Spaulding Lake Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#12 of 107 trails in

Spaulding Lake Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nevada City, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
734 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The beginning of the trail follows an old washed out roadbed for a quarter mile before climbing a series of switchbacks. The trail is mostly under deep tree cover along rocky ground. There is a significant climb of approximately 700 feet to the edge of lake Spaulding. In the spring there are substantial wet areas and small streams to ford. About 3 miles in you will need to cross under a large pipeline (penstock). Follow the pipline up the hill approximately 150 feet before continuing on eastward to the lake overlook. Alternately, follow the pipe line south to a small foot bridge that takes you to the overlook near PG& E's small hydeo-electric power plant. Return by the same route.

hiking
5 hours ago

hiking
7 days ago

This trail is short but the destination is amazing! Careful on the rocks, I made friends with a rattle snake, it hissed, I screamed, we were both okay. Please note, shortly after turning on Bowman Lake Rd, which is a paved road btw, there is a portion covered/patched up with loose large gravel. Our low clearance sedan couldnt make it with passengers so my boys walked while the car went over. After that, the road is fine. Be sure to get there early or you'd have a hard time finding parking. We parked on the day use area of Fuller Lake ($7) and followed the trail map on All Trails from there. There are sections on the trail that are blocked off by PGE, just follow the detour signs and youd be fine. Worth checking out and I wouldnt mind going back.

16 days ago

Went o. this hike with my 4 year old German Shepherd. It was drizzeling and a little cold and because of that, we had the trail to ourselves! Beautiful little hike. Had on a 50 pound backpack because I am training for Lost Coast and got a really good workout.
If you go to the parking lot with the toilets on the way in overlooking the lake, you've gone just a tad too far to catch the trail. GO back until you see a road (gated when I was there) and park on the side of the road then walk down the road, past the gate and over a small bridge for vehicles and you are golden.
There was a pretty massive bunch of rocks and boulders across the trail and detours around it, then under a big water pipe with my big backpack I had to crawl...the rest was awesome! Wish I could figure out how to post pics.
On the way out I decided that I didn't want to crawl, so we picked our way over the rock slide and cut about 10 minutes off our time...but it wasn't easy with a big dog and a big pack.
Read some of the other reviews. This place is well worth a day hike!

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful hike! Too much snow higher up so this hike was perfect. Only passed one couple on the trail amazing for 11:00 am on a weekend and this encounter was near the car. App worked great especially since there were multiple trails. Download the map and gps it. No cell service.

25 days ago

25 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

we had a great time, really nice hike to perform during spring. we did it on a Monday and met only another group. All alone on Spaulding lake!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
8 months ago

My husband and I really enjoyed the hike. It took us though changing landscape from dense tall trees to open views of the lake. You hike by a waterfall, over bridges and under a large water pipe. We took our fishing poles and tried our luck at catching trout. We used spoons and small rainbow rapalas, but we didn't catch anything probably due to the late season. We only saw 3 people during our hike which was shocking that we had the area to ourselves. We walked up on a creative seating area built around a fire pit, made out of pieces of wood gathered from around the area. Very impressive. We will definitely return to explore more the area.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

It was OK. They had closed the floodgates between the last reviewer's hike and mine, so the water was a trickle. Also, there is a detour and several of the intersections/turn-offs were poorly marked. We missed two of them and only got back on track because we were running the AllTrails app. There were some great fern gullies and lots of big trees, but it was a little disappointing, too, that the lake was drained when we got to the overlook.

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

A friend of mine and I took our two 7 year old boys on this hike yesterday. It was a great hike and we did some fishing on Spaulding Lake where my son reeled in a 14" Brown trout. I'd definitely recommend this hike. Running creeks and the dam was wide open , so a ton of rushing water. Not a lot of shelter out of the sun on Lake Spaulding shoreline, so bring sunscreen and hats.

10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful waterfall rushing! Fairly easy hike. The detour made it a little harder to find the trail but we made it to Lake Spaulding! We enjoyed a refreshing swim in the lake with the dog and hiked back! GPS only said 3-ish miles but that could be due to the detour.

hiking
11 months ago

great hike. Beautiful meadows, waterfalls and lake. part of the trail is rocky and fairly steep, not difficult but is not a hike I would recommend for families (children).

hiking
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beautiful trail and lake. The trail is maintained very well by PG&E. You do have to go under a couple water pipes but other than that its so beautiful. One of the best trails I've hiked. Shaded most of the path, short trail, and not to bad on the ups and downs.