The Warren Lake Trail is a taxing trail with frequently changing elevation - tough going that is crowned by a very steep final descent to the edge of the lake. As a result, this trail is recommend as an overnight excursion.
Beginning at the intersection with the Summit Lake Trail
and DLRT (Donner Lake Rim Trail): Castle Valley to Donner Ridge
, the Warren Lake Trail heads north along a steady climb through an enjoyable alpine forest. The grade slackens at half a mile as the narrow path crosses through an open step. Back in the trees, the grade begins to steepen before quickly entering a noticeably steeper section around the one-mile mark that continues until the trail crosses over the saddle above. At the saddle a worthwhile vista point can be reached by climbing the Frog Lake Overlook Spur
Heading down from the saddle, a one-mile descent weaves into a basin formed by the slopes of Castle Peak and Basin Peak. Over the next few miles, the trail traverses out of the valley and continues climbing. Plenty of glacial remains surround the trail, and the general remoteness of the area combine to make a unique backcountry experience. This section is further characterized by rolling elevation and several creeks to cross.
At four miles, a subtle saddle signals the approach of the very steep descent to the lake below. Just keeping your footing on the loose rock can be challenging here and the aide of a walking stick or trekking poles is welcome help. The steep descent continue right up until the edge of the lake, which by now will be a very welcome destination.
A multi-use trail continues west around the edges of the lake with access to several good camping sites.
Fishing is fairly good in Warren Lake.