Explore the most popular camping 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.

The ascent up Sand Ridge Trail can be difficult, but beautiful views from the top. Beautiful and not heavily trafficked.

Easy and gorgeous trail

Great 4 day hike. Late start camp at Island Lake, 5 Lakes via Sand Ridge, Glacier Lake, Round Lake, out. 5 adults, 2 kids. Meteors.

Great trail! Smokey from the fires but still pretty! We will be back to backpack in and stay a night. Easy trail too!

Echoing other reviews, the road in is a bit rough but the trail is great and moderately challenging in difficulty. We had great views that were hindered by the smoke from all the fires. I definitely concur with the earlier reviewer’s recommendation to return via the windswept Sand Ridge trail. It gives you great views all around.

backpacking
22 days ago

great spot. great lakes. great swim. great hike. great view. cows.

26 days ago

I don’t see how you can do better than this hike. You have multiple lakes, forests, stunning views, rocks of different colors and types, flowers, butterflies. And all in six miles with only moderate climbing. Highly recommended. The road to Carr Lake is challenging but our Ford Cmax made it - we just stopped a few hundred feet before the parking lot when the bumps got a bit more than we could handle.

Our second trip to Penner lake. The road is still pretty rough getting to the trail head but it's worth it! We had a great trip, although it seems like it's becoming more and more of a party spot. 1998's Eve 6 blasting through a stereo at 1AM seems to be kind of missing the point of the place.

July 29th, 2018 - Arrived early-afternoon and originally planned on aclimating a bit before heading out, but we were too excited so after taking the last parking spot at the trailhead we started out.

This was a gorgeous, well identified trail. The weather was perfect the wind was just strong enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay. That final climb into Penner lake as the sun was setting was TOUGH but not crazy. The trail had been deserted but the lake was almost full of campers. We had to camp set back a bit but it was perfect. It was very windy all night but not too cold.

We actually continued to the Lindsey Lake Trail the next day, I will post that review on that post but caution you that if you have to hike from Lindsey Lakes to the Carr/Feely trailhead - don't! It is 3+ miles uphill on seemingly abandoned forest service roads. It was AWFUL, although, I'd totally do again because the rest of the loop was lovely!

Hiked this trail on July 6, 2018. Stunning wildflowers, well maintained trail, and gorgeous views. Uphill for about 1/2 a mile just before Glacier Lake it gets rocky and a little bit technical, exposed and windy. Middle section is mostly level, soft pine needles and partial shade. Last bit of uphill is not hard, just tiring. Another hiker told us she likes to return in a loop via Sand Ridge but said the descent is steep and challenging and she wouldn’t want to take it the other direction.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. As a previous review suggested, we went down the Jones Bar and back up the Independence Trail. I would recommend this direction as well.

Awesome trip and the views are great.

This trail is not anywhere close to Nevada City. It is in Yuba Gap off of Hwy 20 and Bowman Lake Rd just off of I80. I just hiked this a few weeks ago. Beautiful place and lots of small lakes. Park at the Lindsey Lake Campground and hike back by following the gravel road past the steal guard gate. Lots of branched off trails from there and great scenery. Im up there every chance I get. Carr Lake and Feeley Lake are just a mile away plus Grouse Ridge and the old rangers lookout and campground there too. Tons of hiking in the local area. Lots of adventure along with a local waterfall that is 500ft or so high next to Fuller Lake which you drive by on the way there which is also part of the Spaulding Lake Trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Used this as the first and last leg of a loop down to Penner and Island lakes, up through the Grouse Ridge Trail. This trail has very doable ups and downs, lovely lake views, and beautiful wildflower meadows. Bring plenty of bug spray if you stay at Lower Rock Lake—buzz buzz.

backpacking
1 month ago

The road in to the trailhead is rough,rocky & long. The trail is just over 3 miles one way to Glacier Lake and well marked. It’s quite diverse and beautiful. Went with my children and they did great.

Couldn’t find the site. Directions took us to a dead end on an isolated road.

Beautiful hike and so many lakes! I would say this is a moderate hike and the trail is dog friendly, which is a plus. We did have some snow on the ground but not enough you needed snow shoes.

hiking
2 months ago

The road up there was rocky but I made it in a Corolla. I didn’t follow my gps (watch your gps because trails are not too easy to see) very well and ended up visiting Round Lake and Island Lake. Beautiful views and cool places to camp out. We did about 4 miles. I will have to go back and find Glacier Lake.

The snow was patchy and is almost gone.

camping
2 months ago

The hike was absolutely beautiful! My group and I hammock camped near the river and had a fantastic time! Be wary of the poison oak, which is bountiful.

Backpacked into Rock lakes from Lindsay lake. The trail is a fairly good 4x4 road to Lower Rock lake. Easy hiking with slow uphill grade. Lots of water and lakes. Beautiful scenery once on top. We went in Mid May and there was still a little snow around. Strong winds and one night we got lots of thunderstorms and hail. Lots of camping options in this area.

hiking
2 months ago

So...another person wrote about the trail not marked so well. So true...I felt Times we were always looking for the trail...but I think it’s because of the amount of snow still on trail. Plus my phone died and I forgot to track the whole trail. We marked it at 10 miles. My friend tracked it on her phone. All in all...beautiful trail with amazing views. Plus once we made it to Glacier Lake....Awwww just amazing! Will do this one again!

My favorite place!

hiking
3 months ago

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

backpacking
5 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?

This trail is such great and scenic. It is not strenuous or difficult. I have gone a few times now and those with whom I have trailed range in age from 13 to 45 and one was 5 months pregnant. We took our dogs, on leashes, and enjoyed a great walk. other visitors we passed were all friendly and leashed their dogs as well. The trail is clean and the bridges are well maintained. The one bridge down to the water (approx a 30 minite walk in) looks like it is in the process of being surveyed for repairs and we're looking forward to visiting once it is secured to go down to the water. There are 2 toilets at the beginning of the hike. parking is easy, provided people are courteous and park perpendicular to hwy 48 rather than paralell.
Take water and snacks and a camera!

backpacking
5 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.

Lovely hike with nice views! Almost all in the shade. Easier to take Jones Bar Trail down then come back on Independence Trail. Also, this is a pretty easy trail; I wouldn’t say it’s moderate.

Awesome trail!

Fantastic trail. Worth the little hike down to the River.

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