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Round Top, Carson Pass CA


• 4-star hike
• 4.9 to 9.8 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,227 to 3,409 ft | Peak 10,381 feet
• Lake Tahoe | Carson Pass, CA
• Driving Directions: Woods Lake | Carson Pass


Round Top on the Woods Lake Loop.

Any time is a great time to visit Round Top, South of Lake Tahoe near the ski resort of Kirkwood, but the best time is around June to July when you can be surrounded by one of the finest wildflower displays in Northern California. Regardless of when you visit, there's still plenty to visit - alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes, fast flowing brooks, abandoned mine buildings and the last remaining patches of the previous winter's snow. Remember to pack the bug spray in summer, as Woods Lake at that time can be one big bug party.

Elevation gain is gradual and consistent up to Round Top Lake, after which the climb becomes more noticable. Unlike the name suggests, Round Top's peak is decidedly jagged and pointed near the summit and requires some scrambling and bouldering. I even get a sense of vertigo at the very top!

We list several routes to choose from, starting from two separate trailheads. Both trailhead require day use parking fees. In winter and spring only Carson Pass parking is likely available, and a winter sno-park permit is required - check the official website for status.


Wildflowers by the abandoned mine, and a climb to Round Top summit.

Hiking options:

Round Top Out & Back | 4★ | 6.0mi | 2,110ft - Shortest way from trailhead to summit, passing the abandoned mining camp and Round Top lake on the way.

Woods Lake Loop | 4★ | 4.9mi | 1,227ft, or 4★ | 6.5mi | 2,198ft with summit - Even without tackling the summit this is a great loop trail and includes a visit to Winnemucca Lake. Recommend a counter-clockwise route. Be sure to look back towards Round Top as you descend through the alpine scenery below Winemucca Lake.

Carson Pass Out & Back | 4★ | 8.1mi | 1,985ft - Longer but still great hike to Round Top summit, and includes the Western shores of Winnemucca Lake. In winter and spring Woods Lake trailhead is closed and this is the only trailhead option. Expect snow and icy conditions up here. Even in June, we glissaded back down from the summit on a patch of snow.

Fourth Of July Lake | 3.3mi | 1,211ft - Out & back starting at Round Top Lake) - Extend your hike from Round Top Lake down to yet another lake.

The Sisters Summit Spur | 0.4mi | 110ft - A short detour off the main trail, for those looking to bag an extra peak with only a little extra effort.


Round Top Lake, as seen from the flanks of Round Top itself.

Sidebar, Fullscreen Map.


Round Top Out & Back | 4★ | 6.0mi | 2,110ft
- AllTrails | Directions
Woods Lake Loop | 4★ | 4.9mi | 1,227ft, or 4★ | 6.5mi | 2,198ft with summit
- AllTrails | Directions
Carson Pass Out & Back | 4★ | 8.1mi | 1,985ft
- AllTrails | Directions
Fourth Of July Lake | 3.3mi | 1,211ft out & back starting at Round Top Lake
- AllTrails | Directions
The Sisters Summit Spur | 0.4mi | 110ft

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Official | AllTrails Public
• Trailspotting Lake Tahoe: Feature | All Hikes
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