Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Plumas National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike! Nice paved road to drive into the beginning of the trail. Lost phone service, but with this app it kept track of my location. All of the lakes were beautiful. Wish I took my fishing pole. Will be back!

horseback riding
15 days ago

Not only did i hike this but i also did the horseback riding guided tours back in summer. It was a cool experience! Definitely check out the guided tours during the summer when they are open since its seasonal. The hike was beautiful. The views were stunning.

Excellent afternoon hike with so many fantastic views. Would definitely hike it again.

hiking
17 days ago

Dogs not an issue anywhere in Lakes Basin. Take Trail all the way to Smith Lake if you have time. Beautiful area.

We hiked this last April and it was gorgeous. At the time lots of poison oak and the trails were washed out on lower section.

Like many have said there are trees down on both sides of the loop, not to hard to climb over though. On the lower sections how ever one of the gorges that had a small stream running across that path got blocked debris and diverted the street down along the trail. So roughly 15 yards or so of the trail is washed out. In addition to some other erosion further along at another point that makes the trail very narrow on a pretty steep hill. If you’re thinking of doing the loop it’s advisable that you stay on the upper part.
Took about four hours to complete. Beautiful view at the end and along the way.

Wonderful trail with a beautiful view. It is long and is strenuous at parts. There are quite a few areas with downed trees. It took 4.5 hours with my 9 year old.

hiking
1 month ago

Took me 4 hours to complete, counting my little break I took on the lookout by the falls. Overall, the trail loop is very pretty, nicely shaded, and well cut, however, for about half of the west section of the loop it was terribly overgrown and not well marked. The lack of trail at one point and even less markings made me a little disoriented for the last quarter of the west side of the loop. But once I got through that by climbing logs and pushing/cutting a whole bunch of branches, the falls and the eastern part of the loop back made it all worth it:)
Bring bug spray, I was also being followed by a little cloud of gnats for a lot of the time

always amazing here.

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful hike. Challenging in enough places to keep it interesting. Lots of possible variations to hit additional peaks, lakes, etc. Trail shown here is def more like 6 miles.

Paved the whole way to the falls lookout. Nice walk. Falls are dry right now but sure they’re blasting in the spring.

Beautiful hike. I went counter clockwise. Practically all downhill to the falls with a slight grade on the way back. The view of Feather Falls and the ravine is more than worth the hike.

So many lakes and vistas! Great for dogs as well.

At 4.7 miles, the Bear Lakes Loop is a perfect afternoon hike. It takes a couple of hours and offers enough of challenge to leave you satisfied. Where this trail really excels is scenery. Nearly every turn in the trail provides a postcard-beautiful view. Highly recommended.

This is a beautiful loop hike but I agree with others here that have noted that the listed distance of 4.5 miles is incorrect. Our route tracker had it closer to 6 miles and we didn’t stray much from the inner loop trail option. That said this is a great hike and the fall colors, patchy clouds, dramatic views, and migrating flocks of geese high above were glorious - just be ready for something more like 5.5 - 6 miles.

1 month ago

Amazing views and geology. Hike would be even better when creek is flowing. We could have wandered around the magnificent rock formations for hours. The trail is very well defined getting to the huge rock outcropping but disappears completely...only occasional painted arrows. I was glad to have my friendly blue dot from AllTrails showing me how to find the trail to get back. We were only hikers on 4 Oct...bit creepy with bullet holes in trash cans and booze bottle litter at trailhead bathrooms. The trail is easy but moderate IF you choose to climb/explore.

Nice hike. Connects to other side trips to Round lake, Silver lake, Long lake and Bear Lakes. Wind blew away most of the smoke. Went Aug 26th 2018.

hiking
2 months ago

In this trail’s defense, I should’ve read the reviews more closely before starting. I’m new to hiking & very much enjoy a well groomed trail, but in good shape, so I enjoy longer, harder trails in terms of elevation. This trail was difficult for me due to the fact that in 3 instances there are downed trees that are hard to get around, especially if you have a 20lb or less pup with you. The overgrowth on this trail was difficult for me as well. Also, when you get to the fork in the trail, if you go to the left, there’s a pretty large portion that’s washed out by a creek that I would imagine would be impassable during the spring months as it would probably be flowing much higher than it was today. My little mini schanuzer Norwich terrier made it, but I did have to carry him the last half mile and strenuous portion to the falls. I wouldn’t take him again. Take lots of water! The waterfall is beautiful but we were told by others on the hike that it’s much prettier in late Oct early Nov!

Gorgeous views and great workout!

We had a great time. Took fork to right on way in. Beautiful sites on the way. Upper Frey creek falls a pleasant surprise. Last 1/2 mile in to Feather Falls is strenuous but totally worth the reward. The view point lookout is a beautiful spot to soak in magnificent views of the falls and the river valley below. The short jaunt to top of the falls rewards you with a chance to soak the aching feet and knees in crystal clear creek. Great spot for picnic. Returned by way of the lower or (left fork at start). The trail is in a bit of disrepair and a bit over grown and the end hike out is a lot of uphill. Reward is given when you recross Frey Creek again. Make sure to take bug spray the flies and gnats were a bit annoying. Fern fronds make an excellent back up fly swatter. Be on lookout for poison oak, very much in abundance on trail!! Lots of great viewpoints.

Our kids (4 & 7) are great hikers and loved this. It was a great length for kids with almost no down time between beautiful lakes and interesting terrain.

Nice walk. Best early in the year after the snow melts and the falls are raging.

Amazing! When the creek is running. Its currently not. So just a nice view. I was here in may and was very impressed my natures majesty that I wanted to bring my family. But no water this time...

Don’t make our mistake. At the beginning of the hike we got to the fork in the path where you can go to the left or to the right, we went to the right....wrong choice leaving us with an up hill hike in the heat of the day and little shade. ( we made this decision based on a post in the hiking log that said “Go to the right”) This part of the hike is also not well maintained. If you are going in the summer months start early, use bug spray, take plenty of water and be prepared to climb over some fallen trees.
The falls are beautiful!!!.

hiking
2 months ago

One of our favorite hikes with many variations available to add on. There is an off shoot above Long Lake that will take you to the top of Mt Elwell for great distant views. Near the end you can turn right and extend the loop taking you by Silver Lake, Big Bear, Little Bear Lake and Cub Lake. It is probably the most common route explaining the difference in distance some have mentioned. Best time is late spring early summer for an abundance of wild flowers or late fall for some fall colors. We usually do this several times a year.

Beautiful falls. There are two trails to choose from. You’ll encounter the split about 1/4 mile after you leave the parking lot. Going to the right will take you on a 5 mile trail that is reasonably gentle elevation wise. The hike to the falls is mostly downhill, so the return hike involves more energy.
The left (west) trail is only 4 miles long but much greater elevation change. You’ll drop 800’ in about two miles. Remember that you’ll be facing that as the last part of your return trip. This trail’s low point is about 200’ below the falls. Climbing that in about 1.5 miles will be your approach to the falls. I wouldn’t recommend this trail in the spring or early summer. The low point is literally in a creek that is probably impassable.
On either trail bring plenty of water. A purifier is handy as there are plenty of streams.
Trail maintenance is infrequent. I encountered a lot of overgrowth and two cases of the trail blocked by fallen trees. Much of the overgrowth was blackberries: lots of thorns and a few good berries.
All in all a good hike but a but strenuous on the return.

Great trail! The lakes are awesome to take a dip. Views are spectacular

3 months ago

Beautiful area to go swimming in and falls are a great touch.

I didn’t do the loop I just went up and then back down. It was too hot with my dogs in August. Pretty view and not too hard! Lots of big boulder climbing, so I wouldn’t take your grandma.

Brilliant and spectacular!!!!

It's also important the company you keep on the trail to share the scenery with. Moderate hike, exciting views, with many multiple opportunities to expand your exploration.

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