Explore the most popular lake 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.

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!

Like others have said, the waterfall was beautiful (seemed to be a water release by PG&E). Nice energetic hike to beautiful spot by Lake Spaulding and i would definitely bring my swimsuit next time. Can't wait to go back. Oh, definitely follow the map as well. A little overgrown near the end and the map is definitely needed.

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.

Beautiful trail and pretty easy to follow. The trail leading down to the lake is a bit overgrown, so follow the map! It had a few good climbs to make you feel like you were getting some exercise in, but nothing too crazy.

Great hike! The waterfall was beautiful. If you go past first pg&e road block it takes you to the falls. Beautiful views and a great work out.

Awesome trail! It was super pretty and shaded most of the way. The trail was pretty easy to follow, but there were some points where I had to look at the map. Overall a great hike and highly recommend!

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
22 days 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
24 days 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.

Various terrain but nothing too challenging. At one point it actually looks like the trail is closed but there’s a marked detour. I just followed along with the map and it was pretty accurate. Loved the views and the different scenery

The trail wasn’t that bad to follow. It was a nice walk. The way back I got winded because it was more of constant uphill but a very nice hike

This trail is rated as easy and it's far from it. Steep hills up and down and very rocky. I had my 3 yr old and 9 yr old and the trail can be very narrow at times. The tunnel was very cool though. We were not able to make it around the entire loop as we lost the trail half way around. It's a gorgeous trail but should not be listed as Easy and isn't the easiest for children.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike was fairly easy. There were some hills that got me winded but nothing too strenuous. The trail itself was a little hard to navigate. There were a lot of forks leading different ways. I would highly recommend downloading the map before you go. It saved me a couple times! I went on a Thursday between 10-2 and I only saw two groups on the trail after me. The lake was beautiful and a perfect place to throw some sticks for my dog. (Lots of driftwood). I brought my fishing pole but didn’t catch anything. I wasn’t sure if there were fish in the lake. Overall a nice hike. ALTHOUGH I would probably avoid going on the weekends. The trails are narrow which could be frustrating if there is a lot of people/dogs.

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
1 month 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.

Moderate ups and downs. Well marked trail. Lots of pretty vistas with lakes. Our group decided to meet at Carr Lake off of Bowman Lake rd. Trail from there leads to Penner and other lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike to the lake past a huge waterfall (it had rained last week). The trail is a bit tricky to find but so worth it to stop by this gorgeous lake. And the elevation is lower so there wasn't any snow in late May.

A nice trail to some lovely campsites, though we did not camp ourselves. Would be too hot in summer- lots of hiking on exposed slabs.

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!

Fascinating history and an easy walk around the eroded bluffs.

Did this hike last weekend. BEAUTIFUL! Definitely needed the 4wheel drive because of the snow to get to the trail head. Left the snow shoes in the truck but could have used them at certain points. Camp ground bathroom at the second lake you come to. Can't wait to come back in the summer!

Great hike! This area is beautiful

hiking
6 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!

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

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