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Paradise Lake Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The PCT combined with a 1-mile stretch of abandoned jeep road provides a well-graded route to island-dotted Paradise Lake, one of the most picturesque subalpine lakes in the greater Tahoe area. For those who aren’t up to the more difficult trek of the full loop past Warren Lake, with a side trip to Devils Oven Lake on the way, an out-and-back trip to Paradise Lake is a great way to spend a couple of days or more."
--Kathy Morey & Mike White with Stacy Corless & Thomas Winnett, Sierra North: Backcountry Trips in California's Sierra Nevada (Wilderness Press).
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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