Elevation Gain
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Warming hut
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Red Lake is located on Highway 88 on the road to Kirkwood Ski Resort just past Hope Valley, California. A small parking lot is maintained by CalTrans, and the main highway is usually well-plowed throughout the snow season. This area is a popular choice for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.  The main trail heads out to the west from the parking lot and traverses the main hill to a peak just below Carson Pass. It is a fairly easy hike on a fair weather day, though the weather can change quickly at this altitude.  

With beautiful mountain views and a sweeping perspective to the east into Hope Valley, this adventure provides some excellent photo opportunities. In spite of some road noise from Highway 88, the adventure is a short walk into some truly expansive country. With no loop option around the lake, the trip is best completed as a there-and-back. Always be mindful of the conditions as you plan your route; this area is prone to heavy snowfalls and unpredictable weather, and avalanche hazards are common. Please check local avalanche conditions before heading out.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Easy access. Big snow. Possible eagle sightings.


Limited parking. No shelters or restrooms.

Pets allowed


Trailhead Elevation

8,605.00 ft (2,622.80 m)


Big vistas
Cross-country skiing


Nearby Adventures

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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