Discover the Lakes Basin

see the lodges in the area

Hiking Trails

Easy hiking trails abound in the Lakes Basin. You can visit several lakes in just an hour or many more in a day.

There are many trails in the Lakes Basin.


Everyone can find something to do in the Lakes Basin. Whatever you enjoy in the out-of-doors - swimming, boating, horseback riding, biking, hiking or maybe just sitting by a lake or stream - you will find a perfect vacation spot.

You can rent horses at Gold Lake Stables and see the Lakes Basin without hiking the trails.Boats are available for the Guests at Elwell Lodge. Other boat rentals at Sardine, Salmon, and Packer Lake lodges.The lakes are all swimmable in the Lakes Basin. This lake is Young America LakePhotographers will find lots of picture opportunities.The PCT is accessible from the Lakes Basin. View of the Sierra Buttes from the trail.Overlooking Snake Lake. Trails view many small lakes in the Lakes Basin.


The Lakes Basin Area is found just off the Gold Lake Forest Highway, a paved two lane road, connecting Highway 89 and Highway 49, north of Truckee, California. It is an hour and a half from Reno, three hours from Sacramento, and five hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. Just far enough removed from the hectic city to escape for a weekend, or a week, and unwind.

The Lakes Basin Recreation Area is a forested area filled with lakes, mountains and trails near small towns.

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