Hike to Lake Estelle and Five Lakes

Rate this Adventure 6 miles 1000 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Ashley Chang

Experience Alpine Meadows in the summer. Find six hidden lakes, all great for jumping in. Take some time to breathe in the mountain air.

This hike starts at Alpine Meadows Base Camp and finishes on Alpine Meadows Road. The end point is less than a half mile from the base, and an easy walk up a slight hill.

Park at base camp and head on the trail to the far right of all of the lifts. Proceed up the trail for half a mile (this is the steepest part of the trail). Feel free to stop to admire the wildflowers growing all over the ski slope. Near the top of the lift closest to the trail, follow the trail as it turns to the right and heads through bushes and into the trees. After a short climb, Estelle Lake will be visible on the left, set back against a steep hill. Don't worry, you don't need to climb those hills today.

After a snack, turn back away from Estelle and head down the ridge. Follow the path that goes up to the top of the ridge if you don't want to end up climbing over rocks and through some bushes, although that isn't a bad way to get there either. The path will end at a set of large, flat rocks that go up to a point at the top of the hill. Follow the rocks around the side and look across the valley for a view of all five lakes. From here it is an easy walk down to the Five Lakes Trail that passes around each of these lakes.

For a more secluded lake, stop at one of the two lakes on the right side where hikers doing an out-and-back on the Five Lakes Trail are unlikely to get to. On the side of the lake farthest to the left you will find the prominent Five Lakes Trail. Follow this down on a well kept path to Alpine Meadows Road. Turn right on the road to walk the short distance back to the parking lot.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Olympic Valley, California

Alpine Meadows Chalet

Carving through soft powder, taking in the sweeping views as you hike beneath beautiful Jeffrey Pines, sipping that fresh morning cup of coffee while the crisp blue water reflects off the lake. Whe...

From $240/night

Olympic Valley, California

Resort At Squaw Creek King 1 Br W/ Valley Views

This recently remodeled 1BR unit offers views of the pool, golf course, and ski slopes at Squaw Valley. Located at the Resort at Squaw Creek -- rated by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the nation’s T...

From $78/night

Olympic Valley, California

2 Queens Valley View Unit Resort At Squaw Creek

This recently remodeled studio unit has two queen beds and direct views of the pool, golf course, and ski hill at the Resort at Squaw Creek - Rated by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the nation’s To...

From $78/night

Olympic Valley, California

Squaw Creek Corner Unit Suite With Wraparound View

This beautifully remodeled 1BR with separate living room, dining area, and kitchenette is one of the most sought-after units at the Resort at Squaw Creek -- rated by Conde Nast Traveler as one of t...

From $78/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Ride Twin Peaks in Lake Tahoe's Backcountry

    This trip is best done in two days with an approach day and then a descent day. Get started at the base of the Sherwood Chair on the backside of the Alpine ski area. Head up, outside of the ski area boundary toward the high ridge.Once on the ridge...

  • Hike the Thunder Mountain Trail

    The Thunder Mountain Trail is the perfect hike to explore the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Squaw may be famed for its mountain ski runs in the winter, but when the snow melts in the summer, beautiful alpine meadows line the mountain and the ski ru...

    3.2 miles 2000 ft gain

  • Hike the Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail

    This trail has lots of elevation over a short distance, be warned! The Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail is close to Olympic Valley in the North Lake Tahoe region. Dogs are allowed on this trail if kept on leash. 

    3.6 miles 2109 ft gain

  • Backpack Granite Chief (2 Days)

    Heading out on the Granite Chief Trail, you'll start with a challenging 3.5 mile hike to meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail. During this part of the trek, you'll gain approximately 2,000ft. The good news is that most of this hike is forested, so...

    14 miles