Explore Nevada City - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Off Highway 49, leads to several trails. We ended up taking the one down to the river/railroad tracks. Good mix of incline/decline.

Nice trail! Well worth going all the way. The trail starts out over populated since it’s close to the highway. Initially this makes following the trail a little challenging but becomes easy as you go. Went Jan 1st so there was a bit of ice and snow. Glad I had ice cleats. Couldn’t have done it without them. I will definitely do this trail again!

Good hike. Trails are nicely marked- but there are a few different trails. From this trail head you head down and to the left to find the waterfall. We took a few wrong turns- but worth it!! Beautiful hike!

Lots of ups and downs, mountain bikers, and trees. Still gorgeous and not too challenging

nice trail to many mountain bikers to bave a nice hike more af a mountain bike tral

Winter hike is alright. It was an overcast day so that was really nice as the trail is really exposed. I can see this being a beautiful hike in the spring or early fall. However, the nice thing about hiking it in December is that there were hardly any people (which meant hardly any horse droppings & people on bike coming up behind you).

Great hike in the fall. The only strenuous part is coming up the hill from Jones Bar. The independence part of the trail is very easy and pretty.

It seems like this might be mostly a bike trail - I only saw one other hiker to about 10 bikers. It was a beautiful rainy day hike!

Pretty. Wasn’t overly populated. Easy to get off trail here.

great trail, not too hard at all. At the very end you have the option to go over to Verdi Peak lookout. Really enjoyed myself however there were so many atvs and dirt bikes that it was a serious damper. May have been my fault for going on a Sunday but it was pretty unpleasant getting dusted by someone riding up behind me every ten minutes.

Gorgeous! Great hike with 2 bridges

mountain biking
2 months ago

I've been riding this trail since 1962

*gravel road up to trailhead is a slow go, wash boards and rocky rocky.
*beautiful wonderful marvelous scenic easy short hike with lakes and forest.
*went in early November, so the crowds of summer are absent....
*lots of gorgeous other hiking in the area around here to explore.
*definately will come back here to explore some more.

Ok trip..We parked on 49 and only hiked a mile before we ended at another parking area. Signs indicated we were at the point but could continue on to Auburn Rec Staging Area (another 1.3 miles). We opted to just turn around there. Minimal climbing on this hike. It was just ok. Wished it was longer. Per my calculations it doesn’t add up to the 5 miles I thought I read it was. Non the less it was an easy lazy Sunday afternoon stroll.

Wonderful trail!

fantastic finish..larger lake then I expected..great and peacefull views to be had at lakes...moderate is appropriate rating..can be better marked at beginning..u never know who put cairns up off trail..once you cross railroad tracks be ready for a decent amount of tree root/rocky trail..great for an overnight camping trip..just pick a spot..stoves ok for now..couple good spots around 2nd lake on sandstone for fire pits...shall return next spring

hiking
3 months ago

Went here for a hike with my boyfriend and he proposed to me at the end of the hike at glacier lake! Couldn’t have been better! Trail itself was maintained good, mostly dirt, sand, some granite but not as much as we expected. Passed a lot of beautiful lakes along the way. Saw zero people on way up and only a few at the end. We went on a Friday morning though so likely more populated summer / weekends. Brought our dog. Off leash no problem ! Lots of squirrels and chipmunks. Beautiful lakes, good tree coverage, fall colors, scenic overlook. Was not a difficult hike at all. Very gradual inclines. Hadn’t been hiking once this year but have done multiple backpacking trips in our past. This was a perfect gradual reintroduction to getting back in nature. Lots of camping spots.

We took a 2001 Camry down the road, made it the whole way. Definitely would have been easier in a 4 wheel drive car or a car with higher clearance. Wouldn’t recommend taking a little car. The road was ok but the very end had a huge drop off ditch that was tricky to navigate. But we managed ! If it was rainy or had been a wet season the road would have been a lot worse.

backpacking
3 months ago

This is a great hike. Challenging, but worth the trek especially if you intend to camp. Just a couple of things I found would make it more enjoyable. Keep your app open as it is helpful to get you back on track as this one is a tough one to follow in many places. There are cairns the entire trail... thank you to those putting those in place. I wore tennis shoes which was fine, but hiking boots would have been better especially with the rocky terrain that covers most of the trail. If you’re backpacking I recommend trekking poles. This made the trip a lot easier for me just for stability while carrying the weight on the rocks and over boulders and downed trees. Day pack probably not necessary. Camped out at the last lake, had some great picks with fire pits. It was pretty and only a couple of us up there for October. Beautiful night. Had cellphone service the entire way, but could also still hear the highway at the last lake as well.

Beautiful hike! Quite the workout, but very worth it!

Was great hike today. Hardly anyone there. Despite what previous poster said, leashes ARE NOT required this being the national forest. Would be very difficult to hike this trail with dogs on leashes. Difficult for the dogs and difficult for the owners especially if your using hiking poles which btw I recommend. Besides it’s usually the leashes dogs that are aggressive or unsocialized. Or the owners’ anxiety that causes this. Our group had 6 very well behaved trail dogs that are used to hiking. And yes we pick up the poop. Overall good hike, a lot of uphill; thus, a lot downhill.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Beautiful single track. I am not an experienced mountain biker but enjoyed the ride. A few spots are very narrow with a steep hill facing down but I managed.

This trail is one of the best I’ve been to. I’m a beginner hiker and went with an experienced hiker who had done the trail once before. It’s not marked in certain spots so it’s good to go with someone you know. Making it to Penner Lake, starting at Carr Lake took us about 5 hours to complete walking at normal pace and only stopping to take in the view and having lunch once we got to Penner. I’d rate the terrain as medium with mild inclines once you get closer to Penner it gets a little steep, but nothing too bad. It’s a great hike in October! Not a lot of people on Monday (Columbus Day!) but we were glad to find a hunter on the trail and about three other small groups of hikers. One thing I learned here is you can hike, backpack in and camp, camp at the campgrounds, bring a pet, come for the day or the night, it will not disappoint. Every single step provides a new scene and a new Lake to see. Breathtaking views. And it didn’t cost us anything but fuel and the food we brought for snacks and lunch. I can’t wait to come back and camp here. We did the entire 6 miles in one afternoon and we’re pretty tired by the time we reached the parking lot. Stopped in Grass-valley at Big A’s for early dinner-perfect ending for a perfect day hike trip!

backpacking
3 months ago

Went backpacking down this trail this past weekend. It was mostly in the shade and when we started it was around 60 degrees (10/6/2018). The hike down is downhill the entire way...which means the hike up is uphill the entire way (keep in mind if you are backpacking). We made it down to the river but couldn't find the trail the leads across the river. We decided to camp at one of the primitive campsites near the river and head back up the next morning. During the summertime I could imagine this part of the river would be excellent to swim in. Deep clear water (we did not see/catch any fish).

PS. To get to the trailhead follow directions to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (on their website) Google maps will try to lead you down a gravel road that has a lot of holes/bumps. Once you go through North Bloomfield you will see signs for the trailhead. It is located down a pretty rough gravel road so if you don't think you can make it, park before the bad part of the road and walk in (probably .2 to get to the trailhead if you cant make it past the rough part)

Trail head is almost impossible to find. I had to ask several locals along the way exactly how to find it. The trail isn't marked very well at the forks so it's easy to take the wrong path. I wouldn't really call this a trail since it forces you to go through downtown Nevada City, then walk on a paved residential street for about a mile, then along a crushed rock road for another mile just to get to a path running along an NID ditch. At the last 2 miles there weren't many trees so I would never do this one again in hot weather. If you just want a walk down to the creek(which is nice) then this might be an option. If you want an 8 mile hike this isn't a very good trail for that.

This is a great trail, but as mentioned previously, it's getting too popular and not as secluded. Hard to find camp spots at Penner as there really is only one side that is flat enough for camping. But it's still one of my favorites! Just a little harder on the climb towards the end, but nothing too too strenuous.

Be advised - this trail is for LEASHED dogs only! And please be considerate of others who might have dog fears or leashed dogs with some aggression issues. I was appalled when I walked the trail yesterday!

loved this hike, steep but so worth it!

Epic short hike. Best part is the swimming hole at the bottom. Just remember it can be very hot here in the summer. We filmed the swimming hole and you can find it on my Youtube channel Chris and Bobs adventure channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udowQ5aASpQ&t=14s

Love Glacier Lake and Island Lake. Favorite Is to go from Carr Lake to Island Lake day 1 and then to 5 lakes next day and back home on Sunday. My favorite local backpacking spot.

hiking
4 months ago

Hi all, my friends and I are undertaking this hike soon, is hike 10 miles there and back or 10 each way (20 total)? A couple of sites I went to doesn't seem to clarify this and people are confused.

Thanks!

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