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





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Markleeville, California Map

This was an excellent hike from beginning to end. We began at Caples Lake and followed the trail along the lake until it veered up to toward the historic Emigrant Lake. I arrived to this weather worn Lake imagining the Mormon Emigrates hitting this wall of rock. It was fishbowl staring up at the back of Roundtop and Stagecoach across the Lake. We bushwhacked up to the Stagecoach Trail for another beautiful full vista view of both Caples Lake and Emigrant. I imagine the Mormans did the same and continued East to Utah? We on the other hand went West on the trail bushwhacking our way back down this steep terrain guided by the ski structures that eventually lead us the the “Emigrant Road SLCA” . It was breathtaking. The trees marked with these signs leading us back to the Lake for our final two miles back to our vehicle. I will hike this again. But I will bring a fishing pole.

we camped at Hermit Valley campground, and ran in the trail from that side, "reverse direction." Much tougher that way. The last tough section, just before the water crossing at the meadow, was more annoying than challenging, just a long chunky stretch of rocks big enough to slow you down. We decided to run all the way out and return to camp through Markleeville, and over Ebbet's Pass. The views on the way back were stunning!

Gorgeous lake and mountain scenery. Lake Tahoe Views. Near Pacific Crest trail. Very popular weekends. Round Top Lake leg on the strenuous side. Glacial ice kindly delivered to trail level by enterprising youngsters. Surprising number of folks packing skis/snowboards.

This is an easy trail to hike, but for us, was not so easy to find. Curtz Lake had actually dried up for the season, so we ended up driving way too far - all the way to the reservoir down the road. This trail is a nice way to get off the more common hikes in the area such as Sierra Canyon and Faye Luther.

Beautiful trail with amazing views

well marked and beautiful trail. couldn't believe that there were still small patches of snow (none on the trail) and a thin layer of ice on lake round top.

Did this for the second time last Monday; the trail itself isn’t very strenuous until the last mile to the peak. I’m sure if you only hike once a year the whole trail will feel strenuous, but for more advanced hikers the last mile will be the hardest part. Beautiful views of the entire lake from the top, so definitely worth the work. Other reviewers have said the trail is hard to follow, but that is really not the case. It’s very straightforward and easy to follow!! (There are also not really any rock cairns so if that’s what you rely on to follow a trail then I could see how it would be hard for you)

One of my favorite hikes this season. We logged 8 miles.

Great route to take!

Nice hike to get to some lakes and close to mountains topped with snow.

This hike is becoming one of my favorites. I did it twice this past summer, and the views are simply incredible and worth every ounce of effort you put into it. For me, the most treacherous part of the day was getting to the trailhead on the service road. It is extremely rocky and pothole-y. However, I did see regular sedans and passenger vehicles at the trailhead, so an SUV is not technically required.

Much of the hike has no shelter from sun or wind, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The cairns along the way were helpful when the trail was difficult to follow. We decided to traverse over to Job's Sister after summiting Freel. It was worth the extra effort, but I did not bring trekking poles with me and I ended up wishing I had. Much of the trail is full of gravel, scree, and sand. Getting back down, we did lose the trail, but it wasn't too difficult to get back on track. Definitely a five star hike, and I'm looking forward to the next time I can do this one.

1 month ago

October 7, 2018, first dusting of snow last week. Clear and sunny but 40 mph north east gusts at the summit. Trail off of the PCT isn’t hard to find, follows the Ridgeline. Pretty much all uphill. Incredible hike, Snow on the mountains adds a lot.

Great little trail. Be sure that take a picnic lunch and swimsuits!

Beautiful high mountain terrain, pretty easy going. Looping round via the Woods Lake Rec Area results in having to climb 2 miles back up the 89; not recommended.

1 month ago

It’s easy to lose the trail just after you hit St Mary’s pass and around where you connect up w the PCT. Also, the final mile back to the trailhead is basically just walking along 108. Epic views all around and VERY windy at the top.

Bad ass awesome walk. Best short walk I’ve done in a long time.

My family and friends and of course our well known dog "Ragnar" use this trail an average of 4-5 times a week. it has creeks and streams for the animals and so many beautiful things to see! we see something different every time. well groomed trail as well.

1 month ago

easy and pretty for when yoh have littles or in a hurry

Such a fun trail. Beautiful mountains. Depending how far you go, neat rocks and waterfalls. Not very well marked.

Can be easy or difficult based on the direction you choose. Very pretty. Views of Carson Valley. Sandy areas.

2 months ago

Beautiful views for a short trail (walk to the E edge of the lake to see Hope Valley) with great options for off trail wandering to the S and SE of lake

An amazing hike! We did it counter clockwise where the climb is steep and shorter but the down is more gradual. Lot of stair stepping. Old mine and cars as well as the remains of an old cabin. The spur to the Round Top Peak is worth the extra time and energy to see the amazing views and lakes. It's quite the scramble up, at times requiring hands, the illusion of the steep views can be a little overwhelming, especially when the wind is quite Gusty. With Tahoe in view and many more lakes all around you, offers an unforgettable hike! We sadly missed the wild flower peak time so we'll just have to do it again! We got 8.5 miles on GPS. We parked in the first day use area, you can go further in closer to Woods lake and hike clockwise or walk through the camp to pick up the counter clockwise, it's around space 13 across from it, can't miss it. So thankful that the smoke, air quality was minimal, we did see the white smoke way down in the valley at Donnell fire but it stayed down low far away. We've been enjoying a lot of the peaks around Tahoe and Sierra's and this is a great one! Calling it a medium effort hike is accurate if you don't summit to Round Top Peak but if you do, I'd call it a HARD only cuz it's not for the faint at heart. If you're with heights or ok with using your hands, then maybe it's still a medium.

2 months ago

Very scenic hike with lots of history. This hike starts at Chair 1 at Kirkwood. Follow hiking/mountain biking trails up the top of the ridge, then go down the other side. This was the first time that the hike became difficult, as there was no clearly defined trail to follow, or if there was, we didn't see it. Once we got down to a dirt road, we went right and made our way to the Sunrise Grill. From that point, we followed the directions that Mike White describes in his "Afoot and Afield Tahoe-Reno" book for Emigrant Pass (Hike #178 in the new edition). Without having his book along, we would have been lost trying to find out how to get up to the top of the pass. The only reason we started from Kirkwood instead of Caples Lake as he does in his hike, is to shave off a few miles. Once you get on the historic emigrant trail, just look for markers on trees and cairns stacked by other hikers. We lost the trail a few times, but always quickly picked it back up. Our total mileage ended up being about 7 miles for the out and back, not the 5.8 listed here. Once we got up to the top, the views of the surrounding peaks and Caples Lake in the distance were beautiful. It was amazing to consider that 50,000 emigrants once traveled that route. I would give this hike 5 stars if there were better marked trails on the back side of Kirkwood ski resort.

beautiful. We started at trailhead that leads to winemucca lake, then up to round top lake, then down to fourth...coming back up from fourth is a steep one. We're females in average shape but do hike a lot, clocked 11 miles out and back in about 6 hours. Saw a tarantula! Pretty flowers. I sunburnt, she didn't...both shady and exposed areas.

what a great hike. uphill was quite manageable and the 5 miles flew by. plenty of changing scenery and outlooks.

Great hike. You hike with good view of Caples Lake for almost 2 miles and then head in and the hike is pretty up and down throughout with mostly tree cover and not a lot of unshaded areas. Nice wildflowers and a few streams. Trail pretty easy to follow out and back. Hiked on Labor Day and there were a few hikers up and down but not too busy considering the holiday. Take a lunch and relax once you reach Emigrant Lake or alongside Caples Lake when you get back down.

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