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    Lake Alpine 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.
    2.3 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.
    20 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Lake Alpine Trail

    Hidden high in the Sierra Nevada is the Lake Alpine Trail. This fun family adventure boasts beautiful scenes of the shimmering alpine lake, bounding verdant forestland, and imposing granite peaks. Incredibly scenic and versatile—this walk is a must-add to your Stanislaus National Forest itinerary.

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    Route Description for Lake Alpine Trail

    Indulge in the beauty of the high country as you venture the Lake Alpine Trail. This wonderful trail can be enjoyed year-round by adventurers of all skill levels and ages. The summer sees hiking, biking, swimming, and boating opportunities, and in the winter, explorers can enjoy snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling! Due to the versatility and beauty of the area, this lake is a popular spot, so expect to share the trails with like-minded enthusiasts. However, if you are hoping for a more sequestered experience, then we encourage you to head out in the early morning or consider another hike!

    Those seeking a quintessential alpine adventure will enjoy the Lake Alpine Hike. Easy-going and accessible, this route is ideal for those with small children. This path travels through mixed forests of lodgepole pines and red firs as you wander the shores of the shimmering alpine lake. Offering amazing vistas of the encompassing Sierra Nevada summits—this extraordinary hike exposes beautiful scenes every step of the way. Get outside, stretch your legs, and let the fresh mountain air fill your lungs. Take advantage of the refreshing waters and cool off after your hike before grabbing lunch in the summer months!

    Your leisurely journey along the Lake Alpine Trail begins from the trailhead off State Route 4. Setting out from here, hikers will be guided east along the Lakeshore Trail. The initial segment of the route will pass the boat launch, guiding you along the shoreline of the lake. From here, you will be granted an expansive panorama of the pool adorned with granite islands and eager adventurers enjoying the waters. Not long after departing the trailhead will the path divert you from the shore and lead you beneath the shade of towering pines. Enjoy the break from the sun, and the beauty of the forestlands adorned with granite outcrops.

    Soon the route will reconnect with the shoreline. Meander along the paved route, marveling in the beauty of the High Sierra. Now hiking northeast, the trail will soon reach the Chikaree Picnic Area next to Silver Creek. If you have lunch, this is a great spot to have lunch overlooking the alpine scene. At this point, you have met your turnaround point—but if you still have some gas left in the tank, then consider following the route around the entire perimeter of the lake. If not, simply retrace your footing along the path all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.

    Trail Highlights

    Lake Alpine

    Lake Alpine sits at an elevation of 2,225 m in Alpine County, California. Located in a timbered setting, the alpine pool is nestled amongst Inspiration Point and Mount Reba. Formed by Alpine Dam on Silver Creek, this is a popular recreation area in the Stanislaus National Forest. Explore the lake by paddleboard, kayak, swim, or hike or bike around the perimeter! Adventurers can enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing in the winter months!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you hike around Lake Alpine?

    Yes, there are numerous routes around the perimeter of Lake Alpine.

    When is Lake Alpine open?

    Lake Alpine is open year-round, though the high-country segment of State Route 4 between Lake Alpine and Silver Creek is subject to seasonal closure.

    Are dogs allowed at Lake Alpine?

    Yes, dogs are welcome at Lake Alpine and along the Lake Alpine Trail.

    Can you swim in Lake Alpine?

    Yes, Lake Alpine is a wonderful, natural swimming pool.

    Insider Hints for Lake Alpine Trail

    • In the summer months bring a swimsuit!
    • Wear sun protection to beats the effects of the sun
    • You can enjoy this hike in the winter months with a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis!
    • Head out early to beat the crowds
    • Grab lunch at the Lake Alpine Lodge after your hike

    Getting to the Lake Alpine Trail Trailhead

    The Lake Alpine Trail departs from the Lakeshore Trailhead off State Route 4.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Pine Marten Campground

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Lake Alpine Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Lake Alpine Trail Reviews

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