Loch Leven Lakes Trail

HARD 203 reviews
#3 of 114 trails in

Loch Leven Lakes Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1633 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

High alpine lakes aplenty in the Tahoe National Forest. Located directly of Interstate 80 this trail will have you hiking deep into the Tahoe National Forest in no time, in search of scenic high alpine Sierra Nevada lakes. Because this trail needs to be tackled during the summer and fall months to avoid winter conditions this popular trail can get quite busy, but the hike still remains a worthwhile trip. Elevation gain: - 1,250ft (from 5,800 - 6,900ft)

backpacking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike with wild flowers and prize at the top, serene lakes. Climb up the rocks is a good workout and well worth it. Started early morning on a Friday and was nice with very few people. Middle lake was perfect for a swim. Wear hiking shoes and bring lots of water. Moderate hike and be ready for incline up the rocks .

hiking
6 days ago

backpacking
7 days ago

Beautiful lakes. Pretty intense uphill with pack.

backpacking
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Went on 7/23/17 with my fiancé and our dog. The trail took us about 5 hours, with stopping at the second lake for a bit. We did not go to the third lake. This is NOT a trail for beginners, the rating of difficult is accurate.

Dog considerations: If you are going to hike this trail, I seriously suggest that your dog wear rubberized hiking booties. The trail contains many areas with jagged, rough, loose rocks. We saw a couple of dogs limping, or with bleeding feet. Our dog, Leopold, wore Petacc booties with rubber bottoms and they saved his feet. For under $20 from Amazon, you have no excuse. This was the first time our dog wore booties, and we are so glad we brought them.

Parking: The parking area is clearly marked, has bare-minimum composting restrooms, and we found it easily using Google maps from Sacramento.

Trail: The trail-head has a marker and begins across the street from the parking lot, at about the mid-point of the parking lot. The trail was easy to find for the most part. We had some difficulty finding the trail on the way back down, during what was the first half-mile of the trail when we were going up. If it feels unsafely steep then you’re probably not on the trail! We had to venture more to the right (facing down the mountain) and we linked back up with the proper trail. A lot of the trail was in the shade, after ascending the first steep, rock mountain-side portion. However, 95% of the trail was steeply uphill on the way to the lakes, so bring a lot of water and some snacks! It also cooled off at the lake elevation, but was pretty hot until that point. There were a few areas where the trail was blocked by fallen trees, but we were able to navigate around them easily.

Lakes: We did not spend a ton of time at the first lake, and instead splashed around in the second lake and ate our lunch there. Our dog picked up a leech at one of the lakes, which we noticed on the way back down. He likely picked it up in the first lake, because it was smaller and more murky. The second lake was clearer and larger and I didn’t notice any leeches on me after playing in the water there. (Maybe don’t play in the first lake!)

Difficulty: All Trails is not joking when they say this hike is difficult. If you haven’t hiked in years, or do not exercise regularly, I would not recommend this hike for you. There are many slippery portions, a lot of loose, sharp rocks, and the trail is a steep ascent.

Traffic: Contrary to some other reviewers, we found this trail to be lightly trafficked on the Sunday we went. We passed 5-6 small pods of people on the way up, and fewer on the way down. At the second lake, where we stopped for a bit, there were only two other people and one dog enjoying the lake. We saw the fire ring and camping area at the second lake, but no one was there. Looked like a great spot to camp!

Rating: Five stars for great views, pristine (second) lake, and a good workout!

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

20 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Over all great hike. Several groups camping but the hike was fine for single day.
Very rocky trail with lots of slabs and boulders. Gotta be pretty hard on the dogs feet!
The lakes are very nice but in the summer heat you need to start early. The return trip gets HOT!

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago