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Five Lakes, Granite Chief Wilderness, Lake Tahoe

One of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Granite Chief Wilderness in Lake Tahoe.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just north of Lake Tahoe, the Five Lakes promise dramatic yet tranquil ... more »

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Points of Interest

The trail begins at the side of Alpine Meadows Road, located by the intersection of Deer Park Road. Parking spaces can be found along the side of the road.

The hike begins along the Southern flanks of the KT-22 mountain (you might recognize it as one of Squaw Valley ski resort's peaks) and gently ascends towards the Five Lakes plateau through... More

2. Half Way There

The trail to Five Lakes maintains little more than a slight incline, but gains nine hundred feet of elevation before reaching the lakes. One the warmest Tahoe days this trail may lack a great deal of shade, but the lakes themselves provide plenty of cover from the sun and opportunities to cool off in the waters.

3. [JCT] Head for the Lakes?

A junction here gives you the opportunity of branching off and exploring the first of the five lakes. You'll find trails linking all the lakes up here, making them nicely accessible.

4. [JCT] Keep Left

Keep left at this junction to explore the five lakes - the other path heads off deeper into Granite Chief Wilderness.

The Five Lakes nestle in a bowl, surrounded on all sides by hills. Explore the lakes within these boundaries and you'll find it impossible to get lost.

5. Five Lakes

You've reached the end of the Five Lakes and arrived at the biggest of the lakes. Each of the five lakes are quite different and well worth exploring.

From here we recommend picking your way around the sometimes faint lakeside trails in a circuitous and counter-clockwise route.