Burnside Lake Out-and-Back Trail is a 11.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for trail running and mountain biking and is accessible from May until October.
So I'm a bay area mountain bike guy that happens to be spending more time in the Hope Valley area.
I'm not the body armor, full-face-helmet rider I sometimes see up here. I was looking for an entry route to evaluate my ability to ride at higher altitudes this was a first choice. It's a good grind, but not that hard, up to the lake from your starting point at the RT88/89 intersection called Pickett Junction. You'll break a sweat but not kill yourself. Many places along the way to gaze out over Hope Valley and mountains to the west. Burnside Lake is small but beautiful and provides cool snow-fed water to take a swim in before starting your adventure back down hill to your starting point. You can also option to deviate up fire-roads and attempt a climb to higher mountains to the east.
Steady climb for 6 miles on dirt road. The road allows motor vehicles, so we ate dust a couple of times. Lake was pretty, nice picnic, camping or fishing spot. Fairly intense aerobic workout.
We went on the single track trail through the meadow beyond the lake. Super bumpy ride in the meadow!