Noble Lake

Markleeville, California 96120

Noble Lake

Noble Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This trip explores an unusual part of the Sierra Nevada, where tall, eroded volcanic peaks tower above a deep canyon, cliffs of dark, twisted rock loom above the trail, and a small, lovely lake is set in an open, grassy basin. Located alongside the Pacific Crest Trail, just south of Ebbetts Pass, Noble Lake is one of the more scenic lakes in the Central Sierra. It is snuggled into a small bowl in the midst of a broad, grassy basin. High volcanic peaks and ridges ring the basin, providing a dramatic backdrop to the lake.

All the mountains in this setting, many just under 11,000 feet high, are volcanic in origin. They are part of a chain of volcanic peaks along the eastern edge of the Central Sierra that runs from Raymond and Reynolds Peaks in the eastern Mokelumne Wilderness down to the Leavitt Peak area in the Emigrant and Hoover Wilderness Areas along Sonora Pass."

More Noble Lake Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking The Sierra Nevada (Falcon Guides)
Barry Parr
View more trails from this guide book
"Although Noble Lake lacks the pristine splendor of many High Sierra lakes, the hike to it offers sensational views of the volcanic Sierra Crest, glaciated Noble Canyon, and rugged alpine summits. Part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), it is also an exceptionally well-engineered route, providing striking views along its entire length, with a minimum of ups and downs."

Noble Lake Trip Reports

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11/1/2015
This is a very pretty little section of the hike, but don't count on being wowed by the pond aka Noble Lake. It was a murky green little lake with nothing spectacular about it. The canyon that you drop into and the many creeks, not to mention the soaring peaks made this trip a keeper. Please note that i looked at 3 different guide books and each had a different mileage. It was 9.2 per my gps. There were several other people on the trail, all which had planned on a 7 mile hike. The last one mile, was up and up and up, but the down was delightful!
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10/1/2012
This is a very pretty hike. As the review says, it is remarkably well-engineered which makes the ups and downs very tolerable, except for the last mile, which is all uphill and along exposed volcanic mountainside. The first 3 miles or so are delightful forest. The lake is truly unremarkable, even bordering on homely. There are absolutely no trees for shade, but there are some nice grassy areas around the lake. If you are a geology fan, this is like a trip to the museum. Also, the distance is not 7.4 miles as reported. It is 8.7 miles measured by GPS.
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7/29/2006
We were told that July is the best month for the high Sierra wild flowers. This year (2006) the wild flowers have been about two weeks late. They were in their prime
the weekend of July 29,30 2006, spectacular right from the parking lot to Noble Lake.

We were impressed how everyone has kept the trail so clean. The trail guide is faily accurate. Generally a two mile drop into the canyon and a 1.5 mile rise up to the lake. Spectaclar views all the way.
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5/14/2004
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5/14/2004
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Noble Lake Photos

Trail Information

Markleeville
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
8.6
Distance
1,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4-5 hours
Duration
Best in summer and fall
Season
Waterfalls
Features
Bridgeport Ranger District, HC62, Box 1000, Bridgeport 93517 (760) 932-7070; www.fs.usda.gov/main/htnf
Local Contacts

Trail Log