California 89 Hike of the Week – Sawmill Lake Trail

A staff favorite, the Sawmill Lake Trail is a moderate hike you probably haven’t tried before (even if you’re local) …

The Sawmill Lake trail is 2.1 miles out and back and lightly trafficked trail located near Northstar. It is primarily used for hiking and trail running, has a nice elevation gain to get your heart rate going, very good signage, and a beautiful serene lake at the top. Dogs allowed on leash, but no fishing or swimming in the lake.

Directions: Take Highlands View Road off of highway 267 (same route to the Ritz Carlton), and take a left at the first road next to the maintenance service yard (just before the entrance to the Ritz Carlton at the top). Check out the AllTrails Map!

Sawmill Lake Trail

The signage throughout the hike was very easy to follow. Here is the first trailhead sign/terrain – you can’t miss it! 

On this trail, you’ll see lush forest lands, meadows, and if you look hard enough, you’ll see the most common pine trees in the Tahoe Basin (Jeffrey pine, sugar pine, white fir).

The top of the trail by the lake was by far the quietest and most peaceful! We saw hardly anyone :)

Sawmill Lake

There’s also a cool train car at the top still on its tracks!

Sawmill Lake train

See if you can #takeapeak and find this sign we slapped a sticker on!


03 Aug 2019
This is great, so glad you got this started!
02 Aug 2019
Tim Berger
I like this "Hike of the Week" feature!
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