Lyons Creek Trail

HARD 93 reviews
#5 of 72 trails in

Lyons Creek Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from August until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

12.3 miles
2,286 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



Sylvia and Lyons Lakes is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking.

4 days ago

The first 4.5 mile was between easy and normal. However, the last 0.5 mile was hard. It took us 30-45 min to compete last 0.5 mile. The Lions Lakes is a reward ! we swam and took a nap before return. 6 hour to compete + 1.5 for photo, swimming and napping.

14 days ago

The hike is mis-rated as "hard". It's an easy hike for experienced hikers/backpackers. For the less experienced day hike crowd it's a moderate hike. I absolutely loved the scenery. The show stopper though is when you reach the top of the trail there's a sharp turn that unveils the lake. Simply breathtaking. Stopped me in my tracks.

With that said, if you're not partial to rocky trails and lots of loose rock and gravel, this is not the trail for you.

1 month ago

Very nice hike but definitely moderate not hard. In addition to the lakes the meadows and wild flowers through the first few miles are beautiful. Start early!

1 month ago

Great hike! Trail is now dry so no more slop (as of July 7). I think it's a very different hike when wet vs. dry - would rate this "moderate" vs "hard" during dry season, although the last half-mile up to Lyons is pretty steep.

Lots of wildflowers and super pretty right now!

1 month ago

This trial has everything you could ask for! From stunning views, a vast array of flowers, swimming holes in the creek, great rock climbing spots and of course Lyons lake itself!!

I have been to most lakes in desolation and have a couple favorites this one being top 3!! The last mile or so was a bit tough but you get the awesome waterfall views and mountain backdrop that make it an easier ride! Have fun out there !!

2 months ago

Conditions as of 5/23/2018: super duper soupy. And are established trails always this poorly marked around here? Or maybe their just more obvious when they’re not flooded. No worries; hard to get truly lost in that area anyhow.

I got good and wet on my way to Sylvia, spent a day drying out and soaking in the beautiful landscape, then decided to summit Pyramid from the West, starting just north of (not next to) Sylvia. That was fun. But FYI the slop starts very early into Lyons from parking. If you’re thinking “maybe it’s just this area; it’ll get better” then you’re very sadly mistaken. The Lyons trail is essentially a babbling brook all the way through. Even the trails side-stepping the regular “trail” were much soggier today than they were on my way in 2 days ago. I was wearing old beat-up Saucony Peregrine trail shoes with microspikes for the summit. My feet were totally soaked and freezing from start to finish every day. lol - somehow, having that whole beautiful place to myself made up for it.

Summary: look elsewhere until things dry out a bit, or just come prepared for ankle-shin deep slogs all the way to the remaining snow pack.

3 months ago

Trail conditions: 5/13/18

Trail is wet and sloppy from melt off with patches of snow below 7,700 ft (full coverage above). There are also a few downed trees blocking the trail.

0-3 miles: Wet and sloppy, with some small patches of snow.
3-4 miles: Larger patches of snow. Easy to lose trail if not paying attention.
4.5 miles: Trail completely covered by snow.

Overall the trail to Sylvia is doable, but the last 2 miles are slow going. Also, make sure to wear waterproof boots!

5 months ago

Can feel like one long slog. Best as an overnight backpack. Have used the route to Sylvia several times over the past 20 years as a tuneup for long high altitude climb approaches. Dog poop can be problematic so watch your step.

9 months ago

Nice day hike not too far from Sacramento. Easy grade throughout the hike, until just before reaching Lyons Lake. The trail up to the lake is steep but short and the lake was spectacular. We had the trail to ourselves for the entire ten mile out and back in mid week in early October. This trail appears like it would be pretty soupy early in the season, so one probably more enjoyable for most later in the season.

10 months ago

E xxx cellent hike!

10 months ago

nice track! stay to the left of Lyons creek as you approach the saddle.

10 months ago

Lyons lake was super pretty!

10 months ago

Great hike along a river. In September all the snow has melted and there were still wildflowers and plenty of water in the creeks and river. Lyons Lake is beautiful and worth the climb up the rocky hillside.

11 months ago

Love this hike, but no longer have a hiking buddy. Anyone interested!? I am a beginner hiker willing to get back to it and get healthier!! Thanks

11 months ago

Great hike! Flowers in full bloom. Just a tiny bit of snow left.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beautiful Hike!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Super dog friendly with plenty of water for them the whole way there. My destination was Mount Price but you soon see that the huge rocks and scrambling isn't ideal for them. Its cold in the morning. Like 38 degrees cold. I went as far into the valley from Lyons Lake and needed my sweatshirt again. This was at 12 pm. I started my hike around 8 am. So it did take my dog and I a while but it was worth it. If you want to fully enjoy this whole area give yourself 8 hours.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The trail was great to Sylvia until just past the crossing at Lyons creek, then... snow! Bring gps and keep the creek on your right, don't lose faith...we turned back as well as most of the hikers we met. I guess the trail will be clear in 2 to 3 weeks. Still can't beat this hike for a day hike... trail is clear up to Lyon's.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Did this hike on Sunday 7/2. The first 3.5-4 miles were snow free, but sloppy. Lots of melt-off and mud. The final 1-1.5 miles is still covered in snow which makes it easy to lose the trail. Sylvia was still 90% frozen, and was told that the creek crossing for Lyons was impassable.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Plenty of snow still left to make the trail hard to find, What trail is exposed is a running stream. Made it up to Sylvia Lake by staying to the right of the river/stream. Still frozen. nice hike over all, but your feet will get soaked until all the snow has melted away.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Awesome trip. Lots of snow on the ground as of 5/28 but nothing unmanageable. Was unable to drive all the way to the trailhead (to much snow) but that didn't stop us from having a great time.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

last summer me and my uncles went to Lyons Creek Trail we tried to spend the night at Sylvia Lake but by the time we got to the Desolation Wilderness marker my uncle twisted his ankle so we had to stay there for the night then hike back in the morning ,we're going for it this year he has better hiking boots

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

We did an overnight trip to Lyons Lake. I fully agree with the post Martin made. This trail was pretty easy at first but right before the lake it was really treacherous. Also if you are fine with walking on ALOT of rocks...this trail is for you. Be careful it is easy to twist an ankle especially with a 40lb pack. BUT we felt like it was really worth it at the end when we reached the lake. It was super gorgeous and there was wonderful view.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gorgeous at the top! Easy to follow trail

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Great day trip went to both Sylvia and Lyons Lake! Was a long day hitting both but certainly worth it! Lyons lake is stunning and looked to have couple great camp spots. Wish I would have stayed night or had more time!

Monday, August 22, 2016

We did an overnight backpack to Lyons Lake. The first several miles is pretty but nothing spectacular. Many parts of the trail are composed of billiard-ball sized rocks, and with forty pounds on your back, this continual climb is no easy feat... especially the last steep half-mile up to Lyons Lake. But once there the view is more dramatic. The lake sits in a granite bowl with groves on either end making for nice campsites. Lovely solitude. Fun morning hike up to ridge at the far end to view the snowmelt feeding the lake. Strenuous, but exhilarating.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fun trail allot of spots to check out

Monday, August 15, 2016

Great hike! Watch out for black bears.

Trail head was easy to find and there were about a dozen cars in the parking lot. If you're going up to Lake Sylvia you're going to enter Desolation Wilderness, and are supposed to have a permit (there's a sign posted). I had actually gotten mine online so was good to go. This was an enjoyable afternoon!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Fun easy hike

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