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Round Lake

MODERATE 18 reviews
#97 of 193 trails in

Round Lake is a 10.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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 but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,384 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash



horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers



Its dramatic volcanic backdrop lends outstanding panache to Round Lake, already rich in wildflower gardens and historic connections to the first trans-Sierra expedition of explorers Kit Carson and John C. Fremont. No wilderness permit required but campfire permit required for stove or fire. Parking fee required during summer at the Meiss Lake and Carson pass parking areas. No bikes are allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but bikes do approach Round Lake from the north.

17 days ago

The first mile or so from the parking lot has a good climb on it. The meadows are really pretty and an easy hike. The last mile or so going into the lake is down hill. There were several places around the lake that you can hang a hammock. It started to snow Saturday evening and so I packed up and headed out. It dropped about 4 inches before I could get all the way out. The hike up out the lake was tough and the wet snow was pretty slippery. A few sections of the trail were pretty hard to follow with that much snow. Definitely worth it, and I'll go again next year once the snow has cleared.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Good hike. Smoke was/is thick in the area from All of the wildfires in the state. Not being able to see through all of the haze and smoke the beautiful scenery was a bit disappointing. The lake was nice and I was told there were fish in it. However I had no luck. There were definitely small minnows in the water however I never saw one fish jump at dusk nor Dawn at any time while there leading me to believe that there aren’t any fish in the lake that you could actually catch. Bugs were out skimming the water so if there were trout in that lake they would be jumping for those flies and skeeters. Due to the geography the hike going back out is much more challenging than going in. Most of the elevation gain is hiking out from round Lake back to the Trail head on 88. I was wearing about 50 pounds of gear so I had quite the work out on my way out.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Beautiful hike! 10 miles in about 4 hours plus lunch at the lake.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Beautiful hike. Lots of friendly dogs off leash and lots of creek crossings for them to play in and drink from. Highly recommend Cooks Restaurant off Hwy 88 just outside Pioneer for a great dog friendly meal.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

This was an awesome 10 mile hike. I've been to Round Lake from Big Meadow but wanted to see this side of it coming from Carson Pass. With over night packs we soaked in the sites and had a nice lunch at the lake in 5 hours round trip. Lots of people heading to round lake and shower lake. Great views on this hike!

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

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