Backpack the Caribou Wilderness Lakes Loop

Rate this Adventure Lake Tahoe Caribou Wilderness Loop Trailhead

Added by Nienna Komorebi

A gentle 12 mile backpacking loop through the Caribou Wilderness, abundant with lakes and camping spots.

The caribou lakes loop is very laid back, making it a great start for first time backpackers and kids. Word of caution: in the summer the mosquitos are plenty, I'd recommend this loop for the fall.

From the parking lot there is a visible sign pointing you in the direction of the trailhead near Caribou Lake, once you get the lake the trail begins behind the information sign for the area. :) Super straight forward trail, eventually the one trail turns into two, head right towards Jewel lake, one of many lakes to come. There is a trail that leads to a lake below Jewel or continue straight on the main trail to a cross section leading either to Turnaround lake or the Divide lake. Near this cross section is the only creek we found the entire hike, so be sure to fill your water here! Turnaround lake is a quick, maybe 1/4 from the cross section, so we check it out and turned around. :) Heading in the direction of divide lake, at the next cross section we headed left, did a quick detour to Gem Lake, got back to the main trail and took the detour to Emerald lake. In my opinion this lake had the best camp sites and for some reason, the least amount of mosquitos! Back tracking and then continuing on the main trail will lead you back to Caribou Lake and your car!

All in all, this is a very well signed, easy to follow, rather relaxed hike through the woods. We didn't see any fellow hikers during our trek and Caribou Wilderness is dog friendly! :)

Pack List

  • The ten essentials
  • Tent (especially to protect you from mosquitos in the summer)
  • Dog
  • Book
  • Mosquito Repellent!!!
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Running, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

12 Miles

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Nienna Komorebi

Vegan. Artist. Backpacker. Tea drinker. Book reader. Yoga doer. Tree Hugger.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Lam Watah Trail

Lake Tahoe / Lam Watah Trailhead

Lam Watah Trail is a 2.2 mile out and back hike, that will take you through Lam Watah meadows and ends at Nevada Beach.

Anca Apostoaei
2 Saves

Hike the Rubicon Trail

Lake Tahoe / Rubicon Trail, D.L. Bliss State Park

The Rubicon Trail is a through hike connecting D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park.  You can start at either point.  I opted to start at D.L.

John Maurizi
17 Saves

Catch a Sunset at Pyramid Lake

Lake Tahoe / South Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Catching a Sunset at Pyramid Lake is a unique experience. The high desert lake is surrounded by mountains, and strange rock formations.

Alex Anderson
6 Saves