Alpine Lakes Trail

EASY 46 reviews
#3 of 22 trails in

Alpine Lakes Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Baker, Nevada that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
2.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

The three-mile Alpine Lakes Loop Trail at the end of Great Basin National Park Scenic Drive offers high elevation backcountry hiking to two small lakes that lie in the shadow of Wheeler Peak - Stella and Teresa Lakes. The three-mile Alpine Lakes Loop Trail offers the hiker a sense of diversity found in the high elevation backcountry of Great Basin National Park. Two small lakes lie in the shadow of Wheeler Peak. Both occupy shallow depressions left behind by retreating glaciers. both are fed by snow melt and occasional summer storms. To reach Stella Lake the trail rises 400 feet from the trailhead (first right turn at the junction if taken counterclockwise) and passes through a forest of Englemann spruce, aspen and timber pine and takes you to a dramatic alpine setting with a barren sawtooth ridge rising above the surface of a smooth lake. The trail continues another mile to Teresa Lake. Above the lake, blooming primrose and shooting stars reveal a small spring. There are no fish in these lakes as they are both shallow and freeze solid in winter. The trail is a great loop for children and can be combined with the longer Bristlecone and/or Glacier trail (there is about a half mile overlap along the loop) to make a great day hike. Begin at the Bristlecone Parking Area, near Wheeler Peak Campground.

4 months ago

This hike was especially nice the weekend of September 21st. The alpine trees were magnificent and the trails were not busy at all.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike. Not too hard or easy. Loved Stella Lake and the wonderful views of the peak. Best of all worlds with driving much of the elevation change. Would highly recommend

hiking
5 months ago

This is one for the whole family. My kids love this trail. We normally see wildlife along the way to the lakes, and the kids like playing in the water.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike for young kids. More of a walk than a real "hike" but the scenery is pretty great. There were very few other people on the trail and we had both lakes to ourselves for some of the time.

hiking
5 months ago

A great, easy-going hike to some lovely viewpoints. I used this trail as an acclimatization hike to prepare for Wheeler the following day, and I think it helped tremendously. Stella lake is very striking at the base of Wheeler. Teresa lake is quite low and a little paltry in comparison, but still a nice destination. I added on the Bristlecone grove to increase the length a little. The walk between points of interest is easy and well signed.

hiking
5 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

Trail was rated as “easy” and that’s appropriate. Trail description is accurate

The best place for photography is at Stella Lake. Nice alpine lake with some foreground interest. I recommend as wide a lens as you have. I used a 19mm with a C sensor and it wasn’t wide enough to capture the scene the way I wanted.

There’s another nice location about 1/2 from the trail head. Mountains in the background with pine trees in the foreground

When I took the trail is August 2018 the water levels at the second lake were very low. If you want to minimize your hike then just do Stella Lake. But the loop is pretty easy. So if you aren’t exhausted when you get to Stella Lake I recommend you just finish the entire loop.

I went in August but there was no snow and the Aspen hasn’t changed color. Late September is probably better but it may be much colder

6 months ago

Did this yesterday 7/30/18 Teresa lake was very low. Stella lake was pretty but we were a little disappointed that it wasn't great to swim in. I still went in but it was only 2.5 feet deep at it's deepest and very very very soft bottom. I basically floated around trying not to touch the bottom! Still very refreshing. Highly recommend combining this loop with the Bristlecone/Rock glacier trail for a nice 7 mile hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike to Stella Lake and Teresa Lake. we did it in the late afternoon and didn't see one person the whole hike. I recommend following the creek above Teresa Lake to check out the natural spring!

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing loop, especially on the Stella Lake side.

8 months ago

Great way to walk through the forest with several sightings of at massive Wheeler Peak. High pay off rewards of this trail were the two beautiful Sub-Alpine lakes. Stella Lake is beautiful with Wheeler Peak looming atop. There's a fair amount of distance between the two lakes which makes the trail interesting. We enjoyed seeing a few families with children getting out on this trail to enjoy this beautiful National Park.

hiking
Saturday, November 04, 2017

This is a relatively easy hike at the top of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive within Great Basin National Park. I thought it was kind of blah, but maybe I am spoiled by some of the other lake hikes available in the Utah region. At this time of year, the lakes are pretty low as well, and they might be more impressive in the spring. I actually did the loop after starting off trying to climb Mt. Wheeler, but only made it 3 miles due to cold, thin air, and wimpiness. This hike is at a pretty high elevation, so plan accordingly if you are not used to the altitude.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Beautiful hike

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Beautiful scenery and views throughout! Just right for my three year old... we passed several other kids on this trail, too. The lakes are so picturesque, and the terrain is varying throughout.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

I did this trail June 11th. It was fairly easy except I kept losing the trail due to all the remaining snow! The lakes were a gorgeous blue and well worth the work (and loss of direction) to get there.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Great for kids! Been coming here for 45 years, bring my own kids now. Don't miss this gem or the caves down at the upper visitor center.

hiking
Thursday, June 15, 2017

I am so confused by the mileage noted here and the mileage noted on Park newspaper. You note it's 4.7 miles, park map says 2.7 out and back. Our GPS more closely resembles the park mileage. We did combine with Bristlecone trail and totaled about 4.2 miles total. Anyway, we loved this hike. We did run into snow from Stella Lake to Teresa Lake so it was a little difficult to navigate our way and also snow in Bristlecone that did get a bit slippery but was well worth it!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Peaceful easy hike, we combined this with the Bristle-cone trail, both doable together if you have the time. Not to crowded, considering this is probably the premier hiking area in the park ! Along with the cave this is a must do

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Beautiful trail. Gorgeous high altitude lakes. Great for kids. And the fact that it's a loop is the cherry on top! We saw a deer and the purple wildflowers were in bloom.

hiking
Monday, December 28, 2015

This is a stunningly beautiful hike. Great Basin NP is REALLY out of the way, but absolutely worth the trouble. We combined this hike with the Bristlecone Pine Trail and it made for a fabulous half-day hike that got us acclimated to the altitude before we attacked Wheeler Peak the next day. This hike is very easy, but remember that you are at 10,000' which can be very stressful on some people's bodies. The track displayed on this page is for the Wheeler Peak Trail.

hiking
Saturday, October 19, 2013

Great hike! We combined this with the Bristlecone Pine and Glacier trails and made a full half day out of it. Great Basin NP has done a really good job at maintaining the trail and facilities. The Alpine Lakes Trail is really nice. Teresa Lake is small and had beautiful flowers at the high end of the lake that don't look indigenous at all (something to ask a ranger). We liked Stella even better, presenting a very peaceful setting to sit on the logs or stumps and look across the lake to Wheeler Peak. The wind really picked up coming across the lake from over the ridgeline and suspect storms can blow in really fast on summer afternoons. The aspen grove along the trail was also a nice treat, as well as the boardwalks crossing the stream. We met several families with small children along the way - great for kids and picnics! I highly recommend this hike above 10000 feet!

hiking
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Very peaceful and beautiful.

3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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