Loon Lake Trail

MODERATE 55 reviews
#9 of 72 trails in

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.

8.9 miles
944 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly








wild flowers

23 days ago

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.

28 days ago

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.

29 days ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Saturday, July 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!

Friday, July 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.

Thursday, June 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.

Thursday, June 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.

Wednesday, June 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.

Tuesday, June 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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

loved it

Monday, September 26, 2016

Amazing trail!!

Wednesday, September 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!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

We backpacked from Loon Lake trailhead to Rockbound Lake, 7 miles. Beautiful scenery but BEWARE: They put crushed rock and boulders on the trail from before Spider to Rockbound Lake that makes it very difficult to walk on, totally messed up the trail. WTF Forrest Service?

Monday, July 04, 2016

Great LONG hike we started early so it wasnt to bad with the sun we had a picnic at the edge of the lake it was Beautiful

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Beautiful lake. Easy trail. Great views and lake front sites. Great for beginners and experienced backpackers alike.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Nice hike. The lake was very very low due to going right before winter this year. Nice hiking right next to the water for most of the hike. If you hike about 4 miles up you can cut over to spider lake which is very calm and pretty untouched due to it being small and no trail leading to it. You have to find your own way if you have a map very easy to find.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nice hike out and back on Highland Trail to Shadow Lake from Van Vleck Equestrian area. Did about 10 miles round trip and caught some nice Brook Trout using nymph flies.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beware! It is 5.4 miles one way, making 11 miles round trip, not out and back! all be it beautiful cuz you are in the woods, plan trip accordingly! we were disappointed that through the app, using Google maps, it took us out forest road 36,gate closed adding 2 miles round trip. if you go straight to campground and park at wilderness parking, trail from loon to Spider Lake is about 9 mile round trip.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beautiful hike. We made it to the cove near where the tunnel flows into Loon Lake. Only a handful of people. Love how remote this area is. Can't wait to come back for an overnight at Pleasant Campground.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our hike at Loon Lake Trail yesterday. We had outstanding conditions and thoroughly enjoyed the trail, the hike, and the day! The trail is VERY well marked and maintained. I wore shorts, and will wear longer (convertible) pants next time I go as there are lots of low-lying shrubs along the narrow trail and my legs got a bit scratched up. We had planned on going all the way to Spider lake, but we misjudged our timing, so that'll have to wait for another time ... Sometime soon!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Loon Lake to Spider Lake: Loon Lake is located about 28 miles up Ice House Road in the Eldorado Nation Forest (not in Pollock Pines). Worth the drive for this approximate 8.5 mile (moderate)hike. The first 3.8 follows the South side of Loon Lake to a moderate climb up and over to the West side of Spider Lake. A gentle scramble down to a beautiful, quiet lake good for hanging out, swimming, and/or camping. For those that wish to go on ... there are more possibilities. Be sure to stop at the Visitor info station about 10 miles before Loon Lake to pick up your free map!This will help hikers and campers avoid the Rubicon and the Off Road trails!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Did this hike out so the boat campground camp and stayed he night. Pretty easy hike lots of nice views of he lake.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Backpacked to boat in camp, Very nice but had to put up with loud 4x4 trucks at midnite on Rubicon trail.

7 days ago

paddle sports
7 days ago

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