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Backpacking Map

Question: has anyone day hiked this? Thoughts?

Looking to get feedback before visiting...
Getting to the trailhead, it says above off-road vehicle needed to access. Can a truck handle this or do you need legit off roaming 4x4 vehicle?


This is my second time hiking this trail. This place is quickly becoming overcrowded and abused. Lots of toilet paper and human waste at Penner lake. Disappointing to see so many careless hikers and campers there.

I will not be coming back here. Trash, left over garbage in the shore of the lake, it’s sad.

Easy and gorgeous trail

5 days ago

Do you need a permit to backpack overnight here? It would be great if AllTrails had a section with permit requirements for each trail.

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

Great trail! Smokey from the fires but still pretty! We will be back to backpack in and stay a night. Easy trail too!

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

I agree that it is a hard hike, especially coming back down. If you have a knee issue, use poles to soften the impact on the rocks, tree roots and just altogether steep and rugged trail terrain. The lakes are worth all the hard work to reach them. Middle Loch Leven is about 6 miles RT, but don’t get fooled by the shorter mileage. It’s still tough go. I have thought to make it a shuttle by putting a car at the Salmon Lake TH & hiking out by way of Salmon Lake & in at the Loch Leven TH. This would make hiking out less strenuous on folks with knee problems like I have.

16 days ago

New to all trails and thought how hard could a trail rated hard be. It was hard. Super steep on my way down I seriously thought to myself "this is going to suck coming back up"..... and it did. The river at the bottom was great super clear and calm by the bridge. I brought my 1 year old german shepard and she did fine but I could tell she was not feeling it. Lots of poison oak and mosquitos. I didn't bring repellent and I wish I did. it was pretty bad for me AND the dog. About 3/4 the way back up I almost stepped on a rattlesnake right in the middle of the trail. Had to jump and yank my dog out of the way. I don't hike as much as I'd like too and if you don't get out to hike much I'd recommend a different hike to get a little more in shape before this. My legs are jello now.

This trail kicked my butt! Thankfully I went with a group who knew the trail, otherwise I never would have been able to stay on track. There are portions where you’re climbing/hiking over big slabs of rock and I still have no idea how they knew which way to go. I’d definitely recommend having this mapped out before losing service (although my phone worked the whole time). The views were beautiful at the top, but this is definitely strenuous; it was uphill the entire way. My group hiked up to the second lake because it wasn’t much further and it was worth it. We stopped there and had lunch, got in the lake, and then went back. Be prepared to work hard and bring lots of water because you’ll need it! The way down was a little rough too just because it’s very steep and my poor knees felt the impact the next day. Overall- great workout and beautiful lakes.

17 days ago

Great trail beautiful scenery and a very nice lake ☺️

Beautiful trail! It...is...difficult! Come prepared! I didn’t and payed the price. I vomited but luckily enough some people on the trail helped me out by giving me water and electrolytes. Please be careful and bring enough water or know when to call it quits. Aside from that it was a very pretty trail!

17 days ago

beautiful hike. my 79 year old dad found the trail a little tough though, lots of rocky sections. also is more like 5+ miles, 5 according to the sign and 6 according to my GPS.

19 days ago

In response to the review "no facilities and services", I don't think you should have to expect any since it's only 2.3 miles in, it's dispersed camping, and there are facilities within 2 miles each direction from the trailhead. Trail is easy to follow if you use the AllTrails app; I literally just took a snapshot of the trail since I don't have the pro version. If you think you're getting off trail - yes, it may get a little confusing going over the rocks - look for the stacks of stones and the dirty part of the rock where people drag their shoes through....you don't need mountaineering experience. Anyway, nice trail, not much elevation gain. We camped there 2 weekends ago from a Saturday to Sunday and still only saw 3 or 4 other campers. Only advice is to please not camp close to the water even though someone else has cleared space to. The campers closest to us were only 15 ft from the water, did not leash their 2 dogs, and had a campfire. They were friendly enough, and quiet, but still...RESPECT THE RULES OF THE FOREST!

Beautiful lake, fun to swim, few mosquitoes and leeches. Great trail to get your kids into backpacking!

mountain biking
19 days ago

Do not attempt on a mtb. I couldn't find any info saying it's not allowed. You'll find yourself carrying your mtb 80% of the time and that's from RR tracks and down. Was not fun.

Great hike!! I'm not so sure on the accuracy of the mileage (as stated in the synopsis). It seems quite a bit shorter than 7.3 miles. Going down is very steep and does some nice jamming damage to the toes, but is very shaded and the trail is clean and clear. As stated, the way up is a tough one, but totally doable with a number of flat-ish spots to rest, if need be.

Once at the bottom, you can cross the bridge and navigate your way down to the water. It is amazing!! But if you're going for a bit longer of a hike, the trail picks up on the other side of the bridge and carries on for quite some time. I walked on and up for another 2.5 hours on the trail which eventually opened up into a person's private property and a utility road. The road carried on for some time - mostly shaded. I eventually turned around and went back to the river, over the bridge and to that arduous climb!

Absolutely beautiful and would definitely do it again!

Susan, no wilderness permits are needed for this trail but you need a fire permit if you want to have a fire in an already established ring. You can get those online. We camped along the east shore which requires walking through some brush, but it was way more private, swimming is better off the west shore though. Did this trail about a month ago and plan to go back. Beautiful but the mosquitos were absolutely horrible, like hide in your tent horrible.

Question - Do I need a trail pass to backpack here?

Great, easy going trail! Trail was very easy to follow. Expect to see a lot of traffic on the trail but everyone was polite!

23 days ago

Took my kids up to the middle lake for two nights. The lake was beautiful and perfect for swimming with some great jumping rocks. Trail was rocky and steep at times. Did it in running shoes and regretted not having hiking boots. We were tired so decided not to head up to the upper lake, also heard it was pretty crowded up there. The lakes were beautiful but the rocky trail was tough on the feet. Would do it again!

24 days ago

great spot. great lakes. great swim. great hike. great view. cows.

25 days ago

Best hike so far. Easy trail for the most part. We didn’t have any problem following the blazes like some reviewers. This hike has a lot; wildflower meadows, forrest streams, evergreen groves, mountainous ridge top views and of course the secluded lake. Not too many people there on Thursday afternoon but might get crowed on the weekends.

25 days ago

This was a very strenuous hike carrying 50lb backpacks to camp. Three log crossings and lots of rocky and steep granite sections. Trail is not well marked in sections, especially at the end. The scenery is beautiful though and the lake was very peaceful and quiet to camp at. Note, there are no facilities or services whatsoever from the trailhead to the lake.

27 days ago

Up hill to lake..lake seemed to be dead ( no fish) pretty but better hikes

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever been on! We had a little trouble finding the trailhead as well. You have to go down the PCT for a bit and then the trail will take a sharp left and there is a sign.

28 days ago

I don’t see how you can do better than this hike. You have multiple lakes, forests, stunning views, rocks of different colors and types, flowers, butterflies. And all in six miles with only moderate climbing. Highly recommended. The road to Carr Lake is challenging but our Ford Cmax made it - we just stopped a few hundred feet before the parking lot when the bumps got a bit more than we could handle.

on Euchre Bar Trail

28 days ago

This is as good as it gets. A spectacular walk down should the American River. Taking a swim in the river is the best. I scrambled along the rocks on the north side of the river, to get to the junction of the north and middle Forks of the North Fork of the American River. truly spectacular. The way up is, as everyone says, a killer one. But as I'm training to Trek to Everest Base Camp this fall, this is a perfect training hike

Great hike, but hot this weekend (Mid July). Bring lots of water. Plan to swim or bring a float to enjoy the beautiful lakes.

29 days ago

This was a superb trail, and the falls are unbelievable! We camped at heath falls overlook and hiked down to the falls for day trips, very sweet situation. Went in mid July, lots of water, great trails well defined by way of cascades lake trailhead. We met a few homies who came in from the south end, sounded pretty steep, and it seems their trail put them out right near the main falls south of the bridge.

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