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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!

Great place for horseback riding. Fire roads, and cattle trails alongside, nice easy to moderate hills for conditioning, little traffic, no dogs, no bikes, roomy parking lot, and some of the cleanest porta-potties you’ve ever seen.

did it on 9/29/2018. Last year I went on the Rocky Canyon route. This one is slightly less physical but much longer. The first leg is easy, reached Sylvia lake in less than 2 hours. The hard work is in second leg, took me more time as I got lost on the slabs while I was battling up to the peak. There is another peak with similar elevation north west Pyramid peak, it's between Mt Price and Pyramid Peak on google map. It seems doable and will try it next time

backpacking
18 days ago

The trail is fun and well-marked. The hike to Sylvia is easy and to Lyons gets very steep but lasts only .4 miles. Sylvia Lake was a bit low but had clean filterable water. I climbed up Pyramid Peak which was great. There's an unmarked trail at about 85 degrees bearing from Sylvia Lake up to the peak.

Lyons Lake is beautiful and had more water than Sylvia. I recommend visiting both lakes and climbing Mt. Agassiz or Pyramid Peak for the great views.

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.

This is a Desolation Wilderness classic. Reaching Pyramid Peak via Lyons Creek Trail is a route that is mostly gentle, if we go off overall mileage, but with a nasty one mile finale. Beginners who wish to rest can hang out at beautiful Sylvia Lake where the more experienced in the party can continue to the dramatic end.

I would divide this trail into three phases: 1) first two miles which are relatively flat and SUPER easy, 2) next few miles to Sylvia Lake which have gradual elevation gain and are also quite easy, 3) the last phase is where the mountaineering begins, involving some scrambling across boulders and vicious elevation gain. Well, "vicious" if you are new. There was once a time when I did not desire finishing off the last feet of gain - close but no cigar. These days I can hit the summit in about 3 hours.

At the summit you will be greeted by circular walls of wind-blocking rocks to relax in, either built by the forestry service or by considerate hikers. Yes, it is windy as hell - you are on top of one of the highest peaks in the area!

This was my 1st AllTrails experience. I had some free time and searched for a trail near me. I am just learning how to use the app & think I got off the trail

backpacking
1 month ago

This is an awesome hike. Pretty easy to moderate up to Silvia Lake, slightly harder to get up to Lyons Lake. I took the extra trip to the top of Pyramid peak and will remember that view for the rest of my life.

backpacking
1 month ago

Moderate overall but it’s hard to judge when you go backpacking for the first time. Wonderful trail. Plenty of kids are able to do it with their families.

Accessing the trailhead was fairly easy. the last 2.5 miles or so is dirt road, but the majority of this road is well maintained. It was really only the last quarter mile that was really bad. My Ford Fusion definitely dragged bottom a bit, so for power profile cars I would recommend stopping short and parking a little ways back from the main trailhead parking area

The trail itself was beautiful with many amazing views. The last part of the trail, maybe 1/2 a mile from Lake Penner is the steepest portion and gets a little rugged; but is likely manageable for kids 4+

Other reviewers have mentioned an accumulation of human waste and toilet paper around Lake Penner. I did not encounter too many campers around Lake Penner (there were far more campers around some of the other lower elevation lakes along the trail) and did not see the same accumulation of waste mentioned in other reviews. That being said, I did not traverse around the entirety of the lake, so cannot tell you what it is like around the entirety of the lake. However, I did not come across a single piece of trash on my way in or out and actually thought the trail was well kept given the number of people I encountered.

Unfortunately, Patrick’s review is right, this area is just too impacted. There is a fair amount of toilet paper scattered about the area, as well as other trash. It’s too bad, because it was a great hike and the views are amazing.

trail running
1 month ago

Good trail! It was my first time on it, I just hiked around, but I’ll definitely be back to go for a run next time!

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

backpacking
2 months ago

Came here instead of Aloha Lake because we couldn’t find a permit. Absolutely gorgeous, totally manageable hike leading to an absolute playground. Round Lake itself is a tiny Oasis with an absolutely gorgeous view of the entire Tahoe Valley if you’re willing to do a little climbing. Despite camping relatively close to the lake we experienced no bugs, the weather was perfect, and we even caught a little meteor shower. What more can you ask for?

Make sure you check out the other Lakes too.

hiking
2 months ago

The first 4.5 mile was between easy and normal. However, the last 0.5 mile was hard. It took us 30-45 min to compete last 0.5 mile. The Lions Lakes is a reward ! we swam and took a nap before return. 6 hour to compete + 1.5 for photo, swimming and napping.

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

hiking
2 months ago

The hike is mis-rated as "hard". It's an easy hike for experienced hikers/backpackers. For the less experienced day hike crowd it's a moderate hike. I absolutely loved the scenery. The show stopper though is when you reach the top of the trail there's a sharp turn that unveils the lake. Simply breathtaking. Stopped me in my tracks.

With that said, if you're not partial to rocky trails and lots of loose rock and gravel, this is not the trail for you.

Decent walk with no water in the marshes. It can't be done as it is mapped. I came across 2 different closures with simple go arounds but made it a little longer. I made it even longer by not turning my GPS off... Very little life there this time of year. Seems like there are some bobcats and coyotes in the area. I saw a few birds shredded on the trails. With the closures probably 4.2 miles.

I love this easy little trail. It may be one of the best spots to go bird watching near Sacramento.

Went a few weeks ago and the water was all dried up and birds were gone... :( boring. Migration season of waterbirds, spring and fall, is awesome here.

backpacking
2 months ago

We came to Lake Tahoe hoping to do a 1-night backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness. Permits for the easy hikes were sold out.
So we tried Big Meadow / Round Lake trail.
Best decision.

My favorite 1-night starter backpacking trip I’ve ever hiked.

I lead groups on outdoor treks. This trail was fantastic. We had a first time backpacker, as well as some seasoned trekkers, and this loop satisfied them both. It fits a short schedule. 2 and half hours one way with loaded backpacks and multiple breaks.

Saturday night trip.

Plenty of parking. No backcountry permits required. Easy to start.


The trail starts with a terraced incline leading up to Big Meadow, which is an impressive midway spot. Continue a gradual incline along aspens and fir to the top of the ridge, with nice views of the Tahoe Rim Trail and Sierra backcountry. The peaks still had some spots of snow, mid-July. Beautiful. Yet trails were dry.

Then a quick descend into a basin with a small incline up to Round Lake.
The lake is surrounded by interesting rock formations. So much to explore.
Small warning, the ground is rocky with a natural cement aggregate like soil so finding a flat camp spot can be tricky. But we found one, if you continue on the left side of the lake about half-way you may see our spot.
This lake is good for rock Jumping, photos and more. Cool areas to explore. The right (west) side is better for swimming and diving.

The area is quiet, yet had a few other backpackers that made us feel safe enough yet away from crowds.
We could hear a bear crunching through the woods late at night, but no issues or encounter. We felt fine with the handful of other backpackers scattered around the lake.


Bring your swimwear
Bring good shoes
Don’t miss the sunset

One of our hikers had some slight soft knees and the trekking poles came in handy for the whole hike.

This hike is a must for Tahoe area backpackers. Also would make a good half-day hike

backpacking
2 months ago

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

This trail was HARD. The way up to the base of the peak was easy, but up to the peak was hard. I’ll preface by saying I shouldn’t have done this because I was just getting over food poisoning and the entire hike still had bad stomach cramps. So do this in good health. We were a group of 4 and only 1 of us made it to the summit. We didn’t find the trail some people had mentioned (I should have read the reviews and followed people’s advice and directions). We just picked one side and tried to scramble to the top. Many loose boulders and steep sections. It took us ages just to get about halfway. The beating sun and scrambling really drained us. I had to stop because I had no energy left to continue and one person stayed behind with me. 2 kept going, but one returned after about 10-15 min because they reached a point that was completely vertical and he felt unsafe. The other guy kept going and was the only one to summit. It took him an additional 1hr 10min and he was going at a face pace, without the rest of us to slow him down. Going down was HARD as well and you must do this carefully. Loose boulders and gravel had me slipping a few times. I would rate this a 5 star but I took off a star because it was hard to find any trail up to the peak. Bring lots of water; another problem we had was not enough water. I’m 5’2”, 120lbs and 3 liters wasn’t enough for me. I’ll go back one day, find the better way up and conquer the peak!!!

Summary: trail to lake was gorgeous with wildflowers (very easy), need to go carefully up peak (difficulty more than hard), bring LOTS of water and sunscreen and lastly, don’t do it if you have stomach cramps. Total time taken and distance: ~7 hrs, ~13 miles for guy who finished)

UPDATE:
It turned out I had a kidney infection, so if you’re in top shape it’s definitely your peak to bag!

2 months 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 Lyons Creek Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice hike but definitely moderate not hard. In addition to the lakes the meadows and wild flowers through the first few miles are beautiful. Start early!

Our second trip to Penner lake. The road is still pretty rough getting to the trail head but it's worth it! We had a great trip, although it seems like it's becoming more and more of a party spot. 1998's Eve 6 blasting through a stereo at 1AM seems to be kind of missing the point of the place.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Trail is now dry so no more slop (as of July 7). I think it's a very different hike when wet vs. dry - would rate this "moderate" vs "hard" during dry season, although the last half-mile up to Lyons is pretty steep.

Lots of wildflowers and super pretty right now!

Great trip to pyramid peak this weekend. Trail from lake sylvia to the ridge was in and out. Once we got to ridge heading to pyramid peak we also lost trail in and out due to rock scrambling. This trail was no joke, but led to beautiful views. Following instructions to look for notch at SSE side of sylvia and staying on ridge to pyramid peak were our guiding forces to make it even without consistent trail. Wild flowers are out, but sun is intense once you hike past sylvia; lots of sunscreen and water. Water filter is great from sylvia to lyons trailhead since the creek follows trail, not much to access up toward pyramid.

July 29th, 2018 - Arrived early-afternoon and originally planned on aclimating a bit before heading out, but we were too excited so after taking the last parking spot at the trailhead we started out.

This was a gorgeous, well identified trail. The weather was perfect the wind was just strong enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay. That final climb into Penner lake as the sun was setting was TOUGH but not crazy. The trail had been deserted but the lake was almost full of campers. We had to camp set back a bit but it was perfect. It was very windy all night but not too cold.

We actually continued to the Lindsey Lake Trail the next day, I will post that review on that post but caution you that if you have to hike from Lindsey Lakes to the Carr/Feely trailhead - don't! It is 3+ miles uphill on seemingly abandoned forest service roads. It was AWFUL, although, I'd totally do again because the rest of the loop was lovely!

Relatively easy scenic hike to an OK lake. The journey was much more enjoyable than the destination so we didn’t spend much time there.

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