Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
45.00 ft (13.72 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 Upper Lake Trail travels around a scenic section of Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge on a generally easy to walk 3.1 mile path. 

The path follows a well-graded double track as it circles one of the lakes, offering views of waterfowl, as well as seasonal fishing access. There are a few meandering small hills along the lake's west side, and there is no shade on this portion of the hike, meaning it has a tendency to become hot during the summer season. There are several benches, as well as interpretive signs and a telescope. 

Overall, the hike has minimal amenities, which tends to fit this oft-overlooked wildlife refuge, and there's a high likelihood you'll have the path to yourself. The trail tends to be used mostly be the few visitors staying along the small campground along the lake's east bank. The dirt road along the campground makes up a portion of the hike. 

Dogs are permitted on leash, and mountain bikes are also allowed on this route.

There are two parking areas - one at the entrance kiosk and day use picnic tables, and the other at the south end of the dirt road in. Both parking areas have vault toilets. 

Visitors should be aware that there is no water available at the Upper Lake area of the refuge.

Hikers looking to tack on a little extra distance can combine this hike with the Waterway-Davenport Loop [submitted at the same time - add hyperlink] which begins at the south parking area and loops down to the wildlife refuge visitors center and back over a distance of 3.4 miles.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Easy. Few if any other people.


A portion is along a dusty road.

Trailhead Elevation

3,350.00 ft (1,021.08 m)

Highest point

3,380.00 ft (1,030.22 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Bird watching
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge


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