George Lake Trail

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.
14.3 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.
405 m
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Directions to Trailhead
George Lake Trail

Immerse yourself in the high country along the George Lake Trail. This epic excursion into the alpine terrain offers postcard-worthy views from both Potter Pass and Lake George. Though demanding, the wonderful panoramas prove well worth the sweat! What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

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Route Description for George Lake Trail

Explore what the High Sierra has to offer along the George Lake Trail. This scenic route through the high-country travels through diverse landscapes over various terrains. Uneven and rocky, we encourage you to wear a sturdy pair of footwear to avoid rolling an ankle! Additionally, traveling to high elevations warrants extreme conditions, so dress in layers and check the forecast prior to your trek! We recommended heading out in the early morning to beat the crowds and mitigate getting caught in an afternoon storm! If you are visiting from sea level, then we urge you to acclimatize before heading into the High Sierra.

The George Lake Trail is a staple hike in the Sierra National Forest. This impressively scenic adventure is ideal for those seeking a heart-pumping hike. Offering awe-inspiring scenery of mixed forestlands, granite outcrops, alpine lakes, and craggy peaks, there is no shortage of beauty! This quintessential alpine route can be enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts, from hikers, bikers, horse riders, and even your adventurous pups! Versatile and open year-round, this route can be enjoyed even after snowfall with a pair of microspikes or snowshoes for traction! Boasting wonderful scenes, make sure you charge your camera before setting out.

Embark on your journey along the George Lake Hike from the California Riding and Hiking trailhead. From here, the path travels northwest up a switchback and over a snowmelt stream. Gradually ascend, the path will soon dip down into a gorge before climbing back up again. Wandering over Maggie Creek, meandering through mixed woodlands adorned with granite outcrops. Soon you will intersect with Potter Creek before scrambling up to Potter Pass. The Pass boasts breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains that line the horizon.

Marvel in the beauty of the wilderness, then heads north down the Pass along Kaiser Creek and down into Round Meadow. Turn left at this intersection, hiking to Lower Twin Lake. Follow the path to Upper Twin Lake. Enjoy the scene of a charming alpine lake and the encircling bluffs. Continue further into the mountain basin, and you will untimely reach George Lake. Admire the picture-perfect alpine lake encircled with pines and bounded by the craggy walls of Kaiser Peak and another unnamed summit. After rejuvenating your tired feet in the chilly waters, retrace your footing along the route all the way back to the trailhead—marking the end of your alpine excursion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the George Lake Trail?

The George Lake Trail is a 14.3 km out-and-back hike in the Sierra National Forest.

Are dogs permitted on the George Lake Trail?

Yes, dogs are welcome on the George Lake Hike if they are on leash.

Insider Hints for George Lake Trail

  • Don’t forget you need a wilderness permit if you plan to backcountry camp
  • Wear ankle bracing footwear—you’ll thank us later
  • Head out in the early morning to beat the crowds and afternoon storms
  • Pack plenty of water and snacks to stay fueled!
  • In the winter months, be sure to strap on some microspikes or snowshoes

Getting to the George Lake Trail Trailhead

The George Lake Trail is accessed via the California Riding and Hiking Trailhead off Kaiser Pass Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping, Backcountry Camping, wilderness permit required.

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

George Lake Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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