Lola Montez Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
The trail to the 1st lake is quite pleasant, and as someone who loves finding a lake at the end, you won't be disappointed. There are some moderate uphills but all are manageable. There are private property signs but we saw all of one house. The second lake however is much more aggressive. It's about a half mile away from the first, but at a 600-700 foot elevation gain through thick brush and steep flat rock, it's not for the faint of heart. Prepare for scraped up legs, as the thick brush was quite unavoidable. What was disappointing is that we worked hard to get to the second lake, and found a few campers that had arrived via 4-wheel drive on fire roads. We hoped to have a lake to our own with a couple of other brave souls, so that was kind of a let down. The seemingly short hike to the second lake takes longer than the first one as you navigate through tough terrain. While the view from the second lake was certainly amazing, the 1st lake is larger and clearer. I'd definitely go again, but probably just to the first lake.
A nice hike to a pretty little lake. Trail is pretty easy to follow and is appropriately considered a moderate level trail. We didn't hike to Upper Lola Montez as the smoke from a fire had come in and settled in the area. I was not a big fan of hiking on the private gravel road so much as I enjoy the single track trail better - but c'est la vie. There are some decent areas to tent overnight (which we did) if one so desires but this hike is definitely doable as a out and back single day hike. The first water crossing was flowing really well and we waded across in about 18" of water. The second water crossing from the meadow, we were able to stay on the log which crossed it with the assistance of trekking polls. Overall, a nice hike, but as a prior reviewer reminded, be respectful to the local land owners as you are hiking on private property for part of the hike. Also, watch out for mountain bikers coming down the trail.
I've done this hike twice, after a couple of times being thwarted by snow in early spring. The first time I got up to the lake it was still iced over. Recently I decided to go see it unfrozen. It's definitely worth the walk. The lake is a beauty. Small but not too small. I'd thought I might not hike there again but after seeing it "unfrozen" it seems like a great place to hike to for a swim. Also some nice camping spots.
I didn't go to the Upper Lake, but I would with more time (and maybe a map, since I didn't see any trail signs leading there).
It being early spring, I didn't see any residents. You pass a couple of houses but it doesn't seem intrusive.
A good part of the hike is on roads and in parts is not particularly scenic. Some of the trail follows a creek which in April is flowing strongly. Very pretty.
There's also a place where the road crosses the creek. Previously there was a makeshift bridge of logs you could cross on. This time I had to take off my boots and wade across in numbingly cold water. Adds to the adventure!
I definitely recommend this as a good day hike or even an overnighter if there's not too many people. I didn't see anybody either time I went.
There are no trespassing signs everywhere and there is not a sign designating this trail.
It's a relatively easy to moderate hike with a couple strenuous sections. There are not many signs and the road is part of the trail so along the way we asked others if we were on the right track.
I wouldn't say the hike itself is very scenic, although you are surrounded by green pine. However you will notice it changes when you get closer to the lake. First there is a beautiful meadow which opens up to look like something out a twilight movie. Then a little further, the lake...absolutely gorgeous! There are huge granite boulders which are perfect to sit, relax and take in the entire area...breeze played with the light across the water, fish jumping, calmness. We had 20 mins before our moment of zen ended with a few families. Sound travels so hopefully you are lucky enough to have some time to yourself while you're there.
very beautiful hike! it has been said but there is a lot of private property along the way so be sure to stay out of trouble. the views from the lakes are beautiful, especially if you make it to upper Lola montez.
Beautiful trail - local home owners and some changes with public right of way for a bit of a potentially contentious hike. I've been hiking this trail for many years and have noticed some resentment from the local homeowners. Please be respectful of their property and avoide giving them a reason to moan.