Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Nevada City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My favorite place!

hiking
1 month ago

Be sure to check yourself and pets, lots of ticks.

backpacking
2 months ago

I would like to backpack this trail. I am looking for some pointers as far as where the trailhead is for this 20 mile trail and where we would be allowed to camp? Can anyone help me out?

backpacking
3 months ago

Went 12miles of the trail and saw 3 people. Great hike, well maintained and found a good camping spot. Parked in the BLM South Yuba Trail Parking lot for easy access. Camped near the humbug trail intersection. A bit cold in February for sleeping but great hike and easy access to river in a few places.

Great hike! This area is beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike. Some of the trail could be marked a little clearer. This one had enjoyable views and the dog enjoyed the water. The drive up to the trailhead is steep so drive slow!

It was sickkkkkkkk bring a rain jacket though if done in winter

A good amount of snow today, but snowshoes weren’t needed. This would be a great summer time trail.

on South Yuba Trail

6 months ago

Certain areas of the trail have rocks so need to be careful, but its a beautiful trail with awesome views.

backpacking
8 months ago

Great and moderate 2 nighter. We started at Carr Lake and spent the first night at Downey Lake (about 4 mi). The second night at Glacier Lake (another 4 mi). Third day back to carr lake via sand ridge trail (6 mi).

Hiked this trail from the Grouse Ridge Campground trail head. Trail to Glacier Lake was easy to follow, trail to Five Lakes Basin was not. That's ok. We found the lake, and had it to ourselves. There are at least three developed campsites at Five Lakes. At this time of year the water is warm, and we enjoyed swimming. The dog enjoyed the trail.

Great hike! We just went out for the afternoon but saw a lot of people camping! Views of Island Lake are gorgeous!

Crowded. Otherwise perfect.

Awesome meandering hike along beautiful isolated Aline lakes. No elevation changes to worry about.

backpacking
9 months ago

Easy trail to navigate with signage provided by an apparent Eagle Scout project a few years ago. Backpacked this on 7/22 and it had a little patchy snow. Nothing to cause issue. Several area to camp a short distance from lake. High exposure during higher elevation portions but as you hike down into the valley, you hike thru a large forested area. No major water crossings to be worried about. Overall, a great hike and gives you the option of hiking past to the Five Lakes area.

hiking
9 months ago

Hard to go back up, pretty rocky, moderate hike. Camping at the bottom, amazing clear water, river trout, bring snorkeling gear. Try and catch the fish by hand(noodling) those bastards are crafty. Floated down the river, where water shoes of some kind. Great spot, help keep our nature spots clean.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome.

backpacking
10 months ago

How are the trail conditions now? Looking to head up next Sunday and I'm wondering if Granite Lake is accessible.

Great loop with really cool views. Lots of fun lakes to swim in and have fun around. Only downside is it's very trafficked. If you don't mind camping near others then you wouldn't be bothered. Only reason it didn't get a 5 was the amount of people. Good trail overall.

We had a great time on this trail! It was still snowy when we were there, so good GPS through AllTrails was key. It's also dog-friendly - a huge plus for us. The one drawback of this trail is that it seems to be very well-trafficked, so it may not be as secluded as some other less beautiful trails. However, I understand why so many people want to visit - its got gorgeous lakes and streams and beautiful wildflowers.

backpacking
10 months ago

Craig, plan to head out to Glacier Sunday, would you let us know conditions - specifically whether the trail is passable without snow gear, what percent of lake is iced over , and if there is any bare ground to pitch a tent. Thanks and happy hiking!

Nice walk not super strenuous. Late start on a Monday. We arrived at the lot around 1100. People were leaving as we were walking in. People were arriving when we left around 1400. Hiked, swam, and ran. We had a good time so did the dog!

backpacking
10 months ago

I am taking my kids here on Wednesday, looking for an update on Trail and Lake conditions, backpacking into Glacier Lake or 5 Lakes Basin. Will we use the Sand Ridge Trail.

Thanks for the updates!
Craig

I am taking my kids here on Wednesday, looking for an update on Trail and Lake conditions, backpacking into Glacier Lake or 5 Lakes Basin. Will we use the Sand Ridge Trail.

Thanks for the updates!
Craig

It's a rocky road driving up but well worth it. Gorgeous lakes galore!

Been coming here for 2-3 decades and I never tire of its beauty.

on Glacier Lakes Trail

hiking
10 months ago

We ended up spending our day around Downey Lake, because we heard from others along the trail that the Glacier Lake trail was still impassable due to snow. (1st week of July!) Downey Lake was really beautiful!! Lots of snow coverage still, which made finding and sticking to the trail challenging, but we had a great time crawling over the rocks. IMPORTANT NOTE: The road into this area (Rt 14) is a one lane dirt road, and a pretty rough ride. We opted to take a Ford Explorer over a Mazda 3 for this trip, and I am super glad we did--the higher clearance vehicle made a huge difference. We were not able to get all the way to the campsite by vehicle--too much debris and large packs of snow in the road--we parked along the road edge, as others had, and hiked in--about .2-.3 mi to the campsite and trailhead.

The scenery on this hike is epic, right now is an excellent time to go! The trail is clear all the way to Penner Lake (July 3rd), and there are still big patches of snow in a lot of spots off the trail that make for some awesome pictures. I went around to the far side of Penner and back, and GPS logged the total distance at 7.2 miles. Also lots of nice dispersed camping options along the way.

The road goes from paved to dirt and rocky once you turn onto Forest Route 17. Although there were many lower clearance cars parked up there too I was glad I had my high clearance Tacoma, especially at the very top just before the parking area at Carr Lake.

I absolutely loved this loop. Definitely use the app throughout as there is still snow patches and felled trees that cause you to loose the trail but eventually I found it. Passed about 8 gorgeous lakes! Favorites were Island, Penner and Milk. I will definitely do some disperse camping up here next time but was lucky enough to snag a site at Carr Lake. Highly recommend and not too difficult of a "long" hike. Not too much elevation gain.

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