Explore the most popular forest trails near Kirkwood with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful views and pristine lakes. Fantastic hike.

hiking
11 days ago

Do you need a permit to backpack overnight here? It would be great if AllTrails had a section with permit requirements for each trail.

backpacking
11 days ago

07/27 wild flowers were

Wildflowers were out of control! Gorgeous hike, started counter clockwise, 4th of July Lake first night. Trail overgrown through Summit City. We added on a few miles to camp second night at Lost Lakes. Stunning granite and more wildflowers as we hiked the 6 miles back to ranger station 3rd day. Don’t forget to get a free camping/fire permit at the ranger station.

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail beautiful scenery and a very nice lake ☺️

hiking
23 days ago

beautiful hike. my 79 year old dad found the trail a little tough though, lots of rocky sections. also is more like 5+ miles, 5 according to the sign and 6 according to my GPS.

hiking
24 days ago

Since we added round top summit, it ended up 17.5 mile hike and 4300ft elevation gain. We started around 8:45am and went counter-clockwise, summit round top about 11 and got to 4th of July lake 1pm and had a lunch break. After the lunch break, the sun was intense and after we went the way down to the valley, coming back up was hard. I got some heat cramps on my legs and had to stop. Some electrolytes capsules saved me. My cramps went away immediately after. Last few miles of uphill on PCT felt like it lasted forever. But I completed and very proud of myself. The views were stunning - top of round top, wildflowers on the trail, 4th of july lake and the valley behind round top. I would definitely do this again but I would like to do it as an overnight backpacking instead of a day hiking next time.

hiking
24 days ago

In response to the review "no facilities and services", I don't think you should have to expect any since it's only 2.3 miles in, it's dispersed camping, and there are facilities within 2 miles each direction from the trailhead. Trail is easy to follow if you use the AllTrails app; I literally just took a snapshot of the trail since I don't have the pro version. If you think you're getting off trail - yes, it may get a little confusing going over the rocks - look for the stacks of stones and the dirty part of the rock where people drag their shoes through....you don't need mountaineering experience. Anyway, nice trail, not much elevation gain. We camped there 2 weekends ago from a Saturday to Sunday and still only saw 3 or 4 other campers. Only advice is to please not camp close to the water even though someone else has cleared space to. The campers closest to us were only 15 ft from the water, did not leash their 2 dogs, and had a campfire. They were friendly enough, and quiet, but still...RESPECT THE RULES OF THE FOREST!

Beautiful lake, fun to swim, few mosquitoes and leeches. Great trail to get your kids into backpacking!

This one is a gem of an adventure. Led a group of about 18 people here for a backpacking adventure in June. Permits are free at the Ranger Station. Parked at the Woods Lake Parking and started the hike. The place is filled with Flowers which is awesome. Great views and nice small waterfalls along the way. See neat old broken rusted down carts. Some snow here and there but nothing to be worried about. This hike is pretty high in elevation so it was difficult because of that and the pack that we wore. Spent the night at Round Top Lake. Nice lake. I went in for a swim so did others. Its a nice lake. At night, the lake is SUPER windy and things will be flying. Not too cold though. In the morning around 630AM and it was super windy and chilly, hiked Round Top Summit which took about 2.5 hours. Its nice up there. The elevation made me tired and I hike quite a bit. Back at camp, cleaned up and hiked back down through Winnemucca lake which was nice. Great views of the place going down the hike. Lots of flowers. Recommended!

Great, easy going trail! Trail was very easy to follow. Expect to see a lot of traffic on the trail but everyone was polite!

This was a spectacular hike with breathtaking wildflower displays and beautiful views. When you drop down into the meadow the sheer volume and variety of wildflowers defies belief. From the trail head, you hike through a nice glen of aspen through a small section of pine forest, then up a rather barren ridge. From there, the meadow is spread out before you. It's a nice hike through the meadow, then back into pine forests to the lake. Some wonderful craggy cliff walls can be seen as you walk through the meadow and they offer a splendid backdrop to the lake. Mid-July the biting flies were out in force, so bring lots of bug spray.

hiking
1 month ago

Best hike so far. Easy trail for the most part. We didn’t have any problem following the blazes like some reviewers. This hike has a lot; wildflower meadows, forrest streams, evergreen groves, mountainous ridge top views and of course the secluded lake. Not too many people there on Thursday afternoon but might get crowed on the weekends.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a very strenuous hike carrying 50lb backpacks to camp. Three log crossings and lots of rocky and steep granite sections. Trail is not well marked in sections, especially at the end. The scenery is beautiful though and the lake was very peaceful and quiet to camp at. Note, there are no facilities or services whatsoever from the trailhead to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Trail is well marked except at end when you hike up a granite boulder when you near the lake. Go to the left here. Wildflowers were beautiful and lake not too cold to swim in!!!

10/10 would recommend! We went out towards Winnemucca first, crossed to Round Top Lake, dropped to Fourth of July Lake, and took the Woods Lake trail back. Does not disappoint!

Great hike with a nice overlook to 4th of July lake if you go around the mountainside.
Nice gradual elevation with several spectacular mountains.

hiking
1 month ago

not sure i liked this hike. loved all the flowers but trail was not described well by all trails. lots of boulders to navigate and granite to maneuver up and down. Lost trail and never made it to the Lake. I hike a lot but not sure this was for me.

Beautiful views and great hike - only slog is the Summit City Trail portion, as it's overgrown and easy to get off track. Overall, well worth it! No snow as of 7/1/18 except a few patches on the PCT next to Elephant's Back that are easy to cross.

Did this loop CC a few years back, camping at 4th of July the first night, but I found this makes Day 1 a little too short and Day 2 pretty long. Recommend doing it clockwise (as I did last week) and staying at 4th of July lake - then on day 2 the climb out of 4th up to Round Top Lake is nice and cool before the sun breaks over the hill :) You can also climb Round Top itself as a side hike, making Day 2 about 7-8 miles back to Carson Pass Station from 4th of July lake.

Went from Carson Pass to Round Top. The flowers are blooming and the weather great. Highly recommended hike. Go all the way to the top of Round Top for killer views!

Good hike and the lake was beautiful to see at the end

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

loved it was awesome views will do it again

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike to a gorgeous mountain lake. Wild flowers were lovely. Some good bouldering and scrambling opportunities for 13-year old boy that kept him interested on the trail.

16 grueling but rewarding miles and some gnarly elevation gain but what a beautiful way to spend a Saturday. We started at Carson pass ranger station.The trail is easy just passed Winnemucca. Beyond that you will find more solitude as the trail is quite steep down to Fourth of July Lake and the day hikers dwindled to maybe three or four. Personally I find this to be the most beautiful part of the hike. After Fourth of July lake and Into Summit city Canyon Trail we didn’t see another soul until we got back on the PCT. the trail marker for Summit City from 4th of July is turned wrong and points you the wrong way. It is not a hard right as the marker shows but more to the left. Thanks to the trail workers the trail was free and clear all the way down 4th of July lake. Summit city trail was still quite overgrown but with a little perseverance (and dedicated bushwhacking), it was passable. No Snow except for two wide patches that we had no problem getting over in regular hiking shoes. Wildflowers are getting their game on and so are the mosquitoes. Make sure to bring your bug repellent! I would say 50/50 shade to sun so bring your sun hat if you do the full 16.

HELP! I lost my wedding band on the section between 4th of July Lake and the top. It’s a simple silver band and is most likely lost somewhere along the upper third of the trail. Please let me know if you find anything! danjhherrick@gmail.com

Great hike with lovely views and a good workout. But like most places that are featured on social media (Carson Pass Visitor Info Station has its own Facebook page), it is no longer "lightly traveled" - you now have to arrive early to get a parking space for the trailhead and at least on weekends, the trails are pretty busy. Alltrails may want to edit their description.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is dry. No snow. No extended climbs; good for kids. 2 log crossings, but wide and fairly easy

We started off from Woods Lake side on Saturday, hiked down fourth of july lake during the afternoon, and camped at round top lake during the night; we then hiked up round top mountain in the early morning and finished the loop off minnemucca lake and carson pass. On the side of wooden lake to round top, approximately a third to fourth of the trails are obscured by snow (in June). We met quite a few groups who were either scared off by the snow or got lost. Highly recommend windshield layer or thicker jackets, snow shoes or hiking boots to tread of the snow. It gets a lot windier at higher altitude near round top lake. The experience itself was one of a kind. You have to tread through snow and be really good at pinpointing the trail ahead. Some of the human tracks become water streams or mud pads due to snow melt, so wear durable hiking shoes. There are 6 camp grounds at round top lake and you must acquire a permit at the Carson Pass visitor center. We were the only one who camped there, and the night was extremely windy and cold. Thankfull we were prepared for the worst of the weather and made it through. I personally think that the route through winnemucca lake to round top is steadier pace, more scenic and beautiful, and no snow until you pass winnemucca. The additional path down fourth of july and up the round top mountain are definitely rewarding and have fantastic views of the entire valley.

A couple of lakes really. Last September I joined Jere's Jaunts for a COLD fall hike. Early morning temps were literally freezing. Lucky I packed warm. one of our group, Marty, showed up in shorts as usual and a light fleece jacket. He and his wife got out of the car and upon seeing the frozen water in the parking lot at Carson Pass immediately began complaining. To his credit he made it half way before saying we were all nuts. LOL!

I loved this hike. Fairly moderate with only one slippery, icy water crossing. We all made it with ease. I also like it cold. So refreshing up in the Sierras!

This was a beautiful hike, nothing too fancy. It was very windy the day I hiked so the temperatures were cool. Few dogs off leash, no real issues though.

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