Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Pollock Pines with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Lyons Creek Trail

7 days ago

Very nice hike but definitely moderate not hard. In addition to the lakes the meadows and wild flowers through the first few miles are beautiful. Start early!

10 days ago

Great hike! Trail is now dry so no more slop (as of July 7). I think it's a very different hike when wet vs. dry - would rate this "moderate" vs "hard" during dry season, although the last half-mile up to Lyons is pretty steep.

Lots of wildflowers and super pretty right now!

Headed out from Twin Lakes headed to Lois Lake. Made it as far as Maud before we got too tired. We only had one night so we decided to stay at Maud. Not an easy trail, it's hard to see, rocky, and narrow at times. Bring a map and compass. Beautiful trail.

I would definitely rate this as hard, especially because the trail from Hemlock to Smith is marked as "primitive." I found it hard to catch the spot where you take a hard left up into the rocks. I wasn't sure if I was off trail, so I sat down until I saw someone else arrived who used their GPS to find the trail. After being at the top I came back down to find two hikers lost in the same spot that I was. Just keep an eye out for stacked rocks to the left to find that final steep ascent.

The parking lot at the trail head was open as of 7/7/18. The wildflowers were incredible! And the water running down beside the first part of the trail was serene. I dunked in at Smith Lake and felt so refreshed. Will be coming back soon to see it again.

Did the whole loop in 2 1/2 days with my 11y and 13y old sons. Rockbound pass was amazing. You go up this 10k year old trail. Easy path until you get to lake Schmidell. Past Schmidell towards McConnell Lake, Horseshoe lake to 4-Q lakes to camper Flat you better have really good map reading skills and compass or GPS because it's not marked. Walk slow look for rock stacks cuz I got lost many times, had to back track and look at the map and compass those 10miles but let me tell you the view is out of National Geographic magazine. 24.3 miles in 2 days with an 11y and 13y old.

Wildflowers are blooming everywhere right now. Don’t forget bug spray!

This trial has everything you could ask for! From stunning views, a vast array of flowers, swimming holes in the creek, great rock climbing spots and of course Lyons lake itself!!

I have been to most lakes in desolation and have a couple favorites this one being top 3!! The last mile or so was a bit tough but you get the awesome waterfall views and mountain backdrop that make it an easier ride! Have fun out there !!

Hiked late June 2018. Pretty easy up to Maude, but Rockbound pass was challenging, especially hiking up all the loose shale. Stayed at Maude the first night and Lake Zitella the second. The toughest pat was the descent (then ascent) between lake Schmidell and McConnell. It was completely covered in snow and the trail was absolutely nowhere to be seen. It was melting off and I found several postholes around the creeks. We were aiming for highland, but stopped short at Zitella. The water there was warmer than other lakes along the way and overall a fantastic place to camp.
Coming from east Tennessee, this was more difficult than anything I'd ever done in the Smokey's. We lost the trail several times and if not for my gps watch I think I might still be out there. Probably not that difficult for locals or those more experienced in that terrain. We ended up making it a true out and back and got out the third day. Took us about 10 hrs from Zitella to the parking lot. Fantastic hike, but difficult past Maude.

Its very pretty. Only didn’t do 5 because there are prettier lakes in deso. I didn’t see leaches although would have liked too :) some creek crossing- there seemed to always be trees to crossover but at one point I did take boots off and cross. It was fun, and didn’t see 1 would entire hike. Supposedly good for horses.

Beautiful hike! The wildflowers are in full bloom right now and there are some waterfalls along the trail as well. The last 0.2 mi was steep, but worth the trip to Smith Lake! Also, the road to the parking lot is still closed to the public so you have to park at the further lot and walk to the trail head.

There was a lot of snow for late may. But the climb was worth the view on top. I would recommend but definitely get hiking sticks.

1 month ago

Conditions as of 5/23/2018: super duper soupy. And are established trails always this poorly marked around here? Or maybe their just more obvious when they’re not flooded. No worries; hard to get truly lost in that area anyhow.

I got good and wet on my way to Sylvia, spent a day drying out and soaking in the beautiful landscape, then decided to summit Pyramid from the West, starting just north of (not next to) Sylvia. That was fun. But FYI the slop starts very early into Lyons from parking. If you’re thinking “maybe it’s just this area; it’ll get better” then you’re very sadly mistaken. The Lyons trail is essentially a babbling brook all the way through. Even the trails side-stepping the regular “trail” were much soggier today than they were on my way in 2 days ago. I was wearing old beat-up Saucony Peregrine trail shoes with microspikes for the summit. My feet were totally soaked and freezing from start to finish every day. lol - somehow, having that whole beautiful place to myself made up for it.

Summary: look elsewhere until things dry out a bit, or just come prepared for ankle-shin deep slogs all the way to the remaining snow pack.

2 months ago

Trail conditions: 5/13/18

Trail is wet and sloppy from melt off with patches of snow below 7,700 ft (full coverage above). There are also a few downed trees blocking the trail.

0-3 miles: Wet and sloppy, with some small patches of snow.
3-4 miles: Larger patches of snow. Easy to lose trail if not paying attention.
4.5 miles: Trail completely covered by snow.

Overall the trail to Sylvia is doable, but the last 2 miles are slow going. Also, make sure to wear waterproof boots!

4 months ago

Can feel like one long slog. Best as an overnight backpack. Have used the route to Sylvia several times over the past 20 years as a tuneup for long high altitude climb approaches. Dog poop can be problematic so watch your step.

great primitive hut to rent, reserve online at recreation.gov During the winter snowshoe or AT ski in for a night. Spectacular sunsets during clear skies. heat and a privy are provided, everything else including water you must bring.

BEAUTIFUL hike, but let me tell ya, when its covered in snow there are quite a few tricky spots, and we lost the trail a few times. also the lakes are completely snowed and frozen over right now. enough that when I thought I was solid i hit the edge of the creek coming out and managed to fall knee deep in ice water. Definitely beautiful, but maybe wait til snow melts.

8 months ago

Nice day hike not too far from Sacramento. Easy grade throughout the hike, until just before reaching Lyons Lake. The trail up to the lake is steep but short and the lake was spectacular. We had the trail to ourselves for the entire ten mile out and back in mid week in early October. This trail appears like it would be pretty soupy early in the season, so one probably more enjoyable for most later in the season.

Hiked to Grouse and Hemlock yesterday through a light coat of early season snow. The trail was a fun and solid workout, and the views up top were gorgeous.

This is a pretty vigorous hike to some wonderful lakes. Great if you are looking for a decent workout--not too easy, but not too hard. Smith lake is the final lake and is my personal favorite. It sits high in elevation just at the tree line with some excellent views of the valley below. Very much worth it!

E xxx cellent hike!

nice track! stay to the left of Lyons creek as you approach the saddle.

9 months ago

Lyons lake was super pretty!

9 months ago

Great hike along a river. In September all the snow has melted and there were still wildflowers and plenty of water in the creeks and river. Lyons Lake is beautiful and worth the climb up the rocky hillside.

This is one of my favorite trails. It's definitely an uphill workout in some spots and it pays off big. Climb up the rocks past Smith Lake for even more amazing views.

Ooh la la. All star views, diverse wildlife and fun trails. Immaculate.

Absolutely beautiful! Wildflowers are blooming and the streams are flowing. Went on a Tuesday morning- surprisingly quite a few people were out! Looked like a great place to backpack in if you're looking for something short.

11 months ago

Love this hike, but no longer have a hiking buddy. Anyone interested!? I am a beginner hiker willing to get back to it and get healthier!! Thanks

Great hike! Flowers in full bloom. Just a tiny bit of snow left.

11 months ago

Beautiful Hike!

11 months ago

Super dog friendly with plenty of water for them the whole way there. My destination was Mount Price but you soon see that the huge rocks and scrambling isn't ideal for them. Its cold in the morning. Like 38 degrees cold. I went as far into the valley from Lyons Lake and needed my sweatshirt again. This was at 12 pm. I started my hike around 8 am. So it did take my dog and I a while but it was worth it. If you want to fully enjoy this whole area give yourself 8 hours.

Load More