Maud, Lois, Zitella and Highland Lakes Loop

MODERATE 13 reviews
#18 of 72 trails in

Maud, Lois, Zitella and Highland Lakes Loop is a 26.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

26.4 miles
6,266 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips





wild flowers


1 month ago

Headed out from Twin Lakes headed to Lois Lake. Made it as far as Maud before we got too tired. We only had one night so we decided to stay at Maud. Not an easy trail, it's hard to see, rocky, and narrow at times. Bring a map and compass. Beautiful trail.

1 month ago

Did the whole loop in 2 1/2 days with my 11y and 13y old sons. Rockbound pass was amazing. You go up this 10k year old trail. Easy path until you get to lake Schmidell. Past Schmidell towards McConnell Lake, Horseshoe lake to 4-Q lakes to camper Flat you better have really good map reading skills and compass or GPS because it's not marked. Walk slow look for rock stacks cuz I got lost many times, had to back track and look at the map and compass those 10miles but let me tell you the view is out of National Geographic magazine. 24.3 miles in 2 days with an 11y and 13y old.

1 month ago

Hiked late June 2018. Pretty easy up to Maude, but Rockbound pass was challenging, especially hiking up all the loose shale. Stayed at Maude the first night and Lake Zitella the second. The toughest pat was the descent (then ascent) between lake Schmidell and McConnell. It was completely covered in snow and the trail was absolutely nowhere to be seen. It was melting off and I found several postholes around the creeks. We were aiming for highland, but stopped short at Zitella. The water there was warmer than other lakes along the way and overall a fantastic place to camp.
Coming from east Tennessee, this was more difficult than anything I'd ever done in the Smokey's. We lost the trail several times and if not for my gps watch I think I might still be out there. Probably not that difficult for locals or those more experienced in that terrain. We ended up making it a true out and back and got out the third day. Took us about 10 hrs from Zitella to the parking lot. Fantastic hike, but difficult past Maude.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Great trail! Different terrains...forest, meadow, open granite. The incline is gradual. Some low bushes in narrow areas so your legs will get a little scratched if wearing shorts. A little over 10 miles round trip to Maude Lake. Would consider this hike moderate to easy.

Monday, August 01, 2016

One of the longer 2 day backpacking trips I've done. Amazing location, with so many lakes and waterfalls. Beautiful meadows with fresh streams running through them. Once you turn off from Horseshoe Lake, it's all off trail with a few cairns. I was the only one at Highland Lake, and I imagine not that many people make the trek up there, so HIGHLY recommended.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Backpacked 4/17-4/18 from Wrights Lake past Maude Lake and to the top of Rockbound Pass. There is currently on good stream crossing on the way to Maude Lake, plenty of little streams to fill up on, and the lake is beautiful with lots of water. The north side of Rockbound Pass is completely covered in snow and Lake Doris is covered in a sheet of ice. The view is fantastic right now and worth the hike.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

We did a day hike to Maude Lake from Wrights Lake. This was an 8.2 RT day hike the first week of August. The trail was relatively easy with the exception of the last 1/2 mile or so that climbed up. There was no water along the trail save the lake at the end. The lake itself was not as impressive as others in the area, but we didn't have too much time to explore. Very few people along the way which was nice. Other trails in the area get heavier use.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Nice hike for beginner backpackers at maud, but climbing over Rockbound Pass is quite diff. camped at doris lake on other side . luvly.

recorded Maude lake aug 2018

5 days ago

11 months ago

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 18, 2015