Discover the Lakes Basin

Lakes of the Lakes Basin

Wherever you wander in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area you will discover another lake around the bend in the trail.  Sweeping views and spectacular vistas are open to you from the ridges and mountain tops. One of the many trails is the Pacific Crest Trail running along the edge of the area which you can access easily from Round Lake or Hellgramite Lake. Stay a week and you can have a new hike everyday! Visitors never tire of returning year after year to this pristine area of beautiful lakes and meadows.


Silver Lake looking from the shore with the lake in the foreground and the ridge where the PCT trail runs.

Silver Lake

You will pass by this lake when you are hiking the Round Lake Loop. Silver Lake is a little over a mile from Elwell Lakes Lodge and Gold Lake Lodge. It is situated at 6703 feet.

Cub Lake

Cub Lake is along the Bear Lakes Loop. It is three quarters of a mile from the trailhead. It is at about 6600 feet.

Cub Lake a small spring fed lake along the Bear Lakes Loop trail.  The PCT ridge in the background.Big Bear Lake the closest lake to Elwell Lodge . You can hike here and go swimming in less than a half hour.

Big Bear Lake

A favorite lake for visitors to swim in, just a half mile or fifteen minutes hike from Elwell and Gold Lake Lodges. It is at 6485 feet in altitude.

Little Bear Lake

Separated from Big Bear Lake by an isthmus of land it is another favorite swimming lake. A slight bit warmer in the early summer.

View of Little Bear Lake from the trail. One of four lakes you can visit on the Bear Lakes Loop.Small Veronica Lake with a grassy shore and a view of Mt. Elwell in the distance.

Veronica Lake

A small seasonal lake discovered along the Round Lake Loop. You can see Mt. Elwell in the distance.

Long Lake

The largest lake only three quarters of a mile from the trailhead. The rowboats and boathouse belong to Elwell Lakes Lodge. They provide the boats just for their guests' use. Long Lake sits at 6555 feet.

A view of the 7818 foot Mt. Elwell mountain with Long Lake at its base. Guests can fish from our rowboats and visit some islands on the lake.Round Lake used to have a gold mining operation here in the early 1900's. The mine tunnel went under the lake. Remnants are still visible.

Round Lake

The destination for the Round Lake Loop which you can start near Gold Lake Lodge. The loop trail will take you about two and a half hours, visiting six lakes on this easy hike. Round Lake is at 6716 feet.

Elwell Lakes Lodge is operated under a Special Use Permit issued by the Plumas National Forest and is an equal opportunity recreation services provider