Backpacking Paradise Lake in Tahoe National Forest

Spoiler Alert: I would not recommend taking this trip in early summer!

This weekend we really wanted to fit in a backpacking trip, get some fresh air, clear our minds and just enjoy the beauty of the back country. Many national forests will be opening up next weekend (YES Yosemite!), but most were still closed this weekend. Tahoe National Forest was open and had decent weather so we decided to try our luck. As you’ve probably picked up from some of these blog posts, I am an eternal optimist. Mostly things turn out well. This time, it bit me right in the ass.

Paradise Lakes Mountan Trail
How’s that view? Tahoe you show off 😀

Details: Paradise Lake, Tahoe National Forest

Trail Head At: Paradise Lake Trailhead, parking north side of I-80 at Exit 176

Length: 14.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 2,582 feet

While the hike was beautiful and sunny, it was also almost completely covered in snow. I figured I’d give it the old college try, but after hiking about four miles and biting it pretty several times, I was done. About half way through the hike, I slipped, twisted my ankle and decided that’s it! I’m calling it! Brad was a total Champ and took some of the heaviest items out of my pack to carry so the return trek would be easier for me.

Paradise Lakes Trail - Covered in Snow

Paradise Lakes Snow Covered Meadow - June

We could have finished hiking to Paradise Lake. since we had a downloaded map we were still able to follow the trail through the snow, but trudging and slipping and falling then trying to recover with those heavy packs is fairly miserable. At least for this gal! Guess I’m just a fair weather camper. John Muir would probably have been quite disappointed in me. We headed home and drove directly to InNOut 😀

So my advice on hiking Paradise Lake: I think it depends on the season and amount of snow fall, but in general terms, for elevation over 7,000 feet in the future I will wait for at least mid summer. This hike was very beautiful though. I think it will have amazing sunsets and swimming in the lake will be super refreshing, so we hope to try this trip again in August!

Brad and Brie Paradise Lake

Next up on the hiking blog – Hetch Hetchy Yosemite!

4 thoughts on “Backpacking Paradise Lake in Tahoe National Forest

  1. I loved your Tahoe blog. I could just hear your muted sniveling as you sat there with your shoe off hoping to get enough mileage for Brad to consent to turning back. I love my Jeremiah Johnson daughter. Love, Mom

    On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 10:04 AM Brie Bear International wrote:

    > BriebearInternational posted: “Spoiler Alert: I would not recommend taking > this trip in early summer! This weekend we really wanted to fit in a > backpacking trip, get some fresh air and just enjoy the back country. Many > national forests will be opening up next weekend (YES Yosemite!), b” >

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    1. Haha – spot on description. Big time muted snivelling for me, combined with staring into the distance and feeling real sorry myself. I actually put my shoes back on and after another few falls I was out. Totally Jerimiah J – providing everything goes really well.

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  2. How is your ankle? Beautiful scenery! We like to go when most of the snow is off trail . Have fun. Bea

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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