Scotts Flat Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 761 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Nice shady hike through Ponderosa Pines, descending from Highway 20 to Scotts Flat Reservoir. This trail is a well maintained, moderate, out-and-back, starting at highway 20 and descending to Scotts Flat Reservoir. It is used by both hikers and mountain bikers, with nicely banked curves and lots of well maintained variation to keep the mountain bikers happy. The grades are not too steep as the entire descending portion of the trail is a series of switchbacks. Bicyclists may find it more enjoyable to take the trail on the way down and ride back up on Scotts Flat Road. At the reservoir there are boat rentals and a small bait shop with drinks (if it's open). There is also a small store at the campground, which has drinks and snacks.

hiking
26 days ago

as a hiker, this trail is fine. going mid-morning to early afternoon there were about a dozen bikers that passed us both ways. not too steep but a good burn on the way up. the nicest part was a small jaunt on the trail that borders the reservoir.

28 days ago

I do not recommend this trail for hikers. The trail was shaded and steep. There is not much plant diversity. It's not the worst trail I've been in. I do recommend this trail for biking. Biking is what this trail was made for.

great little trail that is well maintained. smooth very little rock. lots and lots of bicycles. everybody was courteous though.

1 month ago

first of all this trailhead was hard to find, the trail parking is right next to the market and the trail starts near the Harmony ridge lodge. I did this trail as a hiker, not a biker and it felt like more than 6 miles. I stopped and turned around after the trail hit Casci road and it seemed to keep going after that. Overall a beautiful trail in the Tahoe National Forest. i only saw a few bikers, no other hikers. It is a slow descend on the way in and an uphill climb on the way back, which was a challenge. I would recommend getting there early before all the bikers and check out the Honeyridge market, they have a great beer selection and a deli for after your hike/bike.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of bikers starting at around 1pm so I would advise getting started a few hours before then!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Overall great trail; lots of mountain bikers from 1:30 on

hiking
1 month ago

Loved the trail! Just be cautious of bikes, other than that, enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, lots of mtn bikes but usually enough clearing to let them pass. Mid April....will hike again

hiking
blowdown
off trail
snow
1 month ago

Nice trail but there was some snow that we had to go through which made the trail hard to follow for a while. Lots of downed trees some of which were not super easy to get around. As long as you’re ok with scrambling around and going off trail a bit you’ll enjoy the hike. We went at 10am, got back at 1:30 and didn’t see a single other person.

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of mountain bikers! But nice scenery.

hiking
6 months ago

This was the first time here. This was a great trail. A bit long for me both down hill and up. Trai was in good condition going down and the road back was a bit longer but smooth.

hiking
bugs
no shade
private property
scramble
8 months ago

homeless live very close to the trail.

mountain biking
9 months ago

This trail challenged me quite a bit as a new mtn biker, but I came out of it learning so much! Lots of lefts and rights with high banks, two water crossings ( very small but fun), little jumps and moguls to pump over and only a couple areas to have to switch gears to climb up ( good news for someone learning how to shift gears still). The last part of the trail before you get to the road has been covered with rocks to avoid wash-out conditions- deep rocks - pedal fast! Have fun!

hiking
10 months ago

Started around 10am on a Tuesday and only saw a few bikers and no other hikers the whole time. I found the trail to be easy/moderate; clearly-marked and smooth path (from all the bikers).

hiking
11 months ago

Pros: -lots of shade -good variety in trail to keep you engaged -can go further down to the water (recommended) -great views -nice store with organic kombucha and delicious sounding sandwiches next to parking lot -parking for trail (also used by mountain bikes) -can extend trail to go around water edge Cons: -lots of switchbacks -mountain bikers present, some parts are narrow -trail around lake has minimal shade Tips/Info: -took about 2 hours with going down to the lake for total of ~7 miles (5'11", 180 lbs, hike 6-10x a year) -bring hat if going by the water -trail starts across the street and towards the left when starting from the parking lot

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful shady trail. Listen for mountain bikers but nothing excessive that takes away from your hike. Took the trail all the way down to the beach which was 5.21 miles one way. Well worth it!

Thu May 30 2019

this trail would be so fun to bike, I went on foot tho and still enjoyed it veey much. be aware of bikers, you can hear them coming and should move out of the way and let them pass. I went down to the lake where i found a swimming dock and then went back up. so worth it

hiking
Mon May 06 2019

More for bikes than hiking, but. a great workout anyway.

mountain biking
Sun May 05 2019

My ass hurts!

hiking
bugs
muddy
Sat Mar 16 2019

Sun Dec 23 2018

nice trail to many mountain bikers to bave a nice hike more af a mountain bike tral

mountain biking
Wed Oct 17 2018

Beautiful single track. I am not an experienced mountain biker but enjoyed the ride. A few spots are very narrow with a steep hill facing down but I managed.

Sun Jul 08 2018

This trail actually goes much further than the All Trails map indicates. It crosses the road and meets up with a B.O.N.C. trail that goes along the South edge of the lake. We went only as far as the lake edge and turned back. 9.2 miles. while a trail best suited for bike, a nice walk. saw a total of 4 bikers and no hikers. Quiet for a beautiful Saturday.

hiking
Tue Jun 12 2018

Really nice trail but hard to find the entrance. You can’t see it from the main road and need to follow a side trail to get to the trail entrance sign. Also, really fast mountain bikers go zooming around turns and it’s hard to see them ahead of time. So this trail would be best for biking and not so much on foot.

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