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Salmon Lake Trail

EASY 64 reviews
#29 of 193 trails in

Salmon Lake Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.5 miles Elevation Gain: 429 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

lake

views

From Yuba Gap exit on I-80, drive south on Yuba Gap road for 0.3 mile, and turn right toward Lodgepole campground. At 1.1 miles further, turn left on road 19 (unpaved). Drive four miles and turn left on road 38. Drive 2 miles to the trailhead, 0.5 mile past Huysink Lake. The trail begins on the left near a willow thicket. Parking is available on the right side of the road.

hiking
1 month ago

The drive up is bumpy, rocky, and unpaved. You need to go about a mile further than the Alltrails pin drops you. We decided to walk that after a super friendly guy stopped to let us know it was further ahead. Scenic hike, with some rocky inclines, but mostly dirt path. We decided not to get in the water as it wasn't that warm out, plus as other folks have mentioned a ton of catfish that like to check out anything in the water. Lots of nice spots to set down and take a snack break at the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

We went on a weekday and saw 0 people! Had the lake to ourselves. There is a cool fire pit with chairs made out of stone...great for an overnight.

backpacking
bugs
over grown
2 months ago

We visited this weekend 8/3/19. 1. The hike is interesting, I would not personally say it is Easy, it is much harder then Island Lake. However, it is not un-doable. My kids could not do it though, just too much hill for them. It is warm, but so pretty with all the little flowers. Lots of up and down, do not think 6% is nothing or flat at all because there is a hill. 2. We only saw a total of maybe 20 people? Two other groups camping at the lake with us.. but so far spaced you could not see them. 3. We got a cute little site with lots of shade, right on the water edge. Perfect! No wild animals, not many ants, and barely any mosquitoes after dark. 4. The cat fish everyone mentions, must warn you are not edible. They are thousands of miniature Cat Fish. When i say thousands... you will see swarms of them everywhere. I would definitely go back here, even though the fishing is shitty. Its just so peaceful.

hiking
2 months ago

Just returned from Salmon Lake and was pretty dissatisfied. First let me say that the road in is completely doable, and we were in a toyota Sienna mini van. Other reviewers who said they had to move large rocks was not necessary at all and we made it just fine. What I really want to let people know about are the catfish in the lake. I personally go to these kinds of places to be in the water (if you dont this wont apply to you) but with all those catfish in the lake it was the most unpleasant place to swim. So here I am, in the heat of the summer and I can't get in this beautiful lake because the catfish not only are everywhere, they literally follow you around. I have never seen a fish not scared of people at all. And as you try to get out of the lake they swarm around you and it just gross. At least it was for me. I read other reviewers say they can bump into you but if I had read this review I never would have gone so I just want to spare anyone else who thinks going there to swim is a good idea! So Salmon lake is off my list for this main reason.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a trail to Salmon Lake. And I cannot save my recording unless I leave this review.

hiking
3 months ago

Not much shade bit otherwise a lovely hike. Like the other reviewers said the road in is a but of a pain and not marked but most cars should be able to handle it.

hiking
3 months ago

Good short hike. Took a 17 month old (in pack carrier) and two dogs and didn't have any issues. rFairly long rocky and bumpy dirt road, but we had no problems in a Ram 1500. Most cars can make it if you take your time. Pretty small lake at the end. The catfish others mentioned were there too. Definitely worth the hike. Although we didn't go on this trip, it would probably be worth your time to go to Loch Leven Lakes while you're in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

A great short hike to a beautiful lake. Though the road in takes awhile (a 6-mile dirt road), it is passable for most cars. Watch your mileage carefully and turn left at the 4-mile mark. “Road 38” is not marked. An easy hike that takes only an hour or so. Very few people at the lake.

hiking
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Very fun, beautiful and adventurous trail. It is rated easy but I wouldn’t say this trail is easy as some might expect it to be. Personally I would rate this moderate. There are steep and rough inclines/declines. As someone in a lower post said, I wouldn’t recommend for small children. Also note that the road to get to the trail is pretty rough. We did take it in a smaller car and made it through fine, just take it slow, you may also have to get out to move some of the bigger rocks. Other than that amazing trail.

hiking
Monday, October 15, 2018

Moderately rough road for 6 miles to get to trailhead—glad for the clearance on our Highlander. Trail moderately easy, but as others have noted, it’s easy to lose your way a bit in the rocky spots. Surprised there weren’t more cairns in those areas. Met a few backpackers on the trail, but had lovely Salmon Lake to ourselves—a treat on a gorgeous, autumn Sunday! Will do again, and continue to Loch Leven Lakes. Be aware, trail starts at about 6,500, so if you’re coming from sea level, you may feel the altitude, even though the trail isn’t hard.

hiking
Monday, September 03, 2018

Had a great time hiking the trail to salmon lake with our kids (7 and 9). Definitely an easy trail that we could do again sometime with the grandparents too or as a first backpacking trip. We opted to go off trail and hike around the lake, totaling about 4 Miles on the GPS there, around, and back. We spent 5 hours total including lots of sitting, playing, wading and swimming. A perfect afternoon! It’s easy to lose the trail for a little bit around the first big rock outcrop. Just look around and you’ll pick it right back up again, it’s a well travelled path. Driving directions are not correct. After the point where the directions leave off drive another 1.5 miles forward, over a pretty big rut that will get your attention. Trail is obvious, wide and on the left. We made the trip easily but carefully in our minivan.

hiking
Friday, August 17, 2018

Lost the trail a bit on the way up, but was a pretty lake

hiking
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Beautiful trail, but you have to drive on about 6 miles of an unpaved fire road, so make sure you bring the appropriate vehicle. My ‘04 RAV4 did the trick, but any less clearance than that would’ve been rough. I had thought that any trail rated easy would’ve been toddler appropriate. It wasn’t. We hiked the whole way with my 18 mo in the hiking carrier. It was rough in some spots due to climbing on fairly steep granite. But doable. Salmon lake isn’t one I would want to swim in, but there is lots of fish. Lovely, remote. We were the only ones there, and we had a nice hike.

hiking
Sunday, November 05, 2017

Fabulous out and back 8 miler from Hampshire Rocks Road during the first snow, 5-8 inches depending on where. Nobody within miles and a great spot for a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Excellent hike and camping. Must have a fire permit and bring warm clothes.

backpacking
Monday, July 31, 2017

Quite a short hike to get to Salmon Lake but if you'd like to travel further you can connect over to Loch Leven Lakes which is not far. We decided to camp on Salmon Lake. There are about 5 or 6 well-established campsites in place. One group set up a campsite on the west side of the lake in a nice spot. Another duo were sleeping under a tarp in the NW area. The water was perfect as far as temperature and going for a swim was great. There are lot of catfish in this little lake and if you dangle your feet in the water they nibble at your feet. Good thing they don't have teeth :-)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Beautiful hike, a fun little lake with lots of little catfish.

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just did this trail for the first time today. 7/11/17. No snow and the road was fine (just a normal bumpy dirt road) contrary to what a previous person said. When you are headed to the trail take the road that goes to the Day Use Area (which is Rd 19). The rest of the directions are pretty accurate, 4 miles on Rd 19, turn left on Rd 38 (no sign), 2 miles on that road and trail is on your left. Keep an eye out for a wide part of the road that looks like it could be a parking area. The trail is just before the parking area but is really hard to see because the bushes are really large. Trail is in pretty good condition (a few fallen trees from the winter, but easy to go around). Salmon Lake is nice and warm. We also continued on to Loch Leven Lakes, just about 3/4 of a mile further and those are great too. Warm enough to swim in and great for the dogs.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Be aware there are many conflicting directions on the net to this trail head. Currently ( as of 7/1/17) the dirt roads that are used to get to the trail are in really bad shape. With very sharp, large rocks covering the entire length of the roads. No doubt from the rough winter. Fine if you have a high clearence vehicle that you don't mind getting dinged up and really filthy. Also be warned there are people running off road vehicles on the roads at speed. All that and the lack of signage make for a bit of a mess just getting too and from.

hiking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

As the previous reviewer stated, the trail currently is difficult to follow in places due to a large blowdown (about a quarter mile from parking area), and several areas still have very slick and unstable snow packs. Finally some areas are muddy and have standing water on the trail due to melting snow. We were unable to reach the lake because inability to climb the snow covering the trail leading up to the Salmon Lake overlook.

backpacking
Monday, June 19, 2017

My earlier post seems to have gone missing. My apologies if this ends up being a double post. Easy hike with excellent lakes at the end. The late winter has made the trail difficult to find at times. Both snow and water have made it difficult to find in places both coming and going. Should be fine by July. Folks I met on the trail that were repeat visitors seemed to manage without much difficulty. I did lose the trail, having not been here for a number of years, on the return trip coming over the shoulder. Was never lost mind you, just misplaced the actual trail for a quarter mile or so. Plenty to orient by (the large meadow). I would suggest traveling with frequent visitors and/or experienced hikers till the trail clears. In normal conditions this is an easy peasy hike.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Went to check out this trail today. The road leading up to the trail head is rough. The weather was perfect. It was easy hike.

hiking
Sunday, September 25, 2016

One of our top 10 favorites. Quiet trail that is perfect for the Smaller kids and dogs. Just about 2 miles to lower Loch Leven Lake but be sure to go the extra 1/4 mile to Middle Loch Leven. For sure the way to see the Loch Leven lakes. Perfect day hike.

hiking
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Good hike! Beautiful lake with a rock jumping spot. When you get to the end of the directions provided by the app you still need to drive a quarter of a mile til the turn out for the trailhead.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Great trail for Families with kids. We went all the way to Loch Leven Lakes and camped. Salmon Lake was a great resting spot.

Monday, July 18, 2016

great hike. not too hard and great scenery

backpacking
Monday, July 04, 2016

This trail is the right one to get to the loch leven lakes. The designated loch leven trail is longer steeper and uglier. This trail dumps you out at lower loch and middle and high loch are only 1/4, 1 mike longer, respectively. Perfect backpacking trial. Lots of campsites at all three lakes.

hiking
Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nice side-trip on our way to High Loch Leven. Pretty lake & easy to get to.

hiking
Friday, July 31, 2015

Long dirt road to trail head. The family and I used this trail to reach Loch Leven Lakes. This route is 5.2 miles out and back, but I believe is a nicer route than Loch Leven Lakes Trail if your backpacking with kids and a doggy. We overnighted at Middle Loch because we found a great spot to set up camp.

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