Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Granite & Hidden Lakes Trail

MODERATE 70 reviews
#12 of 90 trails in

Granite & Hidden Lakes Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kit Carson, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 980 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Was a nice trail. Went to the east side first as you hike around you hike through a Plasses campground so that was a little weird. Lost trail a little bit had fun anyways

hiking
blowdown
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

We did the trail starting at Plasses Resort at Allen Camp trailhead. Its uphill 1.5 miles to the turnoff for Hidden Lake which was another .5 miles. Beautiful lake for lunch or a swim. Then we hiked 2 miles down to Granite Lake. We missed the turn and ended up on the Michado trail so we backtracked and made it to Granite. Such a beautiful Lake. A swim was in order. Then we headed down towards the lake and got totally lost so we had to scramble thru the brush. We met a family who was also list going up to Granite so beware! Easy to lose the trail! Very nice hike back along Silver Lake to Plasses after we found the trail again. Eight+ miles RT.

hiking
2 months ago

Overall: Beautiful views and best terrain on the eastern side. Started around 9:30 and finished around 1:45 and wouldn't recommend starting any later as it was getting pretty warm near the end. Mostly enjoyed the Eastern side of the trail with the view and water features, although the wild flowers were beautiful and abundant on the western descent. Would do this trail again but would probably prefer an out and back version going just passed Hidden Lake to the highest point of the trail for the view of Silver Lake. Wasn't that buggy, nothing more than you would expect in nature with a little standing water, probably would be worse during the rainy season though. we did it without spray.

hiking
2 months ago

loved all the different scenery on this trail! not too challenging and not too easy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This high country loop begins at Silver Lake. The trail gradually climbs up granite slabs to great vistas of Silver Lake & Thunder Mountain. In a short span, you reach Granite Lake. The granite benches around the lake are great for swimmers. The trail continues on to Hidden Lake. Dark forests surround this gem of a lake. Hiking down from Hidden Lake, the route crosses meadows with profuse wildflowers. The loop returns to Silver Lake at the historic Plasse’s resort. The return trail follows the east shore of the Lake. Watch a video of this hike at and visit

backpacking
Monday, August 27, 2018

There are quite a few deceiving turns for this trip. My boyfriend and I backpacked to Granite Lake in June 2018. After turning off of the main highway, the dirt road that you turn down doesn't look like the correct way, but it is the correct path. Then you go through a neighborhood past cabins; make sure you look at your map because you might miss your turn. While hiking up to the lake, we did take a wrong turn, so we backtracked. It wasn't way off course, though, and we didn't mind since we were hiking anyway. However, if you're one who is strongly against going off course, look at the app frequently. We got to the lake and set up camp along the back side. We were the only ones there, so it couldn't have been any better. There is ample water to filter from since there are many streams and a rushing creek. It really is beautiful up there! However, we went during the WORST possible time: mosquito season. Gosh, we had never seen such large mosquitoes in the densest clouds making the loudest buzzing. We'd look up and they'd swarm around us. They did clear up at night, though. We had plenty of firewood and an established fire pit. The night and lake were still except for the few duck visitors. There were also a couple of beautiful blue jays, and we could hear a bird with a distinct song. It was literally three notes: B-A-A. If you're looking for a beginner backpacking destination, this place is worth considering!

hiking
Monday, July 30, 2018

Wild flowers are now pretty much gone. Granite Lake is a nice little alpine lake but Hidden lake is nothing more than a glorified pond. If you are hiking for the exercise then walking to Hidden Lake is worthwhile. If your going to see a nice classic Sierra lake don’t bother. At least the mosquitoes are gone.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The trail is beautiful but poorly marked! I got so off track it ended up being 11 miles. I see many other have complained of the same issue.

hiking
Friday, July 06, 2018

Excellent trail, though the trail markers leave a bit too much for the imagination. The eastern part is easy enough and quiet well marked, however after going through the parking lots where all the RVs are on the western side - the trail seems to be blocked off in a few places (maybe thats an old bit?) and forks off a few different ways. Still was a good hike, snow melting made a few parts impassable and needed to hike around. All and all it ended up being a 10+ mile hike that was great, but the dog wasn't too happy about the extra length.

Monday, June 25, 2018

I gave up trying to find this trail. Even the GPS did not help. Maybe it is an old trail. But we loved the 2.8 rt mile hike to Granite Lake. Loved the water fall at the bridge. There are harmless leeches in the lake. Very limited parking and it is a one lane road with a few pull outs to the trailhead.

hiking
Thursday, May 31, 2018

The views were great BUT IT IS SO POORLY MARKED!!! We had to use notched trees and stacked rocks to navigate. This is 7.4 miles but we got so off course it needed up being 16! Also, the Ranger isn't on office till August!

hiking
Friday, January 05, 2018

hiked back to granite lake which was nice, didn't know there are leeches in the lake. not harmful, just not expected while swimming

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

We would rate this as poorly marked Trail. Even with all trails we got way off course and basically made it up as we went. Beautiful area for kayaking. Wouldn’t hike it again though.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Great little hike. We have been to Silver Lake many times and I never knew this spot was here. The mosquitoes were rather bad between Granite and Hidden lakes where there was standing water. Bring bug spray.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Love this place. Great spots along the way to picnic or just hang out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Strange to get to trailhead. Lots of people, horses too. Some bees but very nice.

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Started off at the end of Kit Carson Road, just be aware very limited parking available at the end of the road. I got lucky, but almost had to turn back to the lodge to park. There are some trail markers but I got turned around a couple times and ended up "off trail." GPS helped get me back on track tho. Almost made it all the way to Hidden Lake but the mosquito population exploded about a quarter mile out and I had to turn back (currently covered in mosquito bites lol). . Definitely pack some kind of bug repellent if you're going past Granite Lake but otherwise a very nice, easy hike with some good views. Didn't see a soul past Granite Lake so if you're looking for solitude, not a bad spot.

hiking
Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pretty good hike, entering the trail from the Kit Carson side. Couldn't make it to Hidden Lake because of the high water and maybe 25% of the trail between Granite and Hidden Lake was actually under a few inches of water. Will get back later in the year! Trail is fairly well marked, though we took a couple wrong turns. Didn't make it to Hidden Lake, but GPS logged 6.7 miles R/T.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A nice easy hike, with several beautiful lakes. Not many people on the trail, that was nice. Clocked it at 7 miles.

bird watching
Monday, September 07, 2015

Awesome! This is a beautiful hike!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Awesome and beautiful. Also dog and horse friendly. Sure didn't seem like 6miles though.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This trail is beautiful but very hard to find. Not only was it difficult locating the trail head which is hidden amongst cabins, but the trail itself can be very ellusive. There is a section toward the top that veers left that was very difficult to locate with many false trails leading off in different directions. Also manuvering through the campground was akward and the end of the trail covers a large granite area where the trail completely disappears.

hiking
27 days ago

Load More

Featured Trails