Loch Leven Lakes

Location: Tahoe National Forest, CA

Distance: 8.2 miles (2.5 miles to the 1st lake; 3.6 miles to 3rd lake)

Type: Day hike; Out-and-Back

Rating: Moderately Difficult

Permits & Fees: There is no fee for parking and no permit required for this hike.

Parking: Parking is located off of Hampshire Rocks Road. Driving directions can be found here.

Preparation: Sunscreen and water are a must; the trail is well covered, but once the lakes are reached, sun exposure is high.

Camping/Overnight Backpacking? Yes. There are several places to camp along the trail and lakes. Note that this is a very popular place to camp during the summer months.

Dog Friendly? Yes.

The Hike:

After parking in the small lot (or along Hampshire Rocks Road), cross the street to reach the trailhead signs:

The first portion of the hike is fairly easy to navigate, but not completely marked. Several signs and trail ducks are located throughout the hike; be sure to pay attention to the trail ducks, especially along the portion of the trail on the open faced rock:

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Around the 1 mile-mark, there is a small wooden bridge and shortly after, the railroad tracks will come into view:

After crossing the railroad tracks, the most difficult part of the hike begins. The trail Is well-marked and shaded by trees, but it is an uphill climb a majority of the way to the first lake. At the 2.5 mile mark, the first lake comes into view:


After walking along the edge of the first lake, it’s only an additional 10 minutes until the second (and largest of the three lakes) is reached:


Finally, at the 3.6 mile mark, the third and final lake (High Loch Leven Lake) is reached:


Enjoy the view and take some time to go swimming and relax before making the trek back down the same trail to the trailhead. Don’t forget to admire the beautiful scenery along the trail!

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