Explore the most popular no dogs trails in Plumas-Eureka State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

9 days ago

We did an overnight trip on June 9th & 10th. There was a sign at the bottom of trail warning of a mountain lion in camp at rock lake on June 8th (great reminder of wildlife in the area). We had no problems and no sightings.
The hike and lake were great. We made camp on the east shore of Jamison to gain a little wind coverage. On our way out we hiked up to Wades lake and back around. The camping area up at Wades lake is a bit better, but lake access is more difficult.

The last review mentioned that the road was closed. This is no longer the case.

Would definitely do this again. Rocky trail is challenging. Hike up to Mt. Elwell is steep. Forged some streams. Experienced some snowpack on the way and at the top. Lots of diverse topography. We were tired.

Easy hike made more difficult by snow covered trail (March 31st). The lake's sort of a marsh but we're taking the kids back when the snow melts.

5 months ago

great hike but the main road is currently closed due to excavation (see pic). I drove up the road to the museum and down to Jamison Campground. Head towards the back, you'll hear the river, and near site 53 is a bridge that will take you to a smaller bridge and you'll end up at Jamison Mine and the trailhead. You will immediately begin a rocky climb and numerous rock steps. it was icy in the campground and small sections here. spotty snow along the trail to Grass Lake and Little Jamison Falls. there is snow melt and a 30 yard section with an inch or two of running water along the lake. it opens up to a short sections a large trees then a snow field and up again through switchbacks, snow from 4-9" and to a rock cliff section overlooking Jamison Lake. there were quite a few footprints until the last section. I saw one young trailrunner and then a fit older couple trail running midway and had the trail to myself the rest of the time. Happy hiking!!

I am not sure why this is rated MODERATE. It’s a straightforward walk around a large pond. I’d probably rate it higher as a short trail run because the paths are well defined and unobstructed. It’s not a trail I will walk again but this is my perspective as a landscape and wildlife photographer.

Wonderful little trail. The trail work being done on it is really great! They are not done, yet, but we were so impressed with what they have done. We did this just before sunset (gate is closed at sunset) and it was super peaceful. The lake was pretty in the evening light.

We really enjoyed this hike with our three children (ages 11, 9 & 9). It was moderate, but challenging for the family. The prize at the top is worth it. Agree with another reviewer that the loop is not well marked at the top so it was an out and back for us, too.

9 months ago

Gorgeous and not too crowded over Labor Day weekend. Sleeping at Rock lake was astounding!

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9 months ago

I would not rate this a moderate trail. Majority of trail is uphill on loose rocks and there are several series of bolder steps with a twelve to eighteen inch vertical step. Thank heavens the water was so refreshing once we made it to Smith lake for a quick dip.

10 months ago

This is one of our favorite hikes in the area. If I could, I'd give it 6 stars. It has a little bit of everything - lakes, meadows, forests, rocky outcroppings, a waterfall, gentle creek crossings etc. You do pay for it with a fairly steep stretch at the start of the trail but it's well worth the climb. Pack a lunch or snack to enjoy on a rock at Jamison Lake and make this trek, you won't regret it.

10 months ago

This is a great moderate hike. Fantastic views. Great variety of terrain. Most of the elevation change seems to occur almost immediately off the parking lot. Little Jamison Falls was beautiful.

11 months ago

Easy trail to navigate. Good signage. Little Jamison Falls are just off the trail and a nice view. Currently, the road to the trailhead had a washout and is closed...so had to hike from main road which added approx 1.5 miles each direction. Only negative is there are not many tenting sites at this lake. Well worth the hike.

11 months ago

Did this hike 7/5. It was perfect! Tiny patch of snow to walk across. Just enough to be able to say I hiked through snow. No one was at the lake for about 20 minutes when I got there. Had it all too myself and enjoyed every minute.

This is the most similar recording to the actual hike that I did, which I started up the Mt Elwell trail on the North flank starting at Smith Lake, and, then back down to the Gray Eagle Lodge on the Long Lake Trail. But, because of the late snow this year, it was very hard going up; I lost my trail and hiked on deep, steep snow for 3/4 of a mile.

11 months ago

Spent four nights and three days along the Jamison trail. There is no snow to any trails to Grass, Smith, Wade, Rock or Jamison lake. There is quite a bit of streams flowing in the trails. Also a couple of water crossings to the other side of Grass lake and up to Rock/Jamison lake where waters shoes should be worn. Incredibly views, very full lakes. Amazing couple of days. Lots of fish jumping in the lakes so bring your poles.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike with gorgeous views. Tiny bit of snow at the very top, but people were camping there. Be prepared for water crossings with poles and good shoes.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wendi, is the snow cleared enough to camp at the lakes now?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Went 3 weekends in a row starting with the last two in May. Third time was the charm as the other 2 times there was so much snow the trail was pretty much gone past grass lake. Let's just say the first two trips are stories I'll tell for the rest of my life. This last Sunday 6.4.17 we encountered a smaller black bear in the meadow on the service road heading out for the day. It was far enough way not to feel threatened by us but is a good reminder that they're out and about.

This is a top five favorite for me! Very magical hike no doubt!

mountain biking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Flat, short and easy trail. This time of year there aren't many options in the area. Even this trail had some snow drifts. Lake is nice and clear.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I took this solo overnight backpacking trip on October 4th but ran into an unexpected snow fall and had to make it a day hike. I came back on October 19th to complete what I started but this time, better prepared. My goal was to hike to Wade's Lake, set up camp there and then hike (lighter) to Mt Washington. Unfortunately, due to the snow, I only made it about a mile toward the mountain before I totally lost the trail and had to head back. The hike to Grass Lake is pretty rocky with occasional rock stairways but its not difficult as a couple have rated it. I would rate it somewhere between easy and moderate.

I continued past Grass Lake and onto Wade's Lake. The elevation at Wade's is 6549 ft. It was clearly higher than Grass Lake as there was no snow on the ground at Grass Lake but the grounds at Wade's Lake were all snow. I had the lake entirely to myself, except for a bear who must have crossed my path a few hours after I walked through and was only a few hundred yards from my camp. The lake is beautiful. Not terribly big but very nice. The fish were jumping at dusk but I didnt think to bring a pole....next time though.

My goal was to hit Jamison and Rock Lakes on the hike out but no one had traveled the trail since the snow and trail was impossible to see. I'm sure its an easy 1.25 mile hike when you can see the trail.

Getting there: I came in from Truckee/I80 then north on 89 until I came to Graeagle. There is a sign directing you to the left toward Plumas-Eureka State Park. About 4-5 miles in, another sign directs you to the dirt trail on the left. The sign reads "Jamison Mine, Grass Lake Trail 0.1 miles". Take this vehicle road to the trail head. When you start seeing old mining residences (they're red w/white trim) you're almost there. At the parking area there is a bridge on the right going over Jamison Creek. That leads to a campground. You want the trail with the metal gate on the left.

Monday, September 05, 2016

This was my first hike in California and my first solo backpacking trip ever. The hike up to the lakes is very easy, the only difficulty is the uneven rocky surface that makes up the trail towards the top - I wouldn't recommend this hike if you have bad ankles or knees. Despite the lack of challenge, the views were fantastic all along the trail.

There wasn't much in the way of wildlife, I saw a few species of bird and some chipmunks - much to my chagrin I didn't make friends with a bear. There were, however, tons of Yellowjackets along the trail and at the lakes - they seemed to be making their nests in felled and rotting logs so if you see those along the trail be careful! I kept my distance and didn't freak out when I saw them so they didn't bother me too much.

The trail from the marked-trails end to Jamison lake is really hard to find, I ended up pushing through some bushes and scrambling up a few rocks to look for a campsite. After failing to find a spot that wasn't already occupied (or out of earshot of some noisy party-boys that were there for the holiday weekend) I decided to try my luck at Rock lake instead. The trail to rock lake was much easier and there were good campsites all around the lake - the water was pretty low so it was easy to navigate the circumference of the lake without any trouble. I hung out there for a few hours and took in the scenery before making dinner, hanging my food sack and going to bed.

Overall I would highly recommend this as a backpacking destination especially if you're bringing someone along who is inexperienced and just testing the waters to see if they like it - the ease and beauty of this place will definitely convince them that backpacking is awesome! Even though this was a holiday weekend (Labor Day) the trail was fairly devoid of humans and there were plenty of places to feel totally secluded. If you're looking for a challenging hike you could always set up camp at one of the lakes and continue on to the pacific rim trail for a few miles before turning in for the day.

I don't think you need a pass to visit and camp in this area - though there are signs saying a permit is required to use a camp stove.

Happy hiking!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This hike is beautiful, with stunning views at the top. It's not well marked, but the peak as the destination makes it fairly intuitive. The "loop" part was unclear, so it became an out and back for me, which was still great. I would rate this moderate to difficult as far as incline.

This is a great hike particularly if part of the group just wants to hang out at Eureka Lake while others hike. The road to the trailhead has improved drastically, making it more appealing as a hiking option.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Excellent for families and elderly. would be a fabulous short running trail. It's completely flat with little to no obstacles. The lake is peaceful and nice, though not spectacular.

The trail is super easy to navigate compared to some other hikes in the area.

This trail does not allow dogs, making it a positive or negative, depending on your perspective.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

august 13,warm day but wonderful breeze. so we recorded 12.4 miles starting at the smith Lake trail near the Graegle Lodge on Gold Highway. I'd rate it between medium and difficulty. lot of climbing, lot of loose rock but worth every moment. we went past smith Lake, grass Lake, rock Lake, Jamison Lake and up to wade Lake and looped around back down to grass Lake and back to parking lot. we experienced no mosquitos, no wasps or bees. had to refill water 4 times due to heat. so beautiful, will come back to pack in.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hiked in past Smith Lake from Graeagle Lodge Road Trailhead. 1 mile to Smith where we camped the first night (got in late). Then the next day about 5-6 miles to Rock Lake. We didn't know about the new "maintained" trail on the far side of Smith Lake that follows the ridge until our way back. It has amazing views of the lake, but it is longer than the old trail. BEWARE: Yellowjackets everywhere. Over a dozen hovered around our car and us at the trailhead. A few at Smith Lake (but it was getting dark... they must go in their nest at night), and tons at Rock Lake. Also heard people were swarmed by them at Grass Lake as well. I think they are all over the area this year. Few mosquitos, tho. Jamison Lake was beautiful! Wish we had camped there instead, as it's greener, seems more "beautiful" to me, although Rock Lake sure has its beauty too. Mid-week trip and we encountered only 3 other groups of backpackers at these 2 lakes.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Really enjoyed the hike with family. beautiful scenery.

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