Loon Lake to Buck Island Lake is a 12.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Bridges, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length12.1 miElevation gain1,407 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyBackpackingCampingFishingHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingrunningForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: As of October 2020, the campgrounds are closed for the season. Due to this closure, hikers will have to hike an extra mile to and from the car to the trailhead. More information here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/eldorado/recarea/?recid=71069 A beautiful, moderately challenging hike along Loon Lake to Buck Island Lake. This is a great day hike that does not have any steep climbs, making it perfect for hikers of all fitness levels. The views of Loon Lake are incredible!

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (101)
Photos (408)
Recordings (100)
Completed (161)
View user's profile page
Deborah Lynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 15, 2021
Snowshoeing
View Deborah's Recording
View user's profile page
Melissa White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking

Incredible views! Not too steep of ups and downs, fairly manageable grades. Currently (10/17/20) the campground is closed, so it was an extra mile walk to and from the car to the trailhead. Very few others were out. We lost the trail a bit going down to Buck Island Lake because of the rock surface, but were able to find it using the app. Coming back up, I was able to follow the rock stacks better! Overall very beautiful! A lot of different foliage and the lakes are so pretty!

View Melissa's Recording
View user's profile page
Hung Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking
View user's profile page
Luke Fraser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking
View Luke's Recording
View user's profile page
Luke Fraser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking
View Luke's Recording
View user's profile page
Maggie Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
BackpackingNo shadeOff trail

Spent a couple nights at Spider Lake and took a day hike to Bucks Island. The trail down to the lake was very hard to follow, no shade on the trail or along the water. Great views of the mountain range and fun to watch the Jeeps crawl. Good luck getting back to the main trail afterwards, it sure ain’t easy. Didn’t have the magic we hoped. Meh.

View user's profile page
Albert Homem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Albert's Recording
View user's profile page
Leilani Rambi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful trail!

View Leilani's Recording
View user's profile page
Natalia P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
BackpackingGreat!No shadeRocky

Overall wonderful trail! Mostly exposed which makes the trail quite hot. Approaching Buck Island Lake just follow the cairns, they will show you the way. As mentioned, there were OHV parties on the lake, but they were respectfully quiet from 11p-8:30a which was great (yes they were loud from 9-11p but didn’t really bother us too much). Bugs were about a 3 out of 10, present but totally manageable. We had bug spray but only used it once. Trailhead is out of the Loon Lake campground wilderness parking lot ($8 fee to be paid at the entrance where day use fees are paid)

View user's profile page
Andy Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
View Andy's Recording
View user's profile page
Erik Pfeifer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Backpacking

All around this is great for backpacking or hiking which takes you Buck Island Lake. However there are plenty of pros and cons to this trek outlined below. Starting out, you can park just outside the park and avoid the $8 fee. The Loom Trail head seemed non-existent, but is probably under construction. There were several new signs that mentioned the Loom TR, so I suspect it will be open sometime in the near future. Instead we started from Wilderness Area trail head, which is at the end of the Wilderness Area parking lot. When we started our hike, we didn't realize you really couldn't access water easily until your final destination at Buck Island Lake. Therefore, be sure to bring at least 1.5 liters or so. I brought 2 liters and I was beginning to run dry by the time we arrived, though I drink a lot of water. The mosquitoes weren't too bad, though present so repellent would be useful. The trail itself is groomed well with constructed stone steps and plenty of cairns to show you the way..a couple of them are the biggest I have ever seen. About 5 miles in, the trail is currently under construction, so you will arrive at a detailed map that outlines a detour. Its easy to follow so again, just follow the cairns and large rocks to guide you. Once Buck Island Lake is visible, you will eventually have to veer off the trail and continue down to what looks like an old creek bed which is marked by cairns off the main trail. Buck Is. Lake is visible at this point, so just follow your instincts. Overall, the trail isn't dusty but it is very rocky and only about 20% of the trail is in shade, so bring sunblock. These lakes are mostly surrounded by boulders, so you don't have to worry too much about muddy feet when accessing pumping water. Once you pass Loom Lake, 4 miles in or so, you will no longer be bothered by speedboats and party-goers on the Lake, though another nuisance is on the horizon. Once you arrive at Buck Island Lake, you will hear revving motors and possibly blaring country music as we did. However, they are across the lake and they seemed to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Also, on the way back, there is about 1.2 miles of uphill, which can be a bit exhausting. Pros: The trail is generally clearly marked with amazing views throughout the hike. The trail isn't crowded, even on the weekend. The lake isn't muddy and great for fishing. Mosquitoes aren't a big problem (bring some repellent). It is easy to find a Park Ranger at the campsites adjacent to trail head to address and questions. Cons: No water access for 6+miles. There are a lot of folks with motors (Boats on Loon Lake and 4-wheelers on the Rubicon Tr. across the lake). Not a whole lot of great campsites for backpackers. Only about 20% shade on the trail.

View user's profile page
Paul Earwood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Although I was unable to record my trip due to my AllTrails app acting up, I covered 13-14 miles (in & out) easily enough. I jumped around Buck lake and made my way over to watch the rock-crawlers on the Rubicon. I just couldn’t resist. It’s very easy to get off trail on your way to Buck (last mile) as trail is identifiable only by cairns and an occasional strip of dirt. Keep you app handy enough. You’ll be fine. Loved the trail.

View user's profile page
Alex Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

We camped at Pleasant and day hiked to Rockabound- quiter than Buck. Group of 11 including 7 teenagers.

View Alex's Recording
View user's profile page
Peter Clay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, in great shape. Beautiful scenery. We camped at Buck island lake and my only suggestion would be if you camp there, camp on the south side of the lake away from the rubicon trail. The 4x4’s can make quite a bit of noise. Still beautiful.

View user's profile page
Ryker Uvila
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
Backpacking

This hike is amazing. Went for 4th of July and it’s just far enough out to get away from it all. Spectacular views, plenty of camping spots (where you won’t see your neighbors) and lots of swimming holes. Mosquitos were only a problem at sunset.

View Ryker's Recording
View user's profile page
Angel Kinder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
HikingRocky

5 lakes for your picking! Beautiful views of Loon, Buck Island, Rockbound and Rubicon - spider lake is a little more hidden. One moderately challenging incline past Loon which is made tricky by the rocky trail. Worth it! Will be back for sure.

View Angel's Recording
View user's profile page
Jeff Larson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020

Beautiful Views, Great trail conditions...

View user's profile page
Jason @trailmale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
HikingRocky
View Jason's Recording
View user's profile page
Naomie Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 4, 2020
HikingMuddy

Beautiful hike! Easy trail with beautiful views.

View user's profile page
Eileen Li
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful, relatively easy hike. Melting snow and small creek crossings along the way. We set up near the lake and fell asleep to loud Jeep noises across the shore. Not sure if this is normal since we went on Memorial Day weekend, but probably wouldn’t recommend the trail to friends unless they were also planning on making a bunch of noise.

View user's profile page
C G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

Great hike, fast and flat.

View user's profile page
C G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2019
Hiking

Excellent hike I caution you over these busy holiday weekend to stay away.. all in all the fun hike.

View C's Recording
View user's profile page
Scott Jenkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Hiking

beautiful trail. loved the whole thing. dont forget to bring $8 for parking

View user's profile page
Michele Morse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2019
Backpacking

Beautiful 2night backpacking trip with a little bit of everything. Fern-filled woods, lake views, giant boulders, mountain views. Trail had sections of soft dirt, hard dirt, rocks (similar to dry creek bed) and a little bit of granite like walkways. Be careful the last 3/4 mile before you arrive at Buck Island Lake. The trail is being reconstructed so you have to look for man-made steps, rock formations and rock pyramid type piles to move you along the way. There were off road vehicles across the lake but they were not very loud and did not ruin our Fri&Sat night stay. I would definitely do this hike again.

View user's profile page
Kyle Pickering
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2019
Backpacking

Great trail condition. No snow on route. Beautiful Scenery. Pretty loud with OHV folks on the east side of Buck Island Lake. Loud cars, music, and firing guns. Not exactly what you look for when hiking into the backcountry. Other than that, it’s beautiful. Probably wouldn’t do this trip as an overnight during a weekend again.

View Kyle's Recording
View user's profile page
Brendan Long
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky
Showing results 1 - 26 of 101