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    Alpine Lakes Loop Trail

    Difficulty
    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Hard
    Duration
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    5.5-8h
    Distance
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    18.8 km
    Elevation
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    830 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Alpine Lake Loop Trail is an amazing day-hike through the high country that guides intrepid explorers to not one, not two, not three, but over half a dozen shimmering alpine lakes. The breathtaking scenery along this excursion will overwhelm you as you wander.

    View Alpine Lakes Loop Trail on Map

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    Route Description for Alpine Lakes Loop Trail

    The Alpine Lakes Loop Trail covers a lot of ground, boasting awe-inspiring views of the High Sierra and the shimmering lakes nestled amongst the peaks. It is important to properly prepare and check the forecast to avoid getting caught in an afternoon storm when travelling into the high country. Additionally, we suggest dressing in layers and wearing a sturdy, comfortable pair of footwear. Reserved for experienced hikers and those acclimated to the area’s elevation, this trek demands stamina, so bring plenty of water! Note hikers are required to bring along a free Desolation hiking permit which is found at the trailhead.

    Setting out from the Bayview Trailhead, the Alpine Lakes Loop Hike follows the Bayview Trail along the shoreline cliffs of Cascade Lake up to Granite Lake. At the next two intersections, take the leftmost Eagle Falls Trail onto the rightmost PCT, ultimately arriving at Dicks Lake. Enjoy the expansive views of the alpine terrain, then take the leftmost PCT to Fontanillis Lakes. Explore the shoreline the continue north along the PCT to the Upper and Middle Velma Lakes. From here, hook back onto the Eagle Falls Trail, heading east to the same intersection with Bayview Trail.

    At this point, hikers will track the Eagle Falls Trail to Eagle Lake and Eagle Falls. At the trail’s end, turn right onto the Emerald Bay Road, hiking along the shoulder of the road before turning right into the Bayview Campground. Hike through the campground back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.

    Getting to the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail Trailhead

    The Alpine Lakes Loop Trail departs from the Bayview Trailhead off Emerald Bay Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required.

    • When to do

      April-September

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      No

    • Route Signage

      Average

    • Crowd Levels

      Moderate

    • Route Type

      Circuit

    Alpine Lakes Loop Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Alpine Lakes Loop Trail Reviews

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