Cluster 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.
4-6h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.7 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.
452 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is a stunning route within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Leading you along the shoreline of a number of breathtaking lakes, the route is considered to be an excellent location for wildlife viewing. A longer route with a notable amount of elevation fluctuation, the Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is ideal for intermediate and experienced hikers.

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Route Description for Cluster Lakes Loop Trail

In the springtime, the mosquitoes along the Cluster Lakes Loop Trail can become numerous and bothersome. As such, we recommend bringing bug repellent with you and wearing long sleeves and pants. The Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is also considered to be on the more difficult side due to its length and elevation fluctuation. Therefore, we do not recommend this route for beginner hikers and families with children.

The Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is an excellent choice for your next hike within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Charming in aesthetic and with an abundance of wildlife to enjoy throughout its duration, the Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is perfect for intermediate and more experienced hikers.

Having located the trailhead, follow the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail as it makes its way east over steadily inclining terrain. The pathway will reach a plateau, and soon after, a junction within the trail. At the junction, you can go in either direction, as the route from here is a circuit. We suggest going clockwise, as the views are better and it helps cut down on congestion along the route. Going clockwise, take the northern pathway onto Bear Lakes Trail and follow it as it makes its way alongside the eastern base of Hat Mountain.

Bear Lakes Trail will lead you northeast, inclining in election as it goes, before arriving at a small lake. Passing the lake, the Bear Lakes Trail will veer more in a northern direction, climb a small saddle, and then arrive at the eastern shoreline of Little Bear Lake. Continuing along the trail, you will pass Big Bear Lake before arriving at a junction within the trail. At the junction, continue on along Bear Lakes Trail by taking the eastern pathway. The route will bring you along the northern shoreline of several lakes before crossing a creek and arriving at another junction.

Take the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail at the junction and follow it south towards Lower Twin Lake. Once you have arrived at the lake's northern shore, take the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail as it makes its way alongside the western shore of both Lower Twin Lake and Upper Twin Lake. Having passed both lakes, continue on the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail, past several trail junctions, as it delivers you to the original junction along the trail. From here, backtrack your original steps to the trailhead at Summit Lake North Campground.

Trail Highlights

Lassen Peak

Visible to the southwest of the Cluster Lakes Loop Trail, Lassen Peak is truly a sight to behold. At an elevation of 3,187 m, Lassen Peak is the highest mountain within Lassen Volcanic National Park and is the wilderness area's namesake. An active volcano, Lassen Peak last erupted in 1914-1915 - an event that devastated the immediate area and spewed ash throughout the region.

Insider Hints for Cluster Lakes Loop Trail

  • The glare along the many lakes can be intense during midday - bring sunglasses!
  • A good pair of hiking boots goes a long way. Your knees and ankles will thank you!
  • Silver Lake is a great place for a mid-hike swim.

Getting to the Cluster Lakes Loop Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for Cluster Lakes Loop Trail is located at the Summit Lake North Campground.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Summit Lake North Campground

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Cluster Lakes Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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