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Tamarack Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 4.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra City, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 4.5 km Elevation gain 241 m Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Lake Closed
Description
Waypoints (0)

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (24)
Photos (38)
Recordings (22)
Completed (70)
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Catherine Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Tamarack Lake was very beautiful. There are two of them and even though it was Labor Day Weekend, I only saw 5 cars drive up there (it's a 1 mile hike to the lake from the road). The views from the lake to the overlook were really great. Although the views were smoky and hazy, it was still really great to see some of the surrounding landscapes and be on the overlook.

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C Fong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
Hiking

Dog friendly (off leash) approach from Packer Lake to the PCT, and up to Sierra Butte fire tower. Park just before the “Narrow Steep Road” sign. 6.7 miles out & back. Busy at the top, from folks who drove up further. Mostly “easy” but a few stretches of gravelly switchbacks.

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Dana Galloway
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2019
Hiking

amazing trail. very little shade, and very rocky. trekking poles helped. beautiful views.

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Tamie Tattics
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

I don't think there is a trail in the area that disappoints. Rocky off road trail to the lakes and no shade, but really all worth it because the lakes are beautiful. Sierra buttes as a backdrop is gorgeous. Wild flowers were in full bloom which added even more to the area. Perfect for dogs and to cool off as well.

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Scott Feuer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2017
Hiking

Excellent hike from Packer Lake to Tamarack Lakes then up to the PCT and back. Leaving Packer Lake is a rocky off road jeep trail, but once to Tamarack Lakes single track trails are great.

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sandra de la
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 28, 2017
Hiking

I'm a 50 yrs old beginner hiker and consider this hike more moderate as it was on a rocky 4WD trail that was pretty much uphill. Definitely a nice reward to see Lake Tamarack. Wear good hiking shoes as it rocky.

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Amy John
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2017

The hike was on an a 4wd trail. Rocky and steep but well worth the views of the lakes.

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Andy John
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2017
Hiking

We followed the All Trails Tamarack Lakes trail from the parking lot near Packer Lake up past both lakes stopping a little short of reaching the PCT, then backtracking and spending a little time around the lakes before heading back down to the parking lot. Great hike and great views of the lakes and the Sierra Buttes. This starts on a 4wheel drive road and turns into a trail once you reach the 1st lake. It is pretty much uphill all the way with some fairly steep sections but it's not a very long hike and even shorter if you just go to the lakes. The trail is rocky so stiff soles make it a much pleasanter trip - not a great hike for tennis shoes. You can continue on all the way to Sierra Buttes on this route which makes it a much more strenuous hike. Note: This is NOT the Tamarack Lakes trail that starts near Sardine Lake! That trail has much more elevation gain and distance. This version is the lazy hikers way to see Tamarack Lakes and well worth the shorter clime.

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jamie Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2016
Hiking

Easy short hike, beautiful lakes reward you. We fished and caught a couple trout. Perfect for the beginner hiker!

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Matt Caamano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2013
Hiking

There are two trailheads for this hike. Trailhead A(2,436 ft elevation gain) begins near Packer Lake and Trailhead B (1,871 ft elevation gain) at Tamarack Lake. There is a nice gravel parking lot accessible from Forest Road 93; you'll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to Trailhead B. My wife and two dogs thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Tamarack Lake was a great break point for the dogs, and the hike up to the Buttes offered great views of four lakes - Young America, Upper & Lower Sardine, and a bit of Volcano Lakes. The ascent up to the Buttes was challenging at times(especially towards the top) but well worth it and we very much enjoyed the workout. The trail itself sees a fair amount of traffic. Expect to see a couple 4x4 vehicles as they make their way up from Trailhead A to Tamarack Lake; after that it's all hikers up to the Buttes on this trail. The panoramic view offered at the lookout on top of Sierra Buttes was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, my wife had to stay with the dogs because the stairs were too steep for one of them (Jasper is not very sure footed like Porter is). Use your own judgement. I would love to do this hike when snow is on the ground. This area of California is gorgeous!!

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Eric Heath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 2, 2011
Camping
First to Review

Although the view was adequate I must confess i was very disappointed with this hike. Too many people usually here as this area is used by many groups, boy scouts, girls scouts, etc. Also at our time of travel way too many logging trucks riding the Jake brake. We elected to hike along the southern exposed ridge trail at midday to stay at the lake closest to the lookout adding a few extra miles. Only to realize we could have driven within 1/4 - 1/2 mile of our camp. Great place to expose the kids to the outdoors in a fairly safe outdoor environment. The Sierra Butte lookout tower rock graffiti from the 1800's is some what interesting, and as to how they got materials up there and built it on that granite...fun stuff! Bit of a drive though in my opinion if you are looking for something more grand and alpine.

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Jeffrey T Ward
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking
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Robert Bavetta
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Hiking
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Martin Cunningham
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Hiking
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Roxy Wacyk
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Hiking
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David Wellmon
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Hiking
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Bobby Trail Legs
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Hiking
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Steven Shane
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Hiking
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Paul Oliphant
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Hiking
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Chris Husing
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Hiking
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Eric Mutell
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Hiking
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Maria Katita
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Hiking
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Christine Retherford
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Hiking
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Robert Paul
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Hiking
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