Tamarack Lakes Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra City, CA that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Easy short hike, beautiful lakes reward you. We fished and caught a couple trout. Perfect for the beginner hiker!
This is a pretty nice trail. Keep in mind my wife and I did this when there was between no snow and a foot on the trail. The views were great going up the trail and we stopped for a rest just short of the link up with the PCT. We decided that there was way too much snow from that point on to justify continuing. There was minimal snow on the way to Tamarack Lake.
There are two trailheads for this hike. Trailhead A(2,436 ft elevation gain) begins near Packer Lake and Trailhead B (1,871 ft elevation gain) at Tamarack Lake. There is a nice gravel parking lot accessible from Forest Road 93; you'll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to Trailhead B.
My wife and two dogs thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Tamarack Lake was a great break point for the dogs, and the hike up to the Buttes offered great views of four lakes - Young America, Upper & Lower Sardine, and a bit of Volcano Lakes. The ascent up to the Buttes was challenging at times(especially towards the top) but well worth it and we very much enjoyed the workout.
The trail itself sees a fair amount of traffic. Expect to see a couple 4x4 vehicles as they make their way up from Trailhead A to Tamarack Lake; after that it's all hikers up to the Buttes on this trail.
The panoramic view offered at the lookout on top of Sierra Buttes was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, my wife had to stay with the dogs because the stairs were too steep for one of them (Jasper is not very sure footed like Porter is). Use your own judgement. I would love to do this hike when snow is on the ground. This area of California is gorgeous!!
Although the view was adequate I must confess i was very disappointed with this hike. Too many people usually here as this area is used by many groups, boy scouts, girls scouts, etc. Also at our time of travel way too many logging trucks riding the Jake brake. We elected to hike along the southern exposed ridge trail at midday to stay at the lake closest to the lookout adding a few extra miles. Only to realize we could have driven within 1/4 - 1/2 mile of our camp. Great place to expose the kids to the outdoors in a fairly safe outdoor environment. The Sierra Butte lookout tower rock graffiti from the 1800's is some what interesting, and as to how they got materials up there and built it on that granite...fun stuff! Bit of a drive though in my opinion if you are looking for something more grand and alpine.