Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
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.

It's a hot and sunny day in Truckee, and the Truckee River isn't seeing the flow it used to, so tubing is out of the question. You've decided you want to take a dip in a lake, but you want to branch out from the Lake Tahoe or Donner Lake spots that you've been visiting since the temperatures became bearable in late spring. If you don't mind a short hike and dirt road access, Long Lake is a great alternative for your alpine swim.

As far as alpine lakes go, Long Lake is moderately large due to its length. This provides for a decent amount of rocky shoreline for laying out and plenty of trees for hanging hammocks. The shore is covered entirely by granite in most areas, and some spots provide boulders up to 9 feet above the water. Head to the southernmost tip of the lake for the best jumping spots.

Long Lake lies about a mile in on the Palisades Creek Trail. The Palisades Creek Trail is an 18.2-mile out-and-back trail that leads to the North Fork of the American River. You'll have an unimpeded view of the east-facing wall of Devils Peak to keep you humble even after nailing the most epic of backflips into Long Lake.

To access the east side of Long Lake, use the Palisades Creek Trail before taking the marked left fork in the trail at the top of the lake. The trail is 2 miles there and back, making sunset possible if you aren't camping. The site lies in Tahoe National Forest, so follow Forest Service guidelines and regulations. There is a parking lot located between the Cascade Lakes on Kidd Lakes road where you can safely park your car for the day and night for free.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required


Large lake. Island. Jumping rocks.




Nearby Adventures

Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort

Nearby Lodging + Camping


The high elevation and lack of light pollution around Long Lake can make it an ideal spot for night photography!

Perseid meteor shower - 2017
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