Paradise Lake

Donner, California

Paradise Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Paradise Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in the north Tahoe region. The trip all the way to the lake is a bit much for all but the strongest day hikers, but hardy backpackers will find it well suited for a weekend, or longer, adventure.

Those with extra time can add in technically easy ascents of Castle and Basin Peaks, and cross-country enthusiasts can create an excellent loop trip by following a short off-trail route to Warren Lake and then reversing the trail description in Trip 29. Many other diversions are possible by taking other trails in the area."

Paradise Lake Reviews

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8/16/2012
Paradise Lake is an excellent trip, though I don't know if I would recommend it for an out and back day trip. The hike out to the lake is moderate to difficult- only about 7.7 miles but very little of that is flat. The lake is a beautiful, lush, living lake. There are fish and the lake floor is mucky. There are a number of granite rock islands you can easily swim/walk to, and the scenery from the lake is gorgeous. There are some really nice places to camp right on the southwest shore of the lake. You can get from Paradise lake to Warren lake, but the trip is difficult, especially carrying packs. It's a short distance but a giant descent, and includes mostly climbing/shimmying down broken rocks and following a confusing trail. I would do it again, but it's tough! Finally, hiking on the Warren lake trail is very difficult! Going back from warren lake, it's difficult to find the trail that comes down to the lake and once you do, the trail starts out with an extremely steep mile long climb! After that, there are many more climbs and descents. I would not recommend doing that hike in one day unless you are carrying little or are VERY fit.
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Trail Information

Donner
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
15.4
Distance
1,625 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
8 to 12 hours
Duration
Best mid-July through mid-October
Season
Tahoe National Forest at 530-587-3558, www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Norden, Webber Peak, and Independence Lake
Local Maps
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Jun 2018