Penner Lake Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews

Penner Lake Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

7.2 miles
1437 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


20 days ago

1 month ago

This was my very first backpacking trip and I absolutely loved it. I was nervous I wouldn't be able to handle the elevation with my pack but it was totally doable. We started on Friday afternoon and hiked to Island Lake where we stayed for the first night. The second day we hiked up to Penner Lake which was difficult with my pack but not impossible. We enjoyed the beauty of nature and how quiet it was up there. Then the third day we made our way from Penner Lake back to Grouse Ridge camping area and headed home. Overall the hike was beautiful and calming with not a ton of people which made it even nicer.

This is a destination that will not disappoint you. It's very forgiving on the feet and thighs and views are breathtaking! I've hiked it twice during the month of June and it's well shaded until the last mile. Most is flat until the very end but worth the climb!

We parked at the Carr/Feeley Lake parking area and hiked to Island Lake along the Round Lake trail and then on to Penner Lake on the Crooked Lake trail. They have recently graded much of road 17 so it's not that bumpy until about the last mile. We were glad we got to see the cows again:) This is a nice trail with so many beautiful lakes to see along the way (Carr, Feeley, Delaney, Island, Crooked). So many more lakes to explore in this area:)

7 months ago

Pretty easy hike to Penner Lake via Grouse Ridge Trail. Passed several pretty lakes on the way. Pretty flat but be warned there are 2 places where the incline hiking out is pretty steep. Overall, love this hike! Several others on the trail and some dogs. I would do this hike again.
You do have to drive about 4 miles off of Bowman Lake Road. The 4 miles are all dirt and would highly recommend a high clearance vehicle driving this road. Got a little 4wheeling in and a hike! Great day!
We came across a herd of cows near the beginning of the Trail. Pretty neat and harmless if you give them their space. You will hear them because they all wear cow bells.

7 months ago

8 months ago

It's a great short backpacking trip for those of us, who just want to hike for 3-4 miles and enjoy the rest of our weekend. We showed up on Friday morning and had the lake pretty much to ourselves. However, Saturday there were several new groups including a 21 member Boy Scout troop. They were actually very quiet after 9pm.

The views were amazing and the lake has fish. I caught a nice 15" Rainbow trout on the last evening we were there. All in all it was great and the crowd on Saturday was to be expected, since it's such a short hike in.

11 months ago

Easy, nice lake at the end.