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Paradise Lake Trail

MODERATE 158 reviews
#10 of 195 trails in

Paradise Lake Trail is a 14.9 mile moderately 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.

Distance: 14.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,582 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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/

hiking
2 months ago

Tough switchbacks on the way out. Great hike though. Awesome camping. Great views into Warren lake. Amazing sunrise

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with great views. Second time I’ve done this trail. Camped at the lake and had great view of sunrise in the morning. Make sure you go around the lake and look down towards Warren Lake. You won’t be disappointed. Will be doing this one again, and again!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome weekend on the trail. Got a late start the first night and camped near the Grubb hut. The next morning we got an start, explored the hut and made our way to Paradise Lake. So many great spots we couldn't have gone wrong. Did some fishing but no luck. Saw 1 monster trout in the lake though but it didn't want anything to do with my bait. Looking forward to going back and exploring Warren lake.

hiking
2 months ago

This was my first backpacking experience with my girlfriend. We are both new to the entire experience, but regardless I very much enjoyed the experience. I’ve dabbled in camping, but backpacking was much more rewarding. To start off, I called the Truckee station to verify if there was any need of a permit and the employee said that the only things needed was a campfire permit. The trail was great; very visible to see and utilize so we did not get lost throughout the way coming from the parking lot and back. While trucking, we were given memorable views and a lot of exposure to this new activity we both want to involve ourselves in the future. I cannot say much considering this is my very first experience, but as I said before it was great exposure into backpacking!

hiking
2 months ago

Did the well marked Paradise Lake Trail, then hunt & pecked my way around the right side of Paradise lake & climbed down to Warren Lake & up the Warren Lake Trail. The Paradise Trail was pretty easy with some incredible views along the way & then the lake.The breathtaking view was from Paradise looking down on Warren Lake. Well worth the trip. But, climbing down to Warren was tough with only a route, no trail. No trail around the lake either. Then a tough climb up, but at least there was a trail. The ROI for the Paradise Lake Trail is high, not so much for the Warren Lake Trail unless you just want to grind out some tough miles.

hiking
2 months ago

I thought I would have the lake to myself but it was difficult to find a spot to camp out right by paradise lake because there were so many people camping out. Besides that, it was beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Longer than expected but pretty easy!

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Hike wasn't to bad took about 3.5 hours to reach the lake with a stop for lunch. To get back to the truck took us about 2 hours. *Lots of mosquitoes in the evening bring plenty of bug spray. *Not a lot of shade bring sunscreen. *Island was definitely the best spot to stay, but people didn't cover their poop correctly in some spots. *Fire wood was hard to find, but it can be found. *Stars at night were amazing

backpacking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

We backpacked in over Labor Day Weekend and hiked back out the next day. There were beautiful views all along the trail! We also passed quite a few groups but the trail was not congested. The trail was easy to follow but we didn’t pay attention to the signs well enough, so we doubled-back in two spots and added about ½ mile. At the lake, we found a flat area right next to a rock wall, and we stayed there in hopes that the wind would be mitigated, but it was blowing pretty strong throughout the night. The lake itself is beautiful, and I was only able to stay in there for a few minutes before wanting to get out since it was still somewhat chilly. The entire area is pretty rocky but luckily we found a woodsy area to use as our bathroom. People: properly cover and dispose of your waste. Don't be disgusting. Mosquitos: Not an issue at our campsite nor the lake but certainly on the trail. I only got eight this time (which is on the lower end for me). Fires: There’s currently a fire restriction, which everyone could see on the board posted at the beginning of the trail. It was a downside for us but we definitely weren’t about to build a fire as it’s fire season. As someone else noted, you can see a million stars as well as the milky way! The sky was pitch black.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Great hike and overnighter at the lake. However, lots of mosquitoes.

backpacking
bugs
3 months ago

amazing hike

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing trail. Not too crowded for an August Saturday although a fair amount of campers at the lake. Arrived at 3pm and got a great camp spot. Butterfly migration and wild flower bloom made it almost unreal. Only 2 mosquito bites from the weekend but bring heavy deet. Quite a bit of ascent the first 2 miles coming back from the lake but other than that, pretty easy trail. The water felt great after the hike in. Highly recommend for a quick overnighter!

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Butterflies by the thousands! Not overly crowded. And most of the snow is melted now. Definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

backpacking
bugs
4 months ago

Stayed the night at paradise and that was amazing. Hiking back was hot with a mix of shade and no shade. Hiking through the butterfly migration made the hike back feel like a fairytale.

backpacking
bugs
4 months ago

Amazing hike. Beautiful with all of the flowers. Set up camp by the lake.

backpacking
bugs
4 months ago

Backpacked this trail on an unusually cold weekend in August. Still totally worth it. Minimal snow left, the cold (and accompanying wind) meant no bugs on our hike out. And when the weather cleared up on our return trip there were thousands of butterflies! Absolutely gorgeous, plentiful campsites at the lake, and a relatively easy and uncrowded hike. I would definitely recommend this and plan on going back on a warmer weekend for a swim in the lake. One note... My recording of this trail showed more like 8 miles out and back, so it is a bit longer than Alltrails shows.

backpacking
bugs
4 months ago

Beautiful hike along the PCT. Trail is clear of snow though you can see some snow patches on the side of the trail here and there. Wildflowers were beautiful as well as the swarms of butterflies! The water temperature in the lake is refreshing after a hike. First day was quite windy by the lake, however the second day was completely calm. Watch for mosquitoes by the river crossings and the lake.

hiking
bugs
muddy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail, be prepared for some snow on the trail. Lake is gorgeous, well worth it and relatively warm for swimming. Bring bug spray!

hiking
4 months ago

perfect, had the place to myself

hiking
5 months ago

Still too snowy

hiking
snow
5 months ago

My son & I attempted to hike this trail the weekend of June 21, 2019. LOTS of snow! The trail is completely covered, which made the hike very difficult due to the lack of markers and the slow progress from the slipping & sliding. Needless to say, we never made it to Paradise Lake and had to settle for camping in the scarce spots that weren’t snow covered or muddy from the snow melting. We made the most of this disappointing backpacking trip by focusing on the stunning scenery that Tahoe National Forest had to offer. If you truly enjoy backpacking in the snow, over-working your knees and hip flexors but love the beauty of the forest, this trail is for you. I presume the snow should be there for the next few months!

backpacking
5 months ago

Lots of snow still on trail. Or should I say there is no trail. Didn’t make it to Paradise Lake. Decided to stop along a ridge instead. Still had a great time. Amazing sunset last night. I would say another month before the trail is visible.

hiking
7 months ago

Been backpacking at Paradise Lake for over 10yrs. Never disappoints. Great weekend trip on the PCT from Donner Summit. Check it out in late fall to avoid the mosquitos.

backpacking
Mon Oct 01 2018

So beautiful, it was too windy to have a fire this past weekend. I believe the Rangers put no fire flags in most campsites, nonetheless still a great trip.

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