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Loch Leven Lakes Trail

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Tahoe National Forest

Loch Leven Lakes Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,545 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

snow

NOTE: This trail may vary in difficulty depending on the trail conditions, such as snowy or melting snow conditions. 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.

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6 hours ago

May 24 to May 25, 2020 The second half of the trail is very wet with patches of snow. At its worst, the trail is much like a stream and is very difficult to avoid getting the feet wet. If you are doing the hike up until the end of June, I recommend being prepared for these kinds of conditions. I have uploaded photos to show what most of the trail looks like at this time of year. Lower Loch Leven Lake was busy with quite a number of groups, likely due to the Memorial Day weekend. Middle and Upper Loch Leven Lake are definitely worth the extra hike to find a more private spot. Really enjoyed spending the night here. Fell asleep under the stars to the gentle sound of frogs croaking by the lake.

1 day ago

super nice today! yes there's a bit of snow on the trail still and after the railroad tracks the trail is basically a stream. That said it is possible to make it with dry feet if you hop from rock to rock. quite clear which way to go throughout.

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1 day ago

Trail is like a small stream. Easy to hike through with hiking boots. Clear path all the way to High Loch Leven Lake. Beautiful views.

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3 days ago

hiking
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3 days ago

This trail is a lot of fun, beautiful throughout and the three lakes are gorgeous! We hiked it to Higher Loch Levens as a day hike. If you plan to hike it in the next few days though prepare to be wet. There's still a lot of snow, and it's melting, so parts of the trail basically become a stream. Also, keep a map handy or AllTrails open--because of the snow we got lost a few times, the trail wasn't easy to see, and we needed a map. Keep an eye on the rocks that line the trail or the totems that show you the way. To reach the last lake there's a passage that's a little tricky to find because of the snow, but follow the totem. If you're a beginner I don't recommend this hike at the moment, since the snow and water make it harder than it probably is in summer.

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washed out
9 days ago

While the snow is not as bad currently (may 17, 2020) there is quite a bit of water on the trail especially past the tracks. Waterproof shoes are ideal, wool socks a must. All trails is very helpful, easy to lose the trail right now, though having hiked it many times before I could usually find it without all trails. I got off the trail before the snow projected hit will probably be worse in all regards shortly after this review. Main issues with snow I encountered was post holing if you stayed on the trail as the water carves it out on the trail so it's weak but walking along the edge was OK, icy enough you don't sink much but soft enough you can kick your steps in. After the snow melts though this is very enjoyable trail that is imo not super difficult if you know how to pace yourself.

hiking
15 days ago

After the railroad tracks the snow coverage is pretty deep, 2-3 feet in places. If you do this be comfortable getting wet as where trail isn’t covered in snow it is a running stream. You definitely need all trails to navigate. The lake at the end was worth the work.

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28 days ago

Totally agree with Drew Carpenter - still an impressive amount of snow (see my photos for reference) as of 4/29/20 leading up to and past the railroad tracks. The trail is impossible to find after the tracks and the snow is unstable due to the melt so even with snowshoes this could be a treacherous go - I had a couple of close calls falling through unstable snow that made this a sketchy proposition. I definitely recommend waiting until June.

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1 month ago

Trail isn't bad up to the railroad. Lost it a few times up to there. got about half way up past the railroad and lost the trail. Was falling through snow up to my waistline. Not recommend unless experienced and/or have snowshoes.

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2 months ago

I went 3/1/20. I had a great time and the scenery was stunning. it had snowed, trail was nearly impossible to stay on, I was Checking AllTrails every 50’. I was also not well equipped for the winter conditions, and I knew it, so I cut the whole thing very short. I hope to be able to come back, however. I had more fun on this hike than I’ve had solo for a long time.

hiking
4 months ago

I mean yea it’s pretty and a lovely hike. It may blow your mind. Not for a beginner. The trail is poorly marked in areas, requiring gps, especially in the snow. Trains tracks are cool. The highway 50 side of desolation has better views (vs this hwy 80 donner area). YES- this area is beautiful. But nothing beats the granite exposure and views with the trails of horsetail, echo, wrights, and South Lake Tahoe. Loch Leven Lakes themselves, are stunning.

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