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

Great trail!

18 days ago

*quite a lot of this trail is on gravel road.
*lots of mountain bikes on trail.
*road noise for a long time on the walk.
*water for the dogs.
*would be nice shade in the hot months.
*lake was nice- people catching fish.

2nd time around..get up there to see a fire at around donner lake or hwy 89 yesterday..makes u realize hikers vulnerabilities..great views and great scramble up once you get up past first turret..not a trekking pole hiker but they may come into play on way down..

Great hike with great views. Starts as a dirt road, at the big sign you take a left onto the trail. You can make this into a nice loop (adds maybe a mile and adds no elevation gain) by continuing onto the castle mountain trail a bit and then taking the pacific crest trail back down. The pacific crest trail is a very sharp left turn, easy to miss.

Great hike. Weather was amazing, and nice people on the trail.

A really nice hike. Note that at the initial trailhead from the gate you take the right “road/trail”. The road to the left leads somewhere else. Not too many people. Quite a few dogs, if that matters to you. There is a LOT of fire road to walk on. If you’re there on the weekend you will likely encounter several trucks. But, it’s beautiful and a breath of fresh air, literally.

Quite windy today, but beautiful skies and miles and miles of visibility. Trail is in good condition, although a bit loose going up the last 3/4 mile (all walkable if careful)

This hike has great views. It's pretty moderate until the last mile, then it's steep. Bring poles, it can be pretty slippery. Lots of loose gravel and sand.

1 month ago

I've done this as a snowshoe day hike in the winter, an overnight backpacking with snowshoes in the winter, and a spring/summer hike. All times have been great with different experiences! One of my favorite go-to's when I need a quick hike that I'm familiar with and won't get lost.

Fun little hike before the snows return. If actually trying to bag the true summit keep in mind it’s the easternmost crag. Def a bit of exposed class 3 climbing to get up top but we still managed to get up in a little under two hours.

1 month ago

Great mellow trail!

One of the best!

Great hike with amazing views! Going down was a little tough/slippery... bring gloves!

2 months ago

I have done castle Peak at least 5 times. I have completely circled it and spent a night at Warren lake. I have also done Andesite and Basin Peaks.This is an amazing area. It is loose and steep up the final ridge. Bring poles. Also you can park closer if you have a high clearance vehicle. We mad a video of our last ascent it can be found on YouTube at Chris and Bobs adventure channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpJF3zCamY0

Love Glacier Lake and Island Lake. Favorite Is to go from Carr Lake to Island Lake day 1 and then to 5 lakes next day and back home on Sunday. My favorite local backpacking spot.

Great day hike. Poles would've been a smart idea since it is rocky and slippery in spots. Beautiful views ❤️

2 months ago

Hi all, my friends and I are undertaking this hike soon, is hike 10 miles there and back or 10 each way (20 total)? A couple of sites I went to doesn't seem to clarify this and people are confused.


2 months ago

Great hike! Just be prepared for the moderate portion to end at the lower lake. There is no established trail between the lower lake and the upper lake, but there are markers to help guide you along the way. I would also recommend that only those who are very experienced hikers to try the hike up to the upper lake because you will need to climb up rock faces and navigate across and over slabs of granite frequently and negotiate some rough terrain.

absolutely beautiful

2 months ago

Unleashed Dogs... Nice Dogs... Barking Dogs... Growling Dogs... Attacking Dogs... Unleashed Dogs everywhere with ignorant owners in tow. "Oh don't worry... Spike won't bite you"... As he's charging me at full speed with his teeth bared, hackles up and gutteral growl going.

Trail is beautiful. Lake is great. Views from the rims are wonderful. Hike is easy with a couple moderate tenth mile stretches.

Did I mention the Unleashed Dogs!

* peaceful if you ignore highway 80.
* level. shady.
* can go all around the lake trail, very nice.

Lower section is open to high clearance vehicles in summer. Suggest taking Pacific Crest Trail to the junction near Castle Ridge. Also note short extension on PCT to Peter Grubb Hut at Round Meadow.

Fun trail! Best views of Castle Peak at the beginning of the loop and again at the end. Shaded by trees through most of the trail loop, but does get hot getting to the loop and when you finish the loop where most of the trees are off the path. Some of the trail is an off road track for trucks, so if you want a shorter hike you can drive your truck to the top of the loop and hike to Castle Peak from there.

I love scrambles and steep hikes but the trail was so slippery it wasn’t fun. Constantly trying not to fall. The views were pretty good but there are certainly much better hikes in the area

2 months ago

Awesome hike! Nice and shady and the views of the lake were great! Pretty easy, not much elevation gain. Will do it again in the future.

It was gorgeous and well worth it. We never found one trail sign though and asked other hikers along the way. There are several other trails to other destinations so it is too bad it has no signage. The only one we saw was the PCT marker.

2 months ago

A lovely hike, although I could hear the traffic from I80 most of the time. I missed the turn off at the intersection with Warren Lake Trail to go back down, so continued on Donner Lake Rim Trail until it connected with PCT. That made it an enjoyable 7.5 miles RT

2 months ago

Excellent 1-hour loop, if you are on-the-way to the Bay Area or Reno Tahoe areas. Easy access right off I-80 on the Castle Peak / Boreal exit. There are so many trails that connect in this area, as the Pacific Crest Trail leads straight through.

We were headed to Nevada City and wanted to do a hike in the Donner Summit area that is short enough for about an hour, but long enough to feel like a hike.
The Castle Valley loop fit the bill.
Varied terrain. Shade from towering Douglas Fir layered with lichens and moss, green and beautiful.
Striking meadow. Contrasting views of Castle Peak.
There is one trail fork that has no marker. If you come back the same way, just look for the rock signal.
Also good, this trail connects with the Summit Lake and Castle Peaks trails. You can connect to the Donner Summit rest area if you like.

Overall, we will take a group on this trail again for one of our trekking pole adventures. Excellent starter group hike, not too steep.

- Mike & Angel
EarthTrek Gear

Great hike 8/23/18. Two 60+ year old women did the hike no problem. Not as rocky or slippery despite my fears after reading some of the reviews. That being said, I left my dogs (2 Border Collies) at home. Would not recommend bringing a dog. Hard on their feet and they could literally fall off a cliff if you’re going to the very tippy top. Plus it’s very sun exposed. Made it all the way up to the top Castle Peak and then continued on the the ridge over to Basin Peak and back down on the PCT past Peter Grub Hut (very interesting). Total miles probably close to 9.5. Unfortunately my phone died toward the end of recording the hike. Would do this again. Incredible views.

Attempted to go to Frog Lake Overlook via Castle Peak as shown in the AllTrails app. The terrain going up to Castle Peak is very steep with loose rock and slippery footing. Once we got pass Castle Peak there were two cliffs with jagged rocks that needed scaling before reaching the trail you can clearly see on the other side. A group of four attempted it just before us and ended up scrambling to the bottom of the mountain without trail into unknown terrain. The end of my track goes in circles looking for a safe way to cross. We decided to opt out so we could live to hike another day. THE MESSAGE IS: Be aware of all logged routes on AllTrails. They may not be what you think. Do not attempt situations that are beyond your skill. Do your homework and know when to turn around so you can hike another day!
I would have rated this a 5 due to the views but I am rating it a 1 for following this AllTrails route. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy exploring AllTrails, just be aware it might not be what you think and be ready for the unknown!
I am a avid hiker and I would rate this as Hard due to the steep loose rock ups and downs.

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