Bring a camera for sure, you won't regret it. Unbelievable views of the entire valley. 1/2 day adventure.

The Five Lakes Trail is located in the Granite Chief Wilderness in between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts and is easily accessible at the intersection of Alpine Meadows and Deer Park roads. The 5-mile moderate trail ascends approximately 900-1000 ft. along granite canyons and pine forests to a high-altitude meadow that creates a bowl of five lakes in between the rugged mountain peaks towering from above including a peak of Squaw Valley ski resort. As you ascend the trail, you will enjoy view of the Alpine Meadows ski resort from a distance, traverse under an abandon ski resort chair lift (said to be created to link the two ski resorts at one time) and climb along the rocky, granite cliff until you pass a waterfall and reach the high-altitude meadow. The hike takes only about one-hour to reach the meadow and lakes but I recommend spending at least a 1/2-day on the trail in order to fully explore and enjoy the lakes above. Since it is such a popular hike, the trail can become crowded, especially on weekends, but not to worry as there are plenty of nooks and coves to relax, picnic, swim and even fish in the lakes.Source

Pack List

  • Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen!
  • Pack lots of water and snacks. As you quickly ascend the trail it is roughly a 2.5-mile straight climb until you reach the top.
  • Sometimes finding all 5 lakes can be tricky but take your time enjoying and exploring the high elevation meadows and trails connecting the lakes throughout.
  • Worth the wait! Due to its high elevation, I recommend enjoying this hike later in the summer season as high-altitude snow is likely to remain throughout spring.
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Food Nearby
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

almost 3 years ago

One of my fave spots. Hike before noon and you will avoid the crowds.

about 4 years ago

Beautiful in early Spring, when there is still snow on the trail.

Crowds get pretty big on summer weekends


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