Backpacking to Loch Leven Lakes

Details

Distance

8 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Alex Shaw

Relatively easy access to beautiful scenery, low traffic. 5-8 mile hike depending on which lake you want to go to (Lower, Middle, High). Cliff jumping at the upper lake, catch and release fishing, pet friendly. No permit required however a permit is required for campfires.

To get to this trail go west on I-80 from Truckee, Ca. After 17 miles take the Big Bend exit and turn left at the stop sign at the bottom of the exit ramp. Follow that road 3/4 of a mile and the small parking lot will be on your right hand side. There is a bathroom there and the trailhead is directly across the street.

The trail is easy to follow for the first half mile until you get to some large slabs of granite. As you continue up the trail look for stacked rocks, these will give you a an easy route as you continue up the mountain. The trail then starts to switch back eventually leading to a small bridge. After crossing the bridge you will proceed roughly 1/4 of a mile and end up at a set of railroad tracks, the trail continues on the other side of the tracks straight across from where you came out.

Once on the other side the trail will continue up some switchbacks through the forest for another mile and is moderately steep until eventually defending into the first lake. If you continue from the lower lake another mile on the trail you will end up at the upper lake where there are rocks to jump off and more places to camp. The distance to the lower lake is 2.5 miles one way. If you intend to stay the night be sure to pack for any variables. I recommend this to anyone who wants a relatively easy trail to get into backpacking.

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Know for

Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Cliff Jumping

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Reviews

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Perfect

The hike to these lakes was fabulous. We camped at the middle lake and campgrounds were plentiful and the lake was very warm. We saw a rattlesnake so beware. Overall, however, this was a fabulous trip.

Awesome Time!

I did this with my Boy Scout troop and it was just amazing. The lake was little cold but it was fun swim in.

Backpacking Favorite

I have taken this trip twice in the last two years. Took scouts on two of the trips. Great break in hike for new backpackers. For an easier hike, enter via Salmon lake.

538 total saves

4.4/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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