Laurel Lake Trail

HARD 6 reviews
#94 of 166 trails in

Laurel Lake Trail is a 15.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Long Barn, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October.

15.7 miles
3553 feet
Out & Back



nature trips





wild flowers


2 months ago

I did this trail in September either 2 or 3 years ago. It was an extremely dry year then (not like this year), so we had to carry all our water, which definitely was a bummer because it was incredibly hot and this is a fairly long and difficult hike, which meant I was carrying way too much water. If you can go when there is water near the trail, do it! If you can't, do it anyways! It was worth lugging all that water in the end.

It was a really tough hike; the switchbacks are brutal and the terrain is steep and rocky throughout most of the trail, so it really kills your feet after a awhile. Overall, this was one of my favorite trips (and I've been on some pretty great trails) and I would definitely do it again. Awesome lake, beautiful views, and you'll feel like a warrior after you make it to the lake! I would not recommend doing this out and back in the same day. Get out there and enjoy yourself for a night or two! There was hardly anyone else staying at the lake when I went, and there are enough places to set up camp that you can avoid being close to anyone, so it's definitely worth staying for at least a night.

Keep your eyes open for bears - I saw 4 in one day at the lake! They were fairly small and skittish, though, so just be smart and follow the usual protocol for black bears.

4 months ago

Very strenuous hike. Miles and miles up the side of a mountain. 2 streams to fill up water along the way. Trails are very easy to follow, well maintained and some signs along the way. The views of the lake are gorgeous! The lake is warm enough to swim in the summer. Definitely camp overnight. Worth the hike for the beautiful scenery!

4 months ago

its an uphill battle... a bit too much for me to go out and back in a day after the previous day's adventure... nice perspective of Hetch Hetchy... binoculars would have been fun with the long range views... i would only do it again if i was camping overnight... quite a number of folks on the trail but way less crowded than Yosemite valley.

5 months ago

5 months ago

Saturday, January 11, 2014

-Hard uphill battle for about nine miles but with beautiful vistas of Hetch Hetchy, granite mountain tops, and forest.
- In the spring Lake Vernon just may be my favorite place on earth. Stunning lake with awesome fishing. Probably see a bear or two up this high.
- You have to cross a rocky frog creek to get to Laurel Lake so be prepared for that.
- Natural spring in Beehive meadow to fill your water bottles.
- Be aware of shifting weather patterns at this altitude. Have your rain gear handy just in case.