• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Experience Alpine Meadows in the summer. Find six hidden lakes, all great for jumping in. Take some time to breathe in the mountain air.

This hike starts at Alpine Meadows Base Camp and finishes on Alpine Meadows Road. The end point is less than a half mile from the base, and an easy walk up a slight hill.

Park at base camp and head on the trail to the far right of all of the lifts. Proceed up the trail for half a mile (this is the steepest part of the trail). Feel free to stop to admire the wildflowers growing all over the ski slope. Near the top of the lift closest to the trail, follow the trail as it turns to the right and heads through bushes and into the trees. After a short climb, Estelle Lake will be visible on the left, set back against a steep hill. Don't worry, you don't need to climb those hills today.

After a snack, turn back away from Estelle and head down the ridge. Follow the path that goes up to the top of the ridge if you don't want to end up climbing over rocks and through some bushes, although that isn't a bad way to get there either. The path will end at a set of large, flat rocks that go up to a point at the top of the hill. Follow the rocks around the side and look across the valley for a view of all five lakes. From here it is an easy walk down to the Five Lakes Trail that passes around each of these lakes.

For a more secluded lake, stop at one of the two lakes on the right side where hikers doing an out-and-back on the Five Lakes Trail are unlikely to get to. On the side of the lake farthest to the left you will find the prominent Five Lakes Trail. Follow this down on a well kept path to Alpine Meadows Road. Turn right on the road to walk the short distance back to the parking lot.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking boots
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
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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

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Ashley Chang

I'm live in San Francisco and spend my weekends in the mountains. I love getting outdoors and exploring new places. Feel free to ask me about any of my adventures! I'd love to join you on yours sometime.

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