Jamison Lake is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Blairsden-Graeagle, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.9 miles
1,069 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly




horseback riding

trail running






wild flowers




no dogs

2 months ago

Beautiful trail, rocky on the way up but the waterfall was worth it for the 1st stop. grass lake and jamison lake were amazing. definitely will be doing this again and planning on backpacking it.

2 months ago

Perfect hike. Went with my wife and 9 year old daughter. Camped at Jamison lake, and hiked out. You really can not ask for a better hike to introduce kids to over night backpacking!

Excellent family half-day hike:

Difficulty: Somewhat strenuous, steep at first, leveling off around Grass Lake. The views and varying terrain make the hike worth it.

The waterfall was full, to our surprise.

The EarthTrek poles were helpful for the large granite steps on the descent.
Come prepared with trekking poles, good shoes and sunwear.
Forested and shady in some spots, sunny in others.

This hike leads up to Rock Lake. The Lake is somewhat barren, but is excellent for diving if the level is high. The day we went it was low with much silt. If you have the time, take the extra 15-30 minute loop around the lake. Amazing views of Grass Lake and the Sierras from above.
Jamison Lake is nearby and we could view it but headed down early. 10am to 3:30pm.

I will do this hike again. I did it years ago for backpacking.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike and well worth it. can't wait to do it again.

3 months ago

It isn't too smokey to hike here (Aug 2018) but views are not what they are when it is clear. We just spent a couple nights by Rock Lake and Jamison which are both nice. The hike into the lakes from the mine is uphill, hot at mid-day. and rocky, but with nice forested areas, a waterfall, small streams, interesting geology and good views. Nice stars at night despite all the fires to the north and south. It took us about 2 hours to hike in, and 1 hour to get out. We really enjoyed hiking up to Mt Washington from Jamison - it is an exposed, difficult rock scramble at the summit, but beautiful!

4 months ago

This trail was rough on my knees because of all the rocks and large steps, but the view at the top was worth it! We made it to the lake and went swimming, and hiked back down shortly after. Also visiting the waterfall on the way down was my favorite part, also it was quite steep climbing down to it. I don't recommend it for anyone who doesn't have great balance or strength to climb back up.

4 months ago

Great trail and hike with some mining history nearby. Got a late start, so we couldn't find any spots along the west shore on a Saturday, but found a beautiful camp site for two tents on the East shore that were perfect. No one else on the east shore, so we were able to camp naked with the warm weather ... Gorgeous view of sunset and sun rise. Didn't even need bug repellent!!!

4 months ago

Spent 2 nights on west shore of Jamison Lake on a perch above the water. Trail was fantastic with no sign of wild life. Nights were quiet and peaceful and the stars were incredible to see. Fish hopping and caught a few. saw a few other camps but was very quiet especially after the day hikers left. weather was hot during the day but perfect at night. Will definitely be back!

5 months ago

went backpacking two days ago with my 5 yr old son. the trail was rocky and very steep for him. we camped on the west side of Jamison near the island. Fish jumping around, bring your pole. the water was still very cold. too cold for me to fully submerge. very beautiful! like a dream. we will be back with the rest of the family. lots of butterflies, and saw a deer. no bear or cougars.

5 months 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.

11 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!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

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.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

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.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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.

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 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, July 03, 2016

Great hike from Jamison mine past Grass Lake and up to Jamison and Rock Lakes. Steady uphill at the start with rocky path, levels out around Grass Lake then climbs again to Jamison Lake. Wonderful views of the lakes and surrounding mountains. Heavily used trail over the July 4th weekend with lots of family groups and dogs on the trail. Good spots for picnicking on the rocks around Jamison Lake.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Great hike with really beautiful lakes. Jamison and Wades especially. Lots of great fishing up at Wades and plenty of places to camp up there.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The first part of the hike was steep after Jamison Mine Cabins. After that the hike was really nice and Grass Lake was beautiful to see. Overall good hike

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Beautiful hike, well marked until the end. Some overgrowth of vegetation near the end of the Jamison trail so it was difficult without the markers to know if we actually found Jamison Lake or not. Bear warnings are posted and we did see bear scat on the trail. Overall a great short day hike.

2 months ago

recorded rock lake 2018

4 months ago

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