Loon Lake Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and fishing and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.9 miles Elevation Gain: 944 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

hiking

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

Go inside Loon Lake campground, pay the $8 for a day pass then follow signs for "Wilderness parking"

11 days ago

Great first hike of the season. Enjoyed getting out of the house. Trail is in good shape. There is some snow on the ground still and water run off, but all in all no issues. The gate is locked so it is a half mile hike in to the trailhead. Great weather.

Trail is super well maintained/built. I think most of it was actually a road that was converted into a trail by spreading shattered boulders to narrow the toad into a single track. It snowed in the evening and we were gifted with a beautiful frosting over the landscape in the morning.

hiking
8 months ago

Dusty. Limited views. Difficult to get to the lake for swimming. Otherwise, a reasonable hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Did a 2 night backpacking trip at Pleasant Campground. We started at Loon Lake campground and hiked in one evening to Pleasant Campground and stayed overnight both nights at the same awesome campsite about 100ft from the water. We were able to piece together some good day hiking (9miles total) the second day, and hiked back to Loon Lake campground the third day. They had clean, relatively new outhouses at Pleasant Campground, which was a nice surprise. Also provided picnic tables and fire pits at each site. Overall, really nice area and trail for an easy-moderate weekend outing.

hiking
9 months ago

Great starter backpacking trail. About 7 miles to the Desolation Boundary. Easy to follow trail and steady incline with a view of beautiful Loon Lake.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail.Spyder Lake is beautiful.

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

Went toward van vleck TH and rubicon river. A bit overgrown and mosquitoes.

hiking
10 months ago

this is a very beautiful trail and lakes. The trails are clearly marked to get to spider and buck island. seems very dog friendly. there are downsides though: lots of traffic on trails so if you're like me and want to get away from crowds, you might want to consider as a day hike. Also from spider lake, all you hear is loud reving of the off roaders and blaring music in the early eve. A lot of garbage left from them too. Overall, it's worth the trek for the scenery, but you must be prepared for the rubicon people.

hiking
10 months ago

Well we spent two nights camping around Loon Lake. We canoed in from the other side of the dam as the campground was closed due to snow/winter damage. We canoed over to Pleasant Camp(near the trail) and hiked to a water source coming out of the mountain where we soaked and ate for and hour or so and headed back to the canoe about 2.5-3 miles. We had the lake and trail to ourselves in the middle of the week. Very relaxing two nights

hiking
11 months ago

Perfect early summer day. Easy cruising and perfect for the hound with patches of snow and great water the whole way. Went to Spider. Sweet spot

hiking
Thu Sep 20 2018

Had a view of the lake along a great deal of the trail.

backpacking
Tue Aug 28 2018

Beautiful shoreline and extremely well-maintained trail. Even ran into a CCC crew working the trail and thanked them for their service. We ended up diverging down to the Pleasant Boat-in Campground and spent the night there. We fished the shoreline around the campground and managed to catch a few small rainbow trout.

hiking
Tue Aug 28 2018

This was a perfect hike. It wasn't a ton of elevation climb, the temperature was warm but not too hot. We stopped about 3/4 of the way and ate lunch overlooking the lake and nearby mountains. The only thing that was confusing was getting there. Google maps was inaccurate about the trailhead based off the coordinates of Alltrails. You have to actually go INSIDE Loon lake campground, pay the $8 for a day pass then follow signs for "Wilderness parking".

Fri Jul 27 2018

great run this morning along the lake with easy elevation gain. Didnt see anybody else on the trail so had this granite lake heaven trail all to myself.

Mon Jul 23 2018

mostly rocky trail. great views of loon lake. saturday afternoon there are lots if backpackers. I probably passed 10 groups in 5 hours loon lake th to spider lake and back. $8 parking fee. nice trail i may go back with a kayak.

hiking
Sat Jul 21 2018

Nice hike with occasional views of the lake. We hiked out 3 mi, then turned back. There is little shade after 3 miles. TH is in the Loon Lake campground. Daily fee is $8, but we were camping in the park so no charge. Lake was a refreshing 75 degrees..Water clear as Donner or Tahoe.

backpacking
Sat Sep 23 2017

Second hike up to Spider lake. Loon Lake was pretty low in water volume. From the Pleasant Grove sign post to Spider lake there was a crew removing the loss rock up the entire hill to about Spider Lake. Not many people around very peaceful, got very cold at night.

backpacking
Thu Aug 31 2017

I love this trail. Have been hiking it for close to 40 years. Most recently, a simple overnight out and back to Buck Lake, about 5.5 miles from the Loon Lake trailhead. 100 degree August days in Sacramento, and 80 degrees on the trail. The first 2.5 or so miles is mostly flat and in the shade for most of the way. Then the trees get sparce and the ankle rolling, knee wrenching, granite "rocks" come out, and stick with you until Buck Lake. At the southeast end of Loon Lake, the flat trail ends and a mile and a half of uphill gets the blood moving. At Spider Lake, the trail levels for a short while, then begins a mile and a half desent into Buck Lake. Others have posted that there are no fish in the lake. Not true. There just don't seem to be the easy to catch planters so common in California lakes. Take a fly rod and work the morning and evening hatch and you will be amazed at what you can catch. I recommend going during the week if you like quiet. Weekends are not only busier with backpackers, the Rubicon jeep trail is just on the far side of both Spider and Buck lakes, and the sound of grinding motors and partying can last all night. This week, I shared the lake with just a trail crew making improvements and cutting new trail leading away from Buck Lake to Rockbound. By dark they were asleep and I was just left with just a Grey Rubber Boa (a snake) for company.

backpacking
Sat Jul 22 2017

Two buddies and I went backpacking up to buck island lake. Great views the whole way. Pretty hot during the day but we expected that since the elevation on the entire route is under 7,000 feet. Limited campsites at the lake so I'm glad we left early. The rubicon river was quite impressive and so cold. We had a blast!

backpacking
Fri Jul 07 2017

Backpacked with my two young sons to Buck Island Lake. The trail is as advertised...alot of granite rocks. But it made for an exciting trip. It was hot, and not a lot of shade once you got to the end of Loon Lake. All in all, a great trip.

hiking
Thu Jun 22 2017

Was really a nice hike. The only criticism of this train is that it's composed of loose granite at around the half way mark, which could lead to twisted ankles or knees. Other than that the hike was very nice.

Thu Jun 22 2017

a beautiful hike! gorgeous views and very quiet. As of 06/09 there was quite a bit of water on the trail but still manageable.

hiking
Wed Jun 21 2017

Nice hike! Unfortunately thunderstorm, wind, hail came out of nowhere and had to pitch camp quick but ended up being gorgeous views, and hike. As of 6/22/17 there's no snow on the trails, wet from the rainstorm, but easily crossed over creeks and standing water without getting my hiking boots wet. No snow up toward rubicon reservoir! Mild patches noted on the mountain tops.

backpacking
Tue Jun 20 2017

This was a great hike for our 3rd annual backpacking trip. We hiked from Loon Lake to Spider Lake. The trail is rocky but well worth the effort.

Wed Jun 14 2017

One of the best locations in the El Dorado National Forest; so beautiful!

hiking
Mon Feb 27 2017

So quiet and just gorgeous! I loved being able to bring my dog with me.

Tue Sep 27 2016

loved it

hiking
Mon Sep 26 2016

Amazing trail!!

backpacking
Wed Sep 07 2016

We backpacked from the Loon Lake trailhead to Rockbound lake. This was a part of the area I have never seen and it was amazing! It was definitely a decent hike, however, like Mark said below...the rocks suck! It totally slows down the momentum and makes for a not fun portion of the trail. But when you get to Rockbound, hopefully you get the lake to your self like we did, it was amazing! If you like to fish, bring your gear, I wish I brought mine. Just after sunrise is breakfast time for the brownies!

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