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Winnemucca Lake and Elephant's Back

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (4)

In winter, bring snowshoes or cross country skis to climb to stunning views at the top of the Sierras.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

Out and Back

9,570' 2,917 m

High

8,554' 2,607 m

Low

1,112' 339 m

Up

1,111' 339 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · Views

Overview

If you want to see the top of the world, or at least the Sierra Nevada range, this is the hike. Several lakes and several peaks can be accessed from the trailhead.

Need to Know

Parking requires a Sno-Park pass during the winter. The lot is small, so arrive early.

Description

This year-round hike begins easily, on a fairly level trail which climbs at various places. Some sections of the narrow trail wind under scattered stands of pine before opening to broad vistas of treeline meadows or ridge-top sky views. Winnemucca Lake offers many lunch sites with comfortable boulder seating.

From there hikers can opt to climb to Elephant's Back or to Round Top Lake on the Elephant's Back Route Spur. This short out-and-back add-on will treat you to more impressive views. Once you are done enjoying the scenery, simply retrace your steps and head back to the way you came.

Contacts

Shared By:

Donna 2022

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#1

in Carson Pass

#4385

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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3 Star
25%
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Carson Pass

#627

in California

#4,385

Overall
3 Views Last Month
1,932 Since Apr 16, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Round Top
Jan 23, 2022 near South L…, CA
Winnemucca Lake
Jan 23, 2022 near South L…, CA
Destination Round Top etched and Lake Winnecucca covered by April's snow.
Apr 16, 2018 near South L…, CA
View to north from top of Elephant Back.
Apr 16, 2018 near South L…, CA
Dropping our snowshoes and hiking to the ridge of Elephant Back ridge.
Apr 16, 2018 near South L…, CA
The midmorning sun lights up the branches of an old snag, one of a few along this trail.
Apr 16, 2018 near South L…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2022
Austin Balser
Oct 22, 2019
Jennifer H
Easy hike with a beautiful lake at the end. However, the trail to Elephant's Back was non existent. We headed to Round Top Lake instead. 10.3mi — 5h 25m
Jun 30, 2018
Jake Swisher