Brockway Summit to Watson Lake

Watson Lake Rd. (Park top of Broakway Summit)

Distance: 13.4 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 7000 ft. to 7760 ft.

Hiking Watson Lake Trail:
Casual hikers love Watson Lake for it’s beauty and seclusion. It is a perfect site for a picnic and swim with gorgeous views, wildflowers, and small wildlife. The trail is more of a scenic path on fairly flat terrain for the first 4.5 miles then a gentle climb for 2.2  miles to Watson Lake. A small area of the path can be a bit soupy until it dries out in the later part of summer. On the trail you will come across forest service roads, specifically Fiberboard Freeway (FSR 73) and the Tahoe Rim Trail meets up with the road in several locations. The hike is not ideal for young kids because of the length of the hiking trail. You can drive into the lake if you prefer and enjoy other trail offshoots along the way.

Optional Biking Route—Mt Watson Road to Watson Lake:
Bikers enjoy riding up the road that leads to Watson Lake. This a moderate to difficult trail for most riders. The road is fairly isolated, smooth trail making it a fun ride to the lake. Expect some moderately difficult climbing with some fast descents, and one steady 2.2 mile climb that will give you a good workout. You will pass over several streams before reaching the lake. Relax and unwind before heading back or you can continue on the main Mt. Watson road which continues on toward Tahoe City and eventually turns into a dirt road.

Directions: To get to Watson Lake from Downtown Truckee, CA, head east onto Brockway Road, and turn right onto Brockway Road (Highway 276)—this will take you up Brockway Grade. Brockway trailhead is on about 0.5 miles south of Brockway Summit. Park and start your journey to Watson Lake.

Map / Directions