Crooked Lakes Trail to Penner Lake

MODERATE 42 reviews
#14 of 121 trails in

Crooked Lakes Trail to Penner Lake is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
721 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wildlife

Directions from Nevada City: Travel east on Hwy. #20 for approximately 19 miles and turn left onto Primary Forest Route #18. Travel north and turn east at the Lindsey Lake, Freely Lake, Carr Lake sign. Follow the signs to Carr Lake and park. Continue on by foot to Feeley Lake where the trail starts. Follow the Lindsey Lakes Trail to access the trail from the north.

2 months ago

Awesome hike!

4 months ago

Great hike! We just went out for the afternoon but saw a lot of people camping! Views of Island Lake are gorgeous!

4 months ago

Crowded. Otherwise perfect.

4 months ago

Awesome meandering hike along beautiful isolated Aline lakes. No elevation changes to worry about.

5 months ago

It's a rocky road driving up but well worth it. Gorgeous lakes galore!

hiking
5 months ago

The scenery on this hike is epic, right now is an excellent time to go! The trail is clear all the way to Penner Lake (July 3rd), and there are still big patches of snow in a lot of spots off the trail that make for some awesome pictures. I went around to the far side of Penner and back, and GPS logged the total distance at 7.2 miles. Also lots of nice dispersed camping options along the way.

The road goes from paved to dirt and rocky once you turn onto Forest Route 17. Although there were many lower clearance cars parked up there too I was glad I had my high clearance Tacoma, especially at the very top just before the parking area at Carr Lake.

hiking
5 months ago

I absolutely loved this loop. Definitely use the app throughout as there is still snow patches and felled trees that cause you to loose the trail but eventually I found it. Passed about 8 gorgeous lakes! Favorites were Island, Penner and Milk. I will definitely do some disperse camping up here next time but was lucky enough to snag a site at Carr Lake. Highly recommend and not too difficult of a "long" hike. Not too much elevation gain.

backpacking
Monday, September 26, 2016

Took my six year old for his first pack-in backpacking trip. He left wanting more, which was perfect!

The road in is a little choppy. We have a mid-sized SUV and I was worried about bottoming out in spots. There's fresh bear poop and scratchings around, so handle your food situation properly!

All in all, a great place, if a bit crowded at times.

hiking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This was an easy 3-4 hour hike, mostly flat with a bit of a climb at the very end. The lakes were stunning! Will definitely do this trail again and would feel comfortable taking friends & family who aren't seasoned hikers.

hiking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

beautiful and not hard. friends love it.

hiking
Sunday, June 05, 2016

It was beautiful! Bugs are stating to be out & we did mot make it all the way due to snow, glad we wore boots, very wet. We will go again in the fall

hiking
Monday, May 30, 2016

It was a cool hike. There was lots of snow on the ground. At parts there was a snow path on top of the regular path. Bring hiking shoes, and trekking poles if you have them if you go around may or early June, at least this year anyways.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Penner Lake is an excellent destination with breathtaking views

Thursday, June 18, 2015

great family hike

camping
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

First family backpacking trip! Hiked into Island Lake with my wife and 4 children. Son 11 and 3 daughters 10, 7 and 5. The trail was not too difficult and had great scenery. The few climbs came with breaks but each child made it even though they each carried their own clothes, water, pillow and sleeping bags; except for the youngest who had her own water and clothes. The trail was busy and many hiked past to Penner Lake. The weather was perfect and the water was great! Perfect family oriented place to hike and camp. Next time on to Penner!

hiking
Saturday, January 18, 2014

Love this hike. I've been backpacking to Penner lake multiple times, and day trips to Island lake too many times to count. You pass by many beautiful lakes, trails are easy to navigate, and some places at each lake are ready for camping. (i.e. flat spots for tents, logs for benches, etc). Would recommend to anyone.

hiking
Friday, August 16, 2013

We drove up an old fire road and parked at the top. The road is all dirt but well maintained. There are at least 4 lakes that we hiked by and one we stopped and had lunch at. There were a few people but not many.
It will be a hike we will do again.

hiking
1 month ago

trail running
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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