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Paradise Lake Trail is a 14.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Truckee, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length14.9 miElevation gain2582 ftRoute typeOut & Back
Dog friendlyBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeViewsWild flowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (6)
Tips

An overnight backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail in Truckee, California. Paradise Lake is a classic Sierra Nevada lake with gorgeous sunsets and a pristine lake full of trout. This overnight backpacking trip is easily accessible from Highway 80 and follows parts of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Tahoe National Forest. A fire permit is required to start a campfire in an already established fire ring. You can get the permit for free at any Forest Service, BLM, or CAL FIRE offices. Or you can get one online here: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/

- Fires require a campfire permit which can be acquired at the Truckee Ranger Station. - Fishing requires a license from the California Department of Fish and Game.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (267)
Photos (909)
Recordings (229)
Completed (429)
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Clarissa Arriaga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

It’s a lie, it’s definitely not 14.9 miles . THE VIEW WAS WORTH IT THOUGH

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Elizabeth Bond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

The scene was worth it! Definitely recommend having very reliable shoes. You will run into a very diverse platform and be careful on where you walk. Overall, I would do it again!

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Michelle Navarrete
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
CampingGreat!

Stunning views!

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Alyssa Nishihira
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

great trail, very fun and much easier than expected. we took the Castle Creek Road which was honestly probably one of the harder parts of the trail. The lake was so beautiful. It took us just under 3 hours to get there and 2.5 coming back. We went for the day, started at 6:45 am

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Parker W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking

If you have clearance and AWD/4x4 you can drive up and cut a couple miles off. Recommend scrambling up above the lake to the right to get a great view of Paradise Lake and Warren lake. We ended up going off trail to Warren lake. We did find some cairns to follow. Couple spots require some easy down climbing, but would be harder with a full pack. Got back on trail and climbed all the way to Basin Peak. Took the ridge trail just below Castle peak and back down to complete the loop.

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Jeff Gordon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Just off the trail and loved it. Backpacked with my son and dog. I’d rate this one as a “moderate plus” although not overly strenuous and the trail’s in great shape. Out early afternoon on Saturday and back on Sunday, was really surprised that we only saw one other group at the lake. I guess thats what happens in late September and when a bunch of other trails have been closed. Mix of sunny areas and shade. Easy to find a shady spot for a quick break and snack. With a water filter, some springs to fill your bottle if needed. Also nice knowing I didn’t need to pack water for the pup. Campsites were breathtakingly beautiful, lake swim able and the rock “tables” helped to make for nice space for meal prep. Tried to catch some fish but no luck there.

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Omri Agam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Incredible hike. Not difficult, so beautiful. Paradise Lake is incredible. Can’t recommend enough, will definitely be back.

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Sydney Heller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Backpacking

Pretty much was as we expected. I would recommend against the fire road (that you start on). Basically, on the way in, you get to a fork and the AllTrails map shows either way. I would stay to the right, in order to staff off the fire road and on the trail. On the way down, take the way you went up. That’s where we made our mistake - we took the trail going up and the road coming down. The fire road is steeper, dustier, and can have vehicles on it. Keep an eye out for the hut, which is cool. There is a period going up of steady up hill with little shade coverage. The trail at the end, by the lack, got a little challenging to stay on, but head towards the lake and you’ll hit it eventually. The lake was great, wonderful alpine temperature (so cold, if you’re not used to it) and we’ll worth the hike in. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot but the lake was actually not that busy - plus, there’s plenty of space. Conditions: on 9/5 it was clear, hot, and not cloudy. Overnight some ash came down and it got relatively smoky (nothing horrible though). There were no bugs really.

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Moriah Lea Mock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking
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Rob Furtney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

Started at 8. Colder then I thought for the first 30 minutes. Smokey but got better as the day went on. Plenty of water for the dog. Swam in Paradise Lake and had lunch. Turned around in 45 minutes and made it back to the car around 3:45. Beautiful.

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Solo Her
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
BackpackingMuddyNo shadeOff trail

I would rate this trail moderate. There are a few incline sections but nothing strenuous. Middle of the hike or some areas are exposed so no shade. It was muddy in some areas & towards the lake the trail might be hard to determine due to rocky terrain. Quiet place though for solitude. Beautiful lake w a beautiful sunset view.

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Joshua Gomez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
Nature tripsGreat!

Left Monday and returned last night (Tuesday). The trail is easier coming back from the lake than going towards it. Bring a filter, there’s a couple good streams along the way to refill with water, the best one is about halfway between the trailhead and the lake. The last 3/4 mile is difficult to stay in the trail, but gps saved the day when I went off the trail. There was only one other party present when I arrived. The large island has a rock path so you won’t need to get wet to access it. There was no noise pollution at the lake, and only for the first mile from the trail head.

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Mitchell Wallen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Completed this trail solo with my 4yr old boxer last week on a 2 day Monday/Tuesday overnighter. There was only one other group at the lake when I arrived Monday evening. There are no steep inclines along this trail, very gradual which is perfect for dogs that are new to long hikes. There were no mosquitos or predators seen the entire time. If you want the prime camping spot on the island, I’d recommend getting there early and during the week. I’d say there are about 12-16 spots to setup tents along the lake with 7-10 rock fire pits.

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Julie Danielik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 12, 2020
BackpackingBugsMuddySnow

I did this hike with my boyfriend the last week of June. Late review We got to the parking area around 8:30 Am on a Friday and it was already pretty packed but we were still able to snag a spot. I recommend showing up early to ensure parking. We also found in the first mile or 2 of hiking that if your car is durable enough there are a decent amount of hidden gem parking spots you can snag. As a first timer for this trail you’d never know that! This was my first backpacking trip and was doable. Had some moments but thankfully I’m very active with crossfit so that helped. It was HOT even starting early it was hot. I wore shorts and a long sleeve for sun protection. There was only a few miles of exposed trail if that. There was a lot of shade spots and coverings. Few spots with steady incline. The way back is the killer in the beginning then it’s a breeze. Saw a small tarantula on the way there and a small garden snake on the way out. Not many other animals. Upon getting to the lake there was only about one campsite, we found a great spot next to the lake far away from the other campers. Water felt great and was clean. TONS OF MOSQUITOS we almost stayed a night shorter because we just couldn’t handle it. Even with bug spray they wouldn’t leave you alone and I got eaten alive. The second night they settled down though thankfully due to a breeze. Did a day hike to Warren lake and it was beautiful. No fish :( The second day a lot more campers showed up and basically surrounded us, so much for peace and privacy. I literally had a couple walk up on me going to the bathroom that’s how crowded it ended up being. There was also a group with 8-10 people who posted up near us and were very loud and obnoxious with music. Even though there were some annoyances and crowding lack of privacy overall it was still an amazing trip. Spent a lot of time swimming in the lake or hiking around the area. The Peter grub hut was an added bonus to explore. I would definitely go again.

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Nick Mendelson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 12, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!

Hiked up to Paradise lake a few weeks ago. Very well marked and easy to follow trail. I would recommend parking on the north side of hwy 80 and getting there early. Parking was tight even early morning on a Friday. The hike up was beautiful with great views, amazing meadows and shade pretty much the whole time except for a few spots. Some snow still on the ground. The lake was beautiful and the water was not too cold. It is a very busy trail and expect to get surrounded by other campers on weekends. I would highly recommend hiking to the east side of the lake to get a view of Warren lake. Definitely bring lots of bug spray.

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Benjamin Carver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Fucking awesome...make sure to bring a flashlight if it gets dark lol...me and my daughter went late on the trial and I ran out battery on my fone then my Apple Watch battery died...so we were stuck in the dark...and I had to make a fire for 4 hours on the trial to keep my daughter warm..then finally moon light appeared about 130ish am...then we were off...my calves hurt so bad from the whole 17-18miles we did. Great hike..except for the fuck truck out of nowhere lol

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Kat G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Well-maintained Trail! We parked where indicated on All Trails and followed the exact trail on the map, and ended up being 9 miles to the lake and 8 miles back. (If you don’t mind driving on dirt road, you can actually drive on the trail for probably a mile or two in and park to save some time and energy.) We got to the lake on Friday afternoon with plenty of camp spots available, but it definitely got crowded Saturday afternoon (made it difficult to use the restroom without potentially bumping into someone). To also give some perspective how crowded it was on Saturday... at night, I woke up startled at 11pm because someone else’s dog wandered on to my camp and was pawing and sniffing my tent and people were constantly walking by my campsite (probably looking for a place to use the restroom?). The mosquitoes were all over starting from the downhill towards the lake. The mosquitoes were so bad that I ended up hiding in my tent during dawn and dusk. I’m particularly prone to getting mosquito bites, and walked away with at least 20 from the weekend. Other than mosquitoes and the large number people, I loved the hike and the lake. I recommend attempting to get to the east side of the lake and climb the hill to see Warren Lake by going clockwise (it’s overgrown, but at least there is less rock scrambling). Easily accessible camping spots starts if you go counter clockwise around the lake from the trail. If you go clockwise, you may find more camp spots because the trail is overgrown and you may have to do some climbing, but you’ll be rewarded with more secluded camping spots.

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Christine Sunshine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingBugs

The perfect day hike as well as backpacking trip for beginners. Bring your children, dogs, bug spray, water filter. Don't expect to be alone. It even gets crowed these days on weekends and holidays. Don't leave trash! Enjoy!

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Hunter Kruse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

—Report from July 23rd— Overnight trip on the PCT from White Rock Lake to Paradise Lake on a Thursday. Saw no one on the trail until I met some backcountry rangers at the lake. Soon there were over 7 groups around the lake. Trash was a problem walking up to the lake and noise pollution from I-80 was surprisingly obvious. Otherwise, Paradise Lake will grant you a spectacular sunset.

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Ryan Darke
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
BackpackingGreat!
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Jenn Keohane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful. Very accessible from 80 but arrive early to get parking.

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