Explore the most popular birding 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Easy route to amazing lake with increíble backdrop. Great for all abilities and kids. Heavily trafficked though.

This is my favourite trail in the el Dorado area so far. Ultimate fun.

Super easy trail with a beautiful waterfall at the end!

1 month ago

Dry and all the snow is avoidable. Great loop hike with views of Round Top nearly the whole way there if you take the eastern (Winnemucca) side first.

My favorite hike along Highway 88. If you visit early to mid-July, the wildflowers are in full bloom and very nice. You can hike either clockwise or counter clockwise and I have done both ways. I think the trail down from Winnemuca is a little easier (less steep, less rocky), so if that’s a concern consider going counter clockwise to Round Top first. The views looking West from the Round Top side of the trail are by far the best. For the relative easy of this hike, I can not recommend it highly enough.

Great trail to hike with your dog

Great hike from Carson pass to winnemucca lake and back. Very busy trail hike. Elevation will get you so take your time and hydrate alot during the hike.

Went up the right fork to Round Top Lake first. As mentioned before the view dropping into Winnemucca Lake is beautiful. No people on the first half. A lot of people from Winnemucca Lake down to Wood Lake.

We first did this trail two years ago and returned to it earlier this week. Still love it. We took the same route up to Winnemucca Lake as we did last time, starting from the Woods Lake parking area. There were still wildflowers, even in mid/late August (last time we went in early July). But this time we turned right at the lake and took the Round Top Lake trail. We saw a bit of snow on the way, close enough to scramble up and get some. Then we took the — can’t recall the name (Woods Lake?)— trail to the right back down to the parking lot. It was a fairly easy hike, certainly easier than Job’s Peak which we did today. On the way down we saw the remains of an old mine and a truck, perhaps from the 20s or 30s? You could still see and touch the wooden spokes of the wheels and the wooden running board. Our 8 and 5 year olds loved it. A great hike.

off road driving
2 months ago

Beautiful back country dirt road. I used to camp between meadow lake and twin lake as a kid and it's still as beautiful as ever. Meadow lake has leeches. Just FYI. not sure about Twin lake. Theres a few more lakes up in the mountains that are between the blue lakes and twin lake.

2 months ago

Our family loves this hike. We do this about every 2 years while camping (alternating with Duck Lake). Our 3 young kids handle it well, taking about two or three breaks on the way up. Our medium sized dog handled it fine in the past, now we have a tiny dog-carried her in a backpack. Just did the hike last week, took us about 3 hours total. Most of the trail is shaded, minimal to no shade at the top.

Easy trail, astonishing views.

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