Lola Montez Trail

MODERATE 66 reviews
#23 of 144 trails in

Lola Montez Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.3 miles
984 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips





wild flowers



Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the Soda Springs exit. On the north side of the freeway follow the paved road east past the fire station for 0.3 miles to the parking area.

13 days ago

July 8th 2018. 9:00am start. Moderate. This trail had every type of nature person and dog on it. We crossed paths with fishermen, mountain bikers, families, seasoned hikers and first timers.
A portion of the trail is actually a gravel road. It got a bit dusty.
All in all the trail was beautiful. Worth the hike to Lola Lake. I’d absolutely come back with a fishing pole or a bike.

15 days ago

Lovely, moderate to easy hike. We started about 8:30 am and had the trail to ourselves. Wild flowers in bloom. A few mountain bikers and hikers on our way back around 10:30. Beautiful lake is the reward after your 3 miles in. Mosquitoes so make sure to bring your repellent!

19 days ago

I hiked this on 6/30/2018. The trail was great! There weren't many people there when we got to the lake around 1030a, but it did get busy as it got closer to noon. We tried to go to the upper lake but couldn't follow the trail. Fun hike! definitely recommend it.

trail running
25 days ago

Great quick getaway with nice lake and easy access.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Had a great time. But....bring insect repellent! Lots of mosquitoes, but still would do it again! I’d say easy to moderate. Well marked.

1 month ago

This hike was beautiful! A little harder than we had originally expected but we are novice hikers. Our trackers showed that it was 8 mi round trip as opposed to 6.8. The trail isn’t always greatly marked, however we did do it early in the season (June 2). Crossing the river was a blast but a bit chilly! Finding our way through the snow at the very end was an adventure! We were sure glad we had a group of experienced hikers that had passed us earlier on. I would definitely recommend, but it’s definitely A HIKE!

2 months ago

We went while there was still snow in May. This was a beautiful hike even though I didn’t see any wildflowers. There was a huge river running down blocking the other side of the trail about 2 miles in. Fantastic hike!!!!

9 months ago

Great spot!

9 months ago

Great for a quick get away, saw a few mountain bikers and only 1 other couple hiking. Beautiful views at the lake!

9 months ago

One of my favorite trails❣️

10 months ago

Great hike, beautiful scenery. A lot of the hike is on gravel fire roads. Not as pretty as the single track, but still forested and scenic.

The lake makes it worth it. Walked around lower lake, tried to find the trail to upper lake by following cairns up the granite on the far side, but trail sort of disappeared, so we gave up and just enjoyed lower lake.

Lots of great places to camp around the lake and surrounding granite. Very picturesque. Will definitely come back for an overnight trip.

10 months ago

Beautiful hike!! The hike to the lower lake was easy to moderate. If you go the upper lake, there is a bit of rock scrambling and bouldering involved. You'll see stacks of rocks as trail markers along the way to the upper lake. There is a big rock in the middle of the upper lake that is great to swim too. Bring plenty of water if you go in hotter weather, there are parts that are exposed to the sun and you'll want to stay hydrated.

10 months ago

It was 110+ degrees in Roseville today, so we woke up early and headed up the hill. And it was a ton of fun. The destination lake was beautiful and fun to swim in, but we only saw very small fish (hooked into one using a fly rod). We also hiked to the rock peak to the left of the lake and enjoyed great views. There were a lot of mountain bikers in the area (Saturday so not a surprise). Great trail and swim for dogs, too.

10 months ago

Great trail and correctly rated as moderate. Nice stair climb section and the lake is very nice at the top.

11 months ago

Great trail, definitely some challenging parts but the lake at the top makes it all worth it!

11 months ago

Took my 9 year old daughter and 70 year old father on an overnight trip to this lake. My daughter gives the trip an 8 out of 10. We went to watch the meteor showers and saw about 7, but we didn't have a good view of the sky from where we were camped. The creek was crossable without getting your feet wet- August 13th. I only killed one mosquito, but it seems like there should have been more. Took us 2 hours 45 min to hike in with backpacks. 2 hours to hike out. There were close to a dozen people camped around the lake. Trail is well marked, but don't miss the turn to the lake. You can download that section in google maps and see where you are even with no signal. We had good signal with Verizon and T-Mobile at the lake.

11 months ago

8/4/17 - Hiked with my sister, my husband and our two kids ages 14 and 17. Beautiful hike through trees and on some gravel road (which is fine for group talking-while-hiking even though single-track is prettier) that gets steep in places so your heart gets pumping. It was fun to ford the creek, which you can do by stepping on rocks. No snow on the trail at all. The lake was gorgeous with only three other groups of people spread around it so we had a private boulder to picnic on and swim from. The lake was cold but not freezing. It felt great. When we started the hike I thought we were on a green "easy" trail so was surprised it was so challenging. Just now re-checking the All Trails description, Lower Lola Montez Trail is "easy" and Lola Montez Trail is "moderate." The trails look identical on the All Trails maps so I really don't know what the difference is. I would rate the trail moderate. And I would do it again and camp out.

Monday, July 10, 2017

I brought my kids to hike this yesterday. The trail was beautiful, passing a waterfall high up on a granite ledge about .75 mile in to the hike. Had to pass a thigh-high deep stream and climb over several downed trees. We opted for taking the fire road all the way up instead of the steeper uphill trail. Well, we missed the trail marker, but we're glad we did as it was pretty much like taking stairs straight up for a half mile. There were big patches of snow covering the trail up by the lake. But once you get past that, the lake was clear and lovely! Cold, but not so cold that you couldn't swim. We waded in thigh high and it was cool and refreshing. Hike back down was easy as it was all downhill pretty much. Will do this again!!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Lovely hike. We went on 7/7/17. We forded the creek in bare feet. Icy cold, 18" deep, and wished I'd had my Tevas. On the return, the creek was higher, above the knees. The last 0.75 miles before the lake had enough snow left that the trail is obscured, so having a fully charged phone and the map downloaded and used in combo with GPS is helpful to stay on track. Lots of downed trees on the trail (not gravel road) sections, so a bit of scrambling and detouring required. Maybe Advanced Easy? A bit challenging for younger kids. Saw only one group at the creek, one bicyclist in the first mile, and one other group hiking the trail.

Friday, June 30, 2017

6/29/17: Hiked to Lola Montez over a rushing stream and over patches of snow to catch brook trout to 11". Catch and release. Had a great hike with my buddy Nino.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

First hike this summer and unfortunately Castle Creek was running so strong we couldn't cross. So other than hiking a bit upstream (looking for log crossings) we only did a little over two miles. Probably late August or September the creek will be crossable and we can get to Little Lola Montez lake.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Keep in mind of the season or how the weather might affect it. Drove 1.5 hours just to find it's closed, because there's still 10 feet of snow...was very bummed. The weather was perfect though.
Will update the rating once the hike actually happens.

Thursday, September 01, 2016


Sunday, August 28, 2016

very pretty once your off the service road.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I would actually rate this hike as moderate instead of easy due to one good hill climb. The trail itself isn't really all that pretty or scenic and you can hear the traffic from I-80 for the first mile. There was no water in either of the 2 river crossings. Lower Lola Montez Lake is gorgeous and there's a great place to take a dip on the left side of the lake near some granite slabs. The lake makes this hike worth while.

Monday, August 22, 2016

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lovely hike.

Monday, July 04, 2016

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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

There are no trespassing signs everywhere and there is not a sign designating this trail.

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