A gentle circumnavigation of Lassen NP lakes region filling anyone's need for alpine lakes. A short stretch runs through a burn area and the rest just meanders from one alpine lake to another, with few other people to disrupt the tranquility.
This is located in Lassen National Park, with a $30 entrance fee or use of a National Parks Access Pass ($80 and gets you in all of the NP sites)
Start off at the Summit Lake TH and take the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail
. This will be the stick of the loolipop loop and will be the main area where you are bound to run into people. You'll quickly wrap around Summit Lake, which is essentially a water park with attending splashing and yelling. Once past this lake things will begin to normalize and you'll begin a gentle climb toward Echo Lake.
After a little over a mile the trail will split with the trail to the right heading to Echo Lake. The trail peaks out at about this point and slowly drops down to the lake through the forest. This seems to be the destination of any day users as we saw almost no one after this point. Past Echo Lake are a couple smaller lakes then the larger Lower Twin Lake and Upper Twin Lake.
Just after Upper Twin Lake, you'll come to another trail crossing and the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail
will come to an end. Take a left onto Bear Lakes Trail
. Once on this trail you'll soon enter the burn area, which you you'll be in for the next 2-3 miles. This stretch has its own beauty, but is very exposed so be mindful on windy days (widowmakers) or sunny days (sunburn and heat).
There are some nice shaded spots that can be found for stopping with one particularly lovely rock providing a nice snack stop while looking across Feather Lake.
Just past Silver Lake, a trail will head off to the north (Cluster Lakes Trail
). Stay on Bear Lakes Trail
and begin about a 500 foot climb up to a ridgeline, finding your way back into the trees and out of the burn area, passing a few more smaller lakes along the way.
From the ridgeline, you have gentle descent back to the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail
and then back to the trailhead.