COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Five Lakes Basin



11.5 mile 18.5 kilometer loop
96% Runnable


Ascent: 1,205' 367 m
Descent: -1,205' -367 m
High: 7,555' 2,303 m
Low: 6,665' 2,031 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Anina Middleton

A beautiful run filled with lakes that you'll be in awe of.

Anina Middleton

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


There are countless lakes to admire along this run. This is great area for either a beginner or advanced backpacker because there are plenty of places to stop in the area and make camp. The trail is not too steep either and would make for a great, longer day run.

Need to Know

Plenty of lakes to swim in during the summer!


Overall, these trails are well-maintained and easy to follow through the lakes at the beginning. Start the run on the Round Lake Trail. Round Lake Trail extends east from Feeley Lake passing Island, Long, Round, and Milk Lakes along the way. There are several excellent campsites near Island Lake, a picturesque lake surrounded by rock knolls and scattered patches of timber. Several rocky islands give the name to this, the largest of the lakes in the group. Summer visitors often swim to these islands to enjoy the sun and the scenery.

Milk Lake, a deep blue lake, has campsites near the east and west ends. The south shore is steep, rising sharply to the ridge where Grouse Ridge Campground is located. From Round Lake Trail, take the turnoff toward Glacier Lake and continue to follow signs for Glacier Lake for the remainder of the trail. The trail on the way out out is a bit of a descent so expect a little uphill on the way back to the trailhead. Beautiful views of the beautiful Tahoe National Forest!

At a certain point, we went off the trail to find our campsite in Five Lakes Basin. You can stay on the trail and find some other nice campsites as well. The whole run is very moderate and can be a a day run or a nice and easy backpacking trip.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In



Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes


  4.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in California


57 Views Last Month
11,825 Since Dec 20, 2015



Clouds rolling in at Island Lake, Carr/Feely trailhead. Tahoe N.F.
Feb 4, 2016 near Downiev…, CA
Tarp Camp and gorgeous sunset
Feb 4, 2016 near Downiev…, CA
Reflection at our campsite near the Glacier Lake Trail.
Dec 20, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Glacier Lake from NE side
Jul 31, 2017 near Truckee, CA
Great views along Round Lake Trail.
May 31, 2015 near Downiev…, CA
Views over Island Lake.
May 31, 2015 near Downiev…, CA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running