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Five Lakes Basin

  4.3 ( 6 ) Favorite


11.5 mile 18.5 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,205' 367 m
Descent: -1,205' -367 m
High: 7,555' 2,303 m
Low: 6,665' 2,031 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by Anina Middleton

A beautiful hike filled with lakes that you'll be in awe of.

Anina Middleton

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly An easy trail for all ages with great lakes to swim in!


There are countless lakes to admire along this hike. This is great area for either a beginner or advanced backpacker because there are plenty of places to stop in the area and make camp. The trail is not too steep either and would make for a great, longer day hike.

Need to Know

Plenty of lakes to swim in during the summer!


Overall, these trails are well-maintained and easy to follow through the lakes at the beginning. Start the hike on the Round Lake Trail. Round Lake Trail extends east from Feeley Lake passing Island, Long, Round, and Milk Lakes along the way. There are several excellent campsites near Island Lake, a picturesque lake surrounded by rock knolls and scattered patches of timber. Several rocky islands give the name to this, the largest of the lakes in the group. Summer visitors often swim to these islands to enjoy the sun and the scenery.

Milk Lake, a deep blue lake, has campsites near the east and west ends. The south shore is steep, rising sharply to the ridge where Grouse Ridge Campground is located. From Round Lake Trail, take the turnoff toward Glacier Lake and continue to follow signs for Glacier Lake for the remainder of the trail. The trail on the way out out is a bit of a descent so expect a little uphill on the way back to the trailhead. Beautiful views of the beautiful Tahoe National Forest!

At a certain point, we went off the trail to find our campsite in Five Lakes Basin. You can stay on the trail and find some other nice campsites as well. The whole hike is very moderate and can be a a day hike or a nice and easy backpacking trip.

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ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


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Jun 18, 2018
Sean McFaul
Jun 18, 2018
Jenn North
Started at Grouse Ridge Campground and went to Glacier Lake (round-trip). 9mi
Sep 27, 2017
Don Lieb
Carr to Glacier Lake 7.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes


  4.3 from 6 votes
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in California


301 Views Last Month
11,352 Since Dec 20, 2015



Clouds rolling in at Island Lake, Carr/Feely trailhead. Tahoe N.F.
Feb 4, 2016 near Downiev…, CA
Prepping for the journey.
May 31, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Our campsite at Five Lakes Basin.
Dec 20, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Tarp Camp and gorgeous sunset
Feb 4, 2016 near Downiev…, CA
Reflection at our campsite near the Glacier Lake Trail.
Dec 20, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Glacier Lake from NE side
Jul 31, 2017 near Truckee, CA


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