Explore the most popular lake 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.

PSA: the gate from horse meadows trail head is closed to vehicles for the season.

It was a great hike. We thought is was more like 9 miles. nice and shady. grant views of cable lake and emigrant lake was awesome. had a lunch at lake then headed back. we felt it was moderate skill.

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.

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)

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!

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

2 months ago

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

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.

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.

2 months ago

Nice, short, easy trail to small lake with good views. Low water and heavily impacted shoreline made lake a little less scenic. Continue in to Lake Winnemucca if you can. Amazing there.

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

The all trails segment states this starts at wet meadows trailhead but on the map it shows this segment starting from where the PCT crosses blue lakes road. If you start from wet meadows reservoir trailhead it is closer to 10 miles round trip. I did this but also went up Raymond Peak. Gps shows 12.2 miles and 3200ft elevation for the tour. The road is fine to sunset lake but dont bother driving to wet meadows without a high clearance vehicle. I would rate the hike to the lake as moderate. PCT is well maintained and nicely graded.

One of the most beautiful hike we have done in California so far (and we hike a lot). We went to the 4th of July lake. It is also the 4th lake you can see from this trail. The way back is harder but overall the hike is moderate. Beautiful views from everywhere. Each lake is different. We saw few guys skying on a 10 ft long snow patch....

2 months 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 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.

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