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Lake Margaret Trail

MODERATE 313 reviews
#3 of 90 trails in

Lake Margaret Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kirkwood, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 534 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

snow

washed out

Permits not required for overnight use, though a Campfire permit is required for fires (wood, gas, or charcoal burning).

hiking
snow
18 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

very fun trail. difficult to follow at times however it has been well marked by other hikers making rock towers in the right direction. perfect hike to get out but not spend the entire day if you don't have time.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first hike in years, and it was a great trail to get back into hiking. No part of it was too challenging, but it was more than just a stroll in the woods. There are a couple of logs to cross, some rocks to ascend and descend, and some stepping stones to hop along. The air was great and the lake was nice!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

While only 5 miles round trip, and minimal elevation gain/loss considering its location in the Sierra's, this trail is a surprising workout. There are a number of rocky scrambles, up to three log bridges over water, and one short and very steep climb up a granite rock slab. Hiking in September two of the creeks were low or dry. The third is year round as it flows out from Caples Lake just above. The trail is mostly well marked, though in the rocky areas you'll need to carefully look for trail markers. Nice hike with dogs as there's plenty of water along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Fun crossing logs too. Good for kids and saw a few on the trail. Definitely follow All Trails because the trail is a little hard to follow at times.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike. Part sun mostly shade. Good trail markings Only one spot got us off course but we put in new carins to mark the scramble over some ricks near the lake. Lot of people on the trail on Labor Day weekend. we got there at 9am and got the last parking spot.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is beautiful, the stars reflecting off the lake at night, it's all a beautiful experience. The Forestry service does an amazing job keeping it up, unfortunately, it gets disrespected. Toilet paper out in plain view, people not packing out their trash, messes, a gaggle of scouts that didn't know the meaning of 'bury your feces', all made for a poor experience. On another note, climb up to the tallest rock you can see when you get to the lake, you'll thank yourself later for the view.

hiking
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

I tried out this trail with a new friend and it was my first hike in California. It was awesome. I loved the beauty of the trail and it was absolutely amazing to get to the lake have lunch and go for a quick swim. I took my kids, ages 8 and 11 and my friend brought her nephew, 12, and we all had a great time.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

I hiked this trail Sunday, 8/24/19. I started at the Lake Margaret TH around 10 am. Beautiful day, the meadows are still green, lovely maintained trail. Lots of water flowing. Trail is scenic and engaging. You hike through meadow, over fallen trees to cross over streams (decent balance required; worst case scenario, you fall and get wet, like one hiker did!) Wildflowers still in bloom, bees are pollinating, butterflies fluttering along your path, shady wooded pathways, a tight trail through natures secret garden! Some bouldering is required, especially near the Lake. A final steep scramble over granite may seem intimating to get to the Lake, but not to worry! After a lazy rest lakeside, nothing seems impossible! Lake Margaret is family friendly. I saw a couple floating on inflatable donuts in the middle of the Lake. There is enough space for everyone to enjoy. Friendly hikers. Beautiful terrain. Lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon! Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Super nice hike.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful place it's relaxing

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail as a overnight backpacking trip with a few scouts as their first experience. It was a quick hike, about an hour to get there, with a little searching for the perfect spot to set up camp. There was only one duo there spending the night so we had plenty of spots to choose from. Woke up early and tried our hands at fishing. Got a big fat ZERO bites as it seems that day the fish were just targeting flies. No bueno with my spinning rod. Water was a comfortable 68 degrees an nice enough for a swim out to the rocky island in the middle. Headed back out and passed an endless stream of day hikers. Grateful we cut out early enough or the way back would’ve been crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is in great shape, with the only impediment being a rooted tree which fell into the creek about 1.75 miles in. Make sure to route around to the left over the rock to avoid causing further erosion. Lake Margaret is very comfortable for swimming (August 17 and 18) and was relatively free of crows this past weekend. Always fun taking my daughters there to get them loving the Sierra Nevada. Perfect hike/backpack for beginning packers/hikers. Make sure to bury waste deep enough and AT LEAST 200' away from the lake. Also, found a little trash around so please be sure to do your part and Leave Nothing but Footprints...

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Tons of flowers. Creeks are easy to cross. There are multiple tree crossings with alternatives.

hiking
bugs
over grown
2 months ago

Lake Margaret was beautiful and warm enough to swim. Trail is very rocky and there's some overgrown areas but overall great trail. Felt moderate on the difficult side.

hiking
2 months ago

a relative easy hike; just watch for cairns on the rocks.

hiking
2 months ago

Very highly populated for a backpacking trip, but it is a wonderful option for those of you looking for a short, simple, beautiful hike in God’s creation. Perfect if you have little ones or first time hikers too.

hiking
bugs
off trail
scramble
2 months ago

Lots of rock scrambling to finally get to the lake. Not really a good spot to overnight. Lots of mosquitoes too. Nice lake but not my favorite one.

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