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    Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    5.5 km
    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.
    259 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

    Short, steep, and scenic are three words that best describe the Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike. Hike through mountain meadows and towering tree stands not one but two shimmering alpine lakes that boast wonderful views of Mount Shasta and the Castle Crags.

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    Route Description for Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike

    If you are seeking a manageable day hike in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, then you have come to the right place. This adventure is ideal for novice hikers and families with children alike, though it is worth noting that the trek is steep in sections. Open year-round; explorers can visit the crystalline waters of the charming alpine lakes no matter the season. The winter months prove more challenging with colder conditions and icy terrain, though it is easily manageable with a pair of microspikes and warm layers!

    Setting out from the trailhead off Toad Lake Road, the Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike follows the Toad Lake Trail east, through a montane meadow and up to the shimmering alpine lake. Revel in the beauty of Toad Lake bounded by impressive granite bluffs adorned with conifers. Continue hiking around the shoreline of the lake, and you will ultimately be guided up a set of switchbacks. Navigate the winding terrain, and at the next intersection, veer left onto the PCT.

    The PCT will lead you southwest to Porcupine Lake, a much smaller alpine pool that boasts wonderful vistas of the mountainous landscape. After reveling in the scenery, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike Trailhead

    Access this hike from the trailhead off Toad Lake Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike Elevation Graph

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    Porcupine and Toad Lakes Hike Reviews

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