Warren Lake Trail

HARD 29 reviews
#22 of 144 trails in

Warren Lake Trail is a 14.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Truckee, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

14.7 miles
4,307 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips





wild flowers



over grown

Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road exit, which is immediately west of the highway's Donner Summit Roadside Rest Area. On the south side of the highway there is a sign reading: Tahoe National Forest Trailhead Donner Summit Pacific Crest Trail. Follow the directions on the sign turning east for 0.4 miles to the trailhead.

10 days ago

WARNING: once you get past Warren Lake the trail is extremely overgrown and difficult to find. I was tracking with the AllTrails app the best I could but ended up in some dangerous situations making a few bad, and really unsafe, decisions. Not smart.

So if you do this hike- and I HIGHLY recommend that you do because it is freaking gorgeous- consider making it an In-and-out from Warren Lake.

27 days ago

We did this hike in two days, Took us about 4 hours each day, so if your in good shape you might as well do it as a day hike. There was still a lot of snow (6/20/18), so maybe bring an extra pair of socks, in case your feet get wet. I also would recommend some sort of GPS since its easy to get off the trail with the snow coverage. But the main reason why I am writing this review: BE AWARE! Warren Lake is a breeding place for MOSQUITOS!! I only brought my "hippie oils" (as my husband would say), and they did not do anything to repel those f......lying creatures as soon as we were at the lake. Literally TONS of MOSQUITOS!! If I would do this trail again, I would actually camp a little bit uphill, where the concentration of the `squitos is way less. Besides that, the hike is beautiful!! Super adventurous and no one is out there! Great climbing spots and places to fish!!

8 months ago

Attempt with 3 of the Dece Scouts. Amazing weather, beautiful hike, but more snow than expected. We would have probably made the lake if we had our snowshoes with us. Definitely want to come back and try it again.

8 months ago

amazing view

10 months ago

It was gorgeous but one of the hardest hikes I've done. Especially the scramble down through rocks 1000 feet in one mile to get to the lake. The wildflowers are incredible though and the lake is beautiful!

10 months ago

One of our favorite Tahoe area hikes! We did the out-and-back to Warren Lake and think it ended up being ~16 miles (would have been more like 17.5 if we did the loop). Really fun trail that was interesting the whole way- challenging uphills dispersed throughout and awesome change in scenery/flora over every ridge. Felt more like an exploratory adventure than your typical up-and-back/peak trail. We're in pretty darn good shape and was definitely a great workout for a day hike. Started at 9am and took about 5.5 hours. Loved it!

10 months ago

Once you reached the first major elevation change there was some snow but nothing to worry about. However the run off from the snow made some of the trail hard to find. Some of the trail was literally a creek you had to walk thru. The views are beautiful. Tough hike for anybody. If you go all the way down to warren lake it's really rocky (loose) and steep and narrow in some parts. There are camping sights around the bottom. We were to tired to venture farther for a better campsite and it started to rain on us so we chose camp right where the trail let out. Bushes completely cover the view of the lake but there are paths you can walk on to get to the water. There are mosquitos but it wasn't horrible. We had insect repellant that comes in a yellow spray can that is specifically mosquitos and I didn't get bit at all. (They usually love me) We also took our 2 yellow labs and they did just fine.

11 months ago

Incredible views! I only made it to Warren Lake before heading back. I'd highly recommend not to attempt to do this hike in one day because you will be absolutely exhausted. I'm pretty fit and I barely made it out. Took me 10 hours to get to the lake and back. The uphill and downhill parts make it extremely difficult. There was still a lot of snow as of 7.23.17. Makes it difficult to stay on Trail but doable if you can make your way around. Beware if you expect an easy one day hike. It will kick your ass. Also mosquitoes are annoying.

Monday, July 10, 2017

This is a spectacular hike. Be aware that as of 7/8/17, beginning at the bowl below Castle Peak, the trail is almost entirely covered with snow. We went as far as below Basin Peak and thought it best not to venture all the way down to the lake in the snow.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The wildflower along PCT, Paradise and Warren Lakes are incredibly beautiful.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Real nice day hike. Right at 17 miles from rest area to Lake shore and back.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Monday, July 11, 2016

Great hike. Beautiful views. Watch out for the mosquitos!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Great! We started on the trail on the right side -I will get the exact name - lots of cool flowers and rocks. Little streams and shade until you hit the cut off to the right that over looks frog lake. That view was amazing. We tried to go to the left down to Warren Lake bit way to much snow to maneuver around and we didn't have the proper equipment to go that far or that Steve wants to know. So we're going to try again on overnight

Monday, May 30, 2016

A lot of snow. Good uphill first half. Great views at the top . Lake was frozen :)

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Started at the PCT Trailhead just to the east of Boreal Mountain Ski Resort. Great moderate hike. We started a little later in the day than we wanted to but got back to my truck just before flashlights would be necessary to see our way. Make sure you are watching your map and posted signs. Lots of 3 and 4 way junctions of trails and you just need to watch yourself to make sure you stay on the Warren Lake Trail.

Monday, June 15, 2015

We went June 13-14 and the trail is mostly clear of snow except in a few spots. There are some pretty muddy sections. Warren Lake was surprisingly warm to swim in, but the mosquitoes were fierce! The wildflowers are beautiful and diverse this time of year.
This would be a tough hike for one day and I recommend it as an overnight so you can relax by the lake and not have to climb the steep hill out.
Our distances were about 8 miles each way, according to my GPS.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Warren Lake, Paradise Lake and Devils Oven are among the best when it comes to high alpine lakes. My Dad, brothers and I have each been countless times, spending 2-5 nights each time. We fish, climb, slackline, swim and day hike to fill time on each journey. On the hike in there is a lot of loose rock leading up to castle peak but nothing too difficult. Crossing the ridge is simple and breathtaking, always terribly windy though. Finding where the trails drops off the ridge onto the backside can be a bit tricky, but if you stick to the far left you'll be fine. The weather can change up in a matter of minutes up on the ridge, from sunny and calm to 100pmh+ gusts and hail. Trust me- I have experienced this twice.

Over all a wonderful hike though, great campsites all around the lakes, rocks to jump off of, clear water, what more can you ask for?

Saturday, June 06, 2015

I'd say this is definitely an overnight at least. We just did this in early June and despite the drought and 0%-of-normal snowpack the trail was still covered in a lot of snow, and would be hard to follow without a GPS. There is not a lot of level ground on this trail - lots of up and down which all tends to be steep, and lots of streams draining the snowpack off Castle and Basin peaks. Much of the trail turns into a stream and the few flat areas it crosses turn to mud. On the way back, once we knew the trail, I measured it as 6.4 miles and 2600 feet of ascent.
Definitely worth it though. The views from Frog Lake overlook are nice and Warren is ringed with high granite cliffs and complete with an island. There are many good campsites along the shore, I get the impression this place might be popular on summer weekends, but there were only a couple fishermen there this time.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Beautiful backpacking trail. We hiked in and stayed the night at Warren Lake as I could night imagine doing this in one day. The hike down to Warren Lake is pretty steep and has a lot of loose rocks and if you are looking for a trail that is flat, you will not find it here...you are either hiking up or hiking down. Having the entire lake to ourselves was definitely worth the blisters on my feet. We have a little dog and thankfully decided not to bring him, though a large dog would have no problems. Lots of stream crossing and plenty of places to filter water. Campsites are good once you find your way through the brush that surrounds the lake.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Our SAR team had to do a rescue up on this trail. We started out at about 0230 which made the hike a little more difficult for the first half. The hike back out was better since the sun had come up.
The trail itself is pretty steep at the beginning with a lot of loose small rock so footing can be difficult at times. Once you're up and over the first saddle, it's a bit easier.
It was a good work out and there are some great views of the back side of Castle Peak and the valley below.
Start early if you're going to return the same day, or plan on staying the night at the lake and returning the next day.

11 days ago

5 months ago

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016