Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

I’ve never packed in from Grouse Ridge but I know the road to Grouse Ridge is much nicer than the road to Carr Lake where I normally start. The only downside to starting at Grouse Ridge is you end with a climb. Beyond where to start this area is amazing. You do have a lot of people at all the lake so if solitude is what you’re looking for I would go somewhere else.

If you don’t mind a lot of people at the Lake. Than this is a great place to camp. The switchbacks right before Penner Lake are rocky but I’ve seen some pretty young children at Penner and I’ve take my boys here as early as 7 years old. The water is clear and when you add that with the trees and rock you will keep wanting to come back.

walking
5 days ago

Beautiful! We went at 11am on a Wednesday and had no issues with parking or crowds. We hiked (kids & adults) about a mile down the trail until cutting over to the river for a swim. We were completely left alone and found the water, trails, climb to be quite manageable for the able body person. There were more people on the trail as we headed back, but nothing to complain about. The trail itself I would rate as easy, the scaling of rocks to get down to the water I would rate as moderate, but that all depends on where you choose to stop.

hiking
9 days ago

Got an early start - 8:30 AM - wave of visitors began around 10:30 AM. After that, far too many people on the trail and in the rapids. Swam in the river afterward, for 2 hours, downstream near the bridge. Many male exhibitionists upstream at Hoyt. Not sure what compels people to do that; wasn't the nature experience I was looking for. Still amazed at individuals who show up on these trails wearing footwear inadequate for the terrain. Darwin comes to mind.

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.

hiking
22 days ago

Great trail- fantastic views almost all through. It’s also brilliant in the number of lakes you see along the way. Try the smaller lakes if you want some solitude. Ah also, for the trailhead mentioned here your car needs some amount of clearance- it’s 5 miles of brutal stones for a regular car/tires. Maybe the Bowman trailhead someone else mentioned in the comments works better?

mountain biking
1 month ago

such a fun ride.. mostly shade and cool while everywhere else is 90°

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.

This trail actually goes much further than the All Trails map indicates. It crosses the road and meets up with a B.O.N.C. trail that goes along the South edge of the lake. We went only as far as the lake edge and turned back. 9.2 miles. while a trail best suited for bike, a nice walk. saw a total of 4 bikers and no hikers. Quiet for a beautiful Saturday.

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.

1 month ago

Loved that you can hear (and mostly see) the rushing water all along this trail! Definitely gets every muscle working. Lots of stairs, flora, and a couple of streams. Didn't realize the end beach was a nudists beach until I read the reviews (after the fact). There were some swimmers there, but didn't notice if they were in their birthday suits. Some families with kids were hiking this trail, so hopefully they didn't encounter any nudists. Will definitely do this hike again. Praise the Lord for such beautiful creation!

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!

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.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Really nice trail but hard to find the entrance. You can’t see it from the main road and need to follow a side trail to get to the trail entrance sign. Also, really fast mountain bikers go zooming around turns and it’s hard to see them ahead of time. So this trail would be best for biking and not so much on foot.

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

2 months ago

really nice trail

hiking
2 months 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.

trail running
2 months ago

There are a lot of switch backs but the trail is well shaded, maintained and is dog friendly. Not many views of the lake but still a nice run. Only a few mountain bikes, though I started about 9 am. YES there are a lot of switch backs.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

great easy trail. easy for wife with bad knees. fairly shady on this day will come back and walk again.

Great hike. It was actually 8.4 for us.

hiking
2 months 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.

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.

Just a beautiful peaceful hike that’s well maintained. This trail is a must. We saw a northern rubber boa on the trail also.

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!

This is a well maintained trail, just a few mountain bikers for traffic. Harmony Ridge Market has a full deli and espresso bar. We had 8 mi. Round trip. 4 miles moderate down and 4 back up and just a few muddy spots. Lots of wildflowers coming up.

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