Tamarack Lakes Trail

EASY 11 reviews
#61 of 165 trails in

Tamarack Lakes Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bassetts, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.8 miles
790 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



11 months ago

Excellent hike from Packer Lake to Tamarack Lakes then up to the PCT and back. Leaving Packer Lake is a rocky off road jeep trail, but once to Tamarack Lakes single track trails are great.

11 months ago

I'm a 50 yrs old beginner hiker and consider this hike more moderate as it was on a rocky 4WD trail that was pretty much uphill. Definitely a nice reward to see Lake Tamarack. Wear good hiking shoes as it rocky.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The hike was on an a 4wd trail. Rocky and steep but well worth the views of the lakes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We followed the All Trails Tamarack Lakes trail from the parking lot near Packer Lake up past both lakes stopping a little short of reaching the PCT, then backtracking and spending a little time around the lakes before heading back down to the parking lot. Great hike and great views of the lakes and the Sierra Buttes. This starts on a 4wheel drive road and turns into a trail once you reach the 1st lake. It is pretty much uphill all the way with some fairly steep sections but it's not a very long hike and even shorter if you just go to the lakes. The trail is rocky so stiff soles make it a much pleasanter trip - not a great hike for tennis shoes. You can continue on all the way to Sierra Buttes on this route which makes it a much more strenuous hike.

Note: This is NOT the Tamarack Lakes trail that starts near Sardine Lake! That trail has much more elevation gain and distance. This version is the lazy hikers way to see Tamarack Lakes and well worth the shorter clime.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This was quite a beautiful trail that will get you to the Tamarack Lakes and can take you all the way to the Sierra Buttes lookout point. It is a steady incline the entire way but quite doable. Unfortunately, we thought this had been the trailhead to the Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail- we eventually connected to that trail and made it to the lookout point, but it was quite a long hike.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Easy short hike, beautiful lakes reward you. We fished and caught a couple trout. Perfect for the beginner hiker!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

This is a pretty nice trail. Keep in mind my wife and I did this when there was between no snow and a foot on the trail. The views were great going up the trail and we stopped for a rest just short of the link up with the PCT. We decided that there was way too much snow from that point on to justify continuing. There was minimal snow on the way to Tamarack Lake.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There are two trailheads for this hike. Trailhead A(2,436 ft elevation gain) begins near Packer Lake and Trailhead B (1,871 ft elevation gain) at Tamarack Lake. There is a nice gravel parking lot accessible from Forest Road 93; you'll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to Trailhead B.

My wife and two dogs thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Tamarack Lake was a great break point for the dogs, and the hike up to the Buttes offered great views of four lakes - Young America, Upper & Lower Sardine, and a bit of Volcano Lakes. The ascent up to the Buttes was challenging at times(especially towards the top) but well worth it and we very much enjoyed the workout.

The trail itself sees a fair amount of traffic. Expect to see a couple 4x4 vehicles as they make their way up from Trailhead A to Tamarack Lake; after that it's all hikers up to the Buttes on this trail.

The panoramic view offered at the lookout on top of Sierra Buttes was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, my wife had to stay with the dogs because the stairs were too steep for one of them (Jasper is not very sure footed like Porter is). Use your own judgement. I would love to do this hike when snow is on the ground. This area of California is gorgeous!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Although the view was adequate I must confess i was very disappointed with this hike. Too many people usually here as this area is used by many groups, boy scouts, girls scouts, etc. Also at our time of travel way too many logging trucks riding the Jake brake. We elected to hike along the southern exposed ridge trail at midday to stay at the lake closest to the lookout adding a few extra miles. Only to realize we could have driven within 1/4 - 1/2 mile of our camp. Great place to expose the kids to the outdoors in a fairly safe outdoor environment. The Sierra Butte lookout tower rock graffiti from the 1800's is some what interesting, and as to how they got materials up there and built it on that granite...fun stuff! Bit of a drive though in my opinion if you are looking for something more grand and alpine.

Monday, November 17, 2014