Best time to visit Lake Tahoe

Loch Leven Lakes

A beautiful chain of lakes high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Loch Leven Lakes in Lake Tahoe 2020 - Best Time
Photo by

© Howard Koons

Loch Leven is a name that refers to a group of beautiful and accessible lakes in Tahoe National Forest, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains within Tahoe National Forest in California. The lakes were named after the famous Loch Leven in Central Scotland.

Emerald Pools Recreation Area on the Yuba River below Lake Spaulding, about 11 miles from the Loch Leven Trailhead 2020
Emerald Pools Recreation Area on the Yuba River below Lake Spaulding, about 11 miles from the Loch Leven Trailhead
A hike on the Loch Leven Lakes trail in Northern California 2020
A hike on the Loch Leven Lakes trail in Northern California

Loch Leven Lakes Trail is usually accessible from early June through November. A 13-km (8.1-mi) moderate out-and-back hike winds from Hampshire Rocks Rd near Big Bend Group Campground off I-80 all the way up to High Loch Leven Lake. Loch Leven offers an iconic high alpine Sierra Nevada lake experience, so it's quite crowded during the summer months. Hikers pass South Yuba River canyon, crossing the ridge, and gradually gaining an elevation of 470 m (1,545 ft). The trail also goes over the 1860s railroad tracks of the Central Pacific railroad, built with help of Chinese labour, which remains one of the major passenger and freight routes to and from California.

Central Pacific Railroad 2020
Central Pacific Railroad

Loch Leven chain consists of low, middle, and high Lochs and Salmon Lake with a separate path. Camping at the lakes is possible as well as fishing if you have a license. For campfires, BBQs, backpacking stoves, and lanterns require special permits. Everything is there to relax and enjoy the beautiful Tahoe National Forest.