Back to index Round Lake Loop Hike
Trip Date:  05/29/2020

: 12.9 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1500'

Group Size: 3

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Round Lake Loop Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Round Lake Loop Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 39 24.107, W 120 38.610     End Coordinates:   Same as starting coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 80 to the Highway 20 turnoff a couple exits west of Cisco Grove.   Follow the road back under the freeway and continue on Highway 20 until you get to Highway 18, also known as Bowman Lake Road.   Stay on this road for a little over 6 miles until you get to the turnoff to Carr Lake.  Follow the signs from here  to the parking area at Carr Lake lot. 
Hazards of Note:   Trails are well marked all the way but expect some north slope snow in the spring and early summer. Crowd Factor:   Moderate to busy.  This trailhead is accessible and popular for a wide variety of destinations in the area.  Expect this to be a busy place to park, especially on a weekend.
General Notes:
From the parking at Carr Lake head east and almost immediately along the northern shore of Carr Lake.  Just past this is a creek crossing from the outlet of Feeley Lake, and then you will travel along the southern edge of Feeley Lake for about 1/2 mile with the picturesque Fall Creek Mountain towering behind.  You will pass two unnamed lakes next, one on the right and then one on the left, and then there is a trail junction here to head north from the Round Lake Trail onto the Crooked Lakes trail.  Turn left on this trail and head north for the next few miles.  The first last on your right is Island Lake, and about halfway up the lake you will have a view far to the southeast of the Grouse Ridge Lookout.  
Continue north past a number of Lakes on the right side all called Crooked Lakes, adn the trail will continue to climb until you reach the picturesque Penner Lake about 5 miles into this trip.  This is a nice place to stop and rest for a bit, and then continue on along a new section of trail for about a mile until you pick up the Rock Lake Trail.  Heading east would take you toward Sawmill Lake and an alternate loop option to then head back south on the Shotgun Lake Trail to Milk Lake and then back to Carr.  For this trip we headed west, past Rock Lake and then Lower Rock Lake.   After about a mile and a half you will reach a junction to head west toward Loney Meadows, or east toward Culbertson Lake and the Lindsey Lakes.  The road will actually bypass Lindsey Lakes, but take a quick detour down to the lake to take in a really pretty view of Fall Creek Mountain reflected in the lake.  The last 2 miles of the loop are on unimpressive forest service road, and it is uphill the entire way so be prepared for that final kick to the finish.

This is the sign for the parking area at Carr Lake, although during this season it was off the signpost and face down on the ground. Trailhead sign
These kiosks at the very start of the trail give some good map information on the area and possible routes that can be taken from this starting point. Kiosks 
aThis is one of the better areas for dogs to hike along with, and besides our two we encountered a number of four-legged adventurers on the trails. Start up the trail 
A quick glimpse toward Carr Lake to the south from along our early trail. Carr Lake
Mark making his way across the Feeley Lake outlet. Crossing the outlet 
An early look at Feeley Lake and Fall Creek Mountain behind it. Feeley Lake
The Round Lakes trail is the first one going from west to east that we take on this trip, but we will actually cut north before reaching the actual Round Lake.  Another loop can be done by continuing on this trail past Round Lake, and then heading north near Milk Lake up the Shotgun Lake Trail. First Junction
Just past the second unnamed lake past Feeley is a junction where you can stay east toward Round Lake or turn left to head up the Crooked Lakes trail. Trail junction
Island Lake is exceptionally pretty, and in the far distance from here you can just make out the Grouse Ridge Lookout building. Island Lake
Our group taking a quick break at Island Lake. Quick Break     
A look along the Crooked Lakes trail to English Mountain off to the northeast of this area. English Mountain
Penner Lake is a worthy overnight destination in this area, given it's relative accessibility and scenic location. Penner Lake
Intersecting the Rock Lake trail, there are many decisions to be made depending upon the length and loop to be done. Lots of decisions from here
Nearing Culbertson Lake we came across a new sign just recently placed along the way. New sign
A first look at the north end of Culbertson Lake.  Just to the right of the dam area is a private home and barn in the middle of the area.  The residents were friendly and we had a short chat along the way. Culbertson Lake
Lindsey Lake appeared to be a very popular car camping location, with all of the spots already filled on this day even though the campsite wasn't yet officially open. Lindsey Lake
The last two miles of this loop were highly unremarkable along the dirt road between Lindsey Lake and Carr Lake, but there were a couple of pleasant waterfalls along a creek the road crossed over. Water along the way
GPX image of the hike. GPS track of hike