Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)
Trail type
7.80 mi (12.55 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.

Tucked away in a granite valley under the shadow of Ycatapom Peak, Lilypad Lake is a quaint location in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Most lakes in this wilderness are receive far less visitors than places in the Sierra Nevada or the Cascades, making them great for more private backpacking trips. Lilypad Lake, however, sees far less visitors than other popular destinations in the Trinity Alps. Part of this reason may be the lack of a deep or large lake for swimming or swimming spots, but Lilypad Lake still makes a great destination, especially if you seek solitude with a lake on one side of your camp and a small meadow on the other. The nearby Ycatapom Peak offers a great day hike scramble for better views of nearby wilderness areas.

Lilypad Lake's surface is almost entirely covered with water lilies during the summer. The main species of water lily in this lake is Nuphar polysepala, or the Indian or yellow pond-lily. The scientific name derives from the Greek word for water lily, noúfaro. Polsepalum means many sepals. Sepals are protective coverings for an angiosperm's flower in bud. This species of water lily can be found from Northern California all the way north to Alaska. According to some sources, the seed of this species can be popped like popcorn and eaten! (Though you should never eat wild plants unless you are very knowledgeable on the subject.)

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Unique lake covered in lily pads. Solitude.


Difficult to find a swimming spot.

Trailhead Elevation

4,158.00 ft (1,267.36 m)


Backcountry camping


Nearby Adventures


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.