The Five Lakes Hike
Lake Tahoe › Alpine Meadows
Added by Robin Penning
- Bring a camera for sure, you won't regret it
- Unbelievable views of the entire valley
- 1/2 day adventure
The Five Lakes Trail is located in the Granite Chief Wilderness in between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts and is easily accessible at the intersection of Alpine Meadows and Deer Park roads. The 5-mile moderate trail ascends approximately 900-1000 ft. along granite canyons and pine forests to a high-altitude meadow that creates a bowl of five lakes in between the rugged mountain peaks towering from above including a peak of Squaw Valley ski resort. As you ascend the trail, you will enjoy view of the Alpine Meadows ski resort from a distance, traverse under an abandon ski resort chair lift (said to be created to link the two ski resorts at one time) and climb along the rocky, granite cliff until you pass a waterfall and reach the high-altitude meadow. The hike takes only about one-hour to reach the meadow and lakes but I recommend spending at least a 1/2-day on the trail in order to fully explore and enjoy the lakes above. Since it is such a popular hike, the trail can become crowded, especially on weekends, but not to worry as there are plenty of nooks and coves to relax, picnic, swim and even fish in the lakes.Source
- Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!
- Pack lots of water and snacks. As you quickly ascend the trail it is roughly a 2.5-mile straight climb until you reach the top.
- Sometimes finding all 5 lakes can be tricky but take your time enjoying and exploring the high elevation meadows and trails connecting the lakes throughout.
- Worth the wait! Due to its high elevation, I recommend enjoying this hike later in the summer season as high-altitude snow is likely to remain throughout spring.
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
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to the Jumping Rock on the Bear River
Lake Tahoe / Dog Bar Bridge
Though lesser known than its neighbors the Yuba and the American, the Bear River still features fantastic hiking, swimming, river-raft, tubing, and rock-jumping but without the crowds.
Photograph a Sunset on Wolf Mountain
Lake Tahoe / Wolf Mountain
While all of the hiking trails to the Wolf Mountain summit cross private land, Wolf Mountain Road provides public access to several excellent viewpoints overlooking the Central Valley and the nearby .