Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
220.00 ft (67.06 m)
Trail type
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Soda Lake Loop is a scenic walk along a sandy bland dirt road circling a small lake-filled crater just outside of Fallon.

While there are two craters, now known as Big Soda Lake and Little Soda Lake, the main road circles the larger one in order to avoid private property along the perimeter of the smaller lake. These two craters are the youngest known volcanic activity in Nevada. In fact, Soda Lakes are the only Nevada entries on the US Geological Survey's catalog of potential volcanic hazards. Irrigation running to neighboring farms has raised the water level, and if you can ignore the possible dangers of volcanic activity during your visit, the lake provides a couple areas where you can sit at the edge of the water beneath the shade of a tree.

These shade trees, however, are the exception, rather than the norm here. Most of the 3.1 mile loop path is shadeless, alternating between tracing the top of the sloped decline to the water, and tracing a more sandy section of dirt road just above the lake's edge. The soft sand makes walking a bit difficult in places, and the trail follows a dirt road accessible to vehicles, however you'll rarely see more than one or two other cars here. 

There are maybe three trees standing above the lake's edge, which provide a bit of shade and a spot to take in the views and the blue reflective surface of the water mirroring the wide skies above.

Hikers should be aware there are no amenities of any kind here. Be prepared for exposure to sun and wind. Unfortunately there can be some broken glass along the hike showing the area's use as a party spot. 

There is no best spot to start or end the hike, as the loop trail can begin anywhere that parking is convenient.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



No crowds. Relaxing areas along the hike.


No shade. No amenities.

Trailhead Elevation

4,085.00 ft (1,245.11 m)

Highest point

4,105.00 ft (1,251.20 m)


Near lake or river
Horseback riding
Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Suitable for

Motorized vehicles

Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada


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