Cluster and Twin Lakes Loop

An extended stroll through Lassen’s backcountry interior, packed with pristine lakes in subalpine forest.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
17 km
Ascent
449 m
Descent
449 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Cluster and Twin Lakes Loop Map

Description

This loop passes several lakes and ponds far from any roads in the central wilderness of Lassen. It makes a nice long day hike or an easy overnighter, best in late summer for the warmer temps and fewer mosquitoes. The lakes provide campsites, fishing, flower displays, and views of surrounding peaks. The way is mostly shrouded in conifer forest, but occasional burn areas offer sunshine and varied scenery on the trail.

Start at the Summit Lake day-use area, near the campground. If parking is full, another trailhead is located a bit farther away at the ranger station. The first section of the hike goes uphill from Summit Lake, then reaches a junction where the loop portion begins. The direction you hike the loop doesn’t matter much. Either way, it’s rolling terrain with a lake every mile or less. If you do it as a backpacking trip, you can find good campsites at Big Bear Lake, Silver Lake, or Lower Twin Lake. Lower Twin is near the short section of this loop that’s shared with the Pacific Crest Trail, so you may meet more backpackers there. Lassen has no designated backcountry sites, but you’ll need a backcountry camping permit for overnight trips.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/cluster-lakes-loop.htm http://www.lassenhiking.org/Hike-Pages/Cluster-Lakes/Cluster-Lakes.htm

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area