. Bring hiking poles. Wish I had come in the last half of July. The flowers would have been outstanding. They were starting to fade when I went. Almost got lost after crossing the last stream, but I remembered that some of the rocks had orange painted on them. Those helped me stay on the trail. Saw lots of friendly dogs on the trail. I don't recall a sign pointing the way to Frog Lake Overlook. You just have to remember its on the way to Warren Lake.

backpacking
Monday, July 18, 2016

it was ok. good for beginners wanting to try an incline. very busy trail