4S12 – Inyo NF

rockcreekroad

Rock Creek Road

Rock Creek Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

Inyo Forest Road #4S12
also known as Inyo Road 12, and also Rock Creek Rd.

Majestic mountain scenery. Popular paved route that leads from US 395 up to Rock Creek Lake, on the edge of granite wild lands; lake is situated above 9000′ elevation and the hiker trailheads are further up, beyond the lake at over 10,000 feet. Steep canyon, large canyon, rocky granite canyon, high elevation.

Super scenic drive, but open less than half the year, due to deep snow. Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Inyo National Forest

North of Bishop, CA
South of Mammoth, CA
SW of US Highway 395

hikes horse camp bike

backpacking
camping
fishing
hiking
horseback
trailheads
wilderness

A popular and favorite place for summer camping, fishing and hiking. Backpacking, horse trails, high elevation lakes, mountain passes, peaks, wilderness areas. RV campgrounds, tent camping, car camping. Mountain biking in vast canyon, near campgrounds and creek. No bikes in the Wilderness (up and above Rock Creek)

Autumn colors, aspen groves usually best in early October. Snow closure in winter months (Nov-May).

snowyautumn

elevation 7072′ @ Tom’s Place, CA (US Hwy 395)
elevation 9682′ @ Rock Creek Lake
elevation 10,272′ @ Trailhead Parking (end of road)

UP, UP, HIGHER & AROUND LAKE
One lane, paved route gets narrow, but keeps on climbing. Road #6S05 continues up – past Rock Creek Lake and ends at hiking trailheads, paved parking lot and a few picnic spots.

iris meadow

Iris Meadow Campground NFS

12 NFS Campgrounds in this region, starting with one at the highway, several along the way and the campgrounds at Rock Creek Lake.

No campfires are allowed in this canyon – outside of a developed campground. Not much in the way of primitive car camping options either, except for strapping on a backpack and heading into high elevation wilderness.

rockcreeklake

Rock Creek Lake

Rock Creek Campgrounds

Inyo National Forest
John Muir Wilderness

Trailheads along Rock Creek Road #4S12

  • Upper Hilton Lakes
  • Tamarack
  • Lakes Valley (Little Lakes)
  • JMT – John Muir Trail

Rock Creek NFS Hiking Trailheads (download PDF)

Eastern Sierra Maps:
Inyo National Forest Map USDA
John Muir Wilderness Maps
Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo
Mono Divide High Country Map

 

rock creek lake

Rock Creek Lake, first snowfall (Autumn)


looking for another place called ROCK CREEK in California? (we are working on that)

6N06 – Stanislaus NF

graded road

Forest Rd #6N06 – County Line Road, Fence Creek, Stanislaus National Forest

Central Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
N of Hwy 108; W of Sonora Pass

On the very edge of wilderness
Stanislaus NF
County Line Road
Fence Creek Campground (NFS)

Graded dirt road near Clarks Fork junction @ SR 108. Dirt road travels up into forest, hiking trails and meadows; South side of the volcanic Dardanelles @ Tuolumne Co. & Alpine Co. boundary

Carson Iceberg Map

County Line Trailhead
Wheats Meadow Trailhead
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Area
The Dardanelles (9524′ elev)

Clark Fork, Middle Stanislaus River

Topo Maps of this Region:

Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Map USDA
Carson, Emigrant, Mokelumne Map NatGeo
Sierra Nevada Topo Map

  • backpacker access
  • day hiking
  • horse camping
  • primitive camping
  • trailhead camping
  • winter road closure, annually
    Check with local rangers on road access and conditions.

    Rd# 6N06, climbs to mountain scenery at upper elevations, well of the main highway. Route is a 2-lane wide road at times, narrower and private towards the end of roads; several dirt roads, overgrown 2 tracks w/ many camp sites to choose from. Dispersed primitive camping requires a camp fire permit.

    6N06rd

    OHV off-roaders will only find dead ends on dirt route 6N06. NO motorized access in nearby wilderness. Wheelers should try south of Highway 108 @ Niagra Campgrounds; Niagra Off Road #5N01 for all the noise-makers, gear heads, dirt bikes, and toy boxes. Niagra Creek, Niagra OHV, Niagra 4×4.

    Closest towns:

    Dardanelle
    Pinecrest Lake
    Twain Harte

    volcano mdws

    All Lake Campgrounds

    davisatsunset

    California Lakes A-Z

    alphabetically listed; cross reference by lake or campground name. blue links lead to camp reservation services.

    All Reservable Lake Campgrounds inside California

    lake campgrounds

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    lakes mountains foothills camp  boating fishing hiking State Parks NFS

    ACORN CAMPGROUND
    New Hogan Lake, Valley Springs, Stockton CA

    ALMANOR CAMPGROUND
    Lake Almanor, Westwood, Chester, California

    ANTELOPE LAKE – Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    Anthony Chabot Park
    Lake Chabot Campground

    East Bay San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, CA

    ANTLERS CAMPGROUND
    Lake Shasta, Lakehead, O’Brien CA, Interstate 5

    ASPEN GROUP CAMP
    Jackson Meadow Reservoir, Tahoe NF, Truckee, California

    ASPEN GROVE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Eagle Lake, Lassen NF, Susanville, California

    ASPEN HOLLOW GROUP CAMP NFS
    Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Park, Hume Lake

    AUBURN SRA BOAT-IN CAMPING State Park
    Auburn State Recreation Area, Gold Country, Folsom Lake, American Arm, Auburn, CA

    lakes

    BAILEY COVE CAMPGROUND
    Lake Shasta, California

    BASS LAKE – Sierra National Forest, South of Yosemite NP NFS

    BEAR RIVER GROUP CAMP
    Lower Bear Reservoir, Eldorado National Forest

    BENBOW LAKE STATE RECREATION AREA State Park
    Mendocino Benbow Lake, NorCal Redwoods US 101

    BERGER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Packer Lake @ Lakes Basin Recreation Area, Yuba River, North Gold Country California; Sierra City, Downieville CA

    BIG COVE CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Feather River, Plumas NF, Portola CA

    BIG SILVER GROUP CAMP
    Union Valley Reservoir, US Hwy 50, Placerville, Gold Country

    BLACK BUTTE LAKE – Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    • BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND

    BLACK OAK CAMPGROUND (closed due to fire 2016)
    Stumpy Meadows Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    BOCA RESERVOIR – Tahoe NF, Truckee, California NFS

    BOULDER GULCH CAMPGROUND NFS
    Kern Canyon, Lake Isabella, California

    BRANNAN ISLAND STATE RECREATION AREA State Park
    Sacramento River @ California Delta, Lodi CA

    BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND
    Black Butte Lake, Sacramento Valley, Orland, CA

    Indian Rock Beach, Bucks Lake California

    BUCKS LAKE – North Sierra, Plumas National Forest

    BURNEY FALLS STATE PARK CAMPGROUND State Park
    Lake Britton SRA, Burney, California

    BU-SHAY CAMPGROUND
    Lake Mendocino, California

    coolsprings

    BUTT VALLEY Reservoir – PG&E Campgrounds
    West of Lake Almanor

    BUTTE LAKE – Lassen Volcanic National Park NPS

    lakes

    Castaic Lake RV Park
    North Los Angeles County, Castiac, CA Interstate 5

    CHEKAKA CAMPGROUND
    Lake Mendocino, Wine Country California, US Hwy 101

    CHILCOOT CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Plumas National Forest, Feather River, Portola CA

    Chowchilla Recreation Area
    Eastman Lake, Central Valley, Fresno CA

    CHRISTIE CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake, south shore; Plumas NF, Susanville, California

    CLEAR LAKE SP – Wine Country, California State Park

    CODORNIZ RECREATION AREA
    Eastman Lake, San Joaquin Valley, Central Valley

    COLLEGE CAMPGROUND
    Huntington Lake, Western Sierra Nevada

    CONVICT LAKE CAMPGROUND
    Eastern Sierra, US Hwy 395, Mammoth Lakes

    COTTONWOOD CAMPGROUND
    Frenchman Lake, Feather River

    CRYSTAL LAKE (no longer taking reservations)
    Angeles National Forest, Azusa, CA

    lakes

    D.L. BLISS SP State Park
    DL BLISS CAMPGROUND
    DL Bliss State Park, Lake Tahoe, California

    DIMOND O CAMPGROUND
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, Eastern Sierra

    DINKEY CREEK
    Dinkey Creek CA; Sierra NF, south of Shaver Lake CA

    lakes

    EAGLE LAKE – Plumas National Forest, Susanville, California

    EASTMAN LAKE – California Central Valley, Fresno CA

    CAMP EDISON @ SHAVER
    EDISON CAMPGROUND
    California Edison Campground
    @ Shaver Lake, CA, Western Sierra

    ELLERY CREEK
    McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake, California

    EMERALD BAY SP State Park
    South Lake Tahoe California

    lakes

    FALLEN LEAF CAMPGROUND 
    South Lake Tahoe California

    FASHODA CAMPGROUND NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, ElDorado NF

    FAUCHERIE GROUP CAMP NFS
    Faucherie Lake, Donner Pass Area, Tahoe NF,  Truckee, California

    FAWN CAMPGROUND
    Trinity Highway 3, Trinity Lake CA

    FIR COVE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Ruth Lake, Mad River CA Hwy 36, Six River NF

    FISH LAKE CAMPGROUND
    Hwy 96, Six River National Forest, Orleans CA

    FOLSOM LAKE SRA State Park
    Folsom State Recreation Area, Sacramento CA

    FORKS CAMPGROUND
    Bass Lake, Sierra NF, South Yosemite

    FREMONT CAMPGROUND
    Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara Camping

    FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – American River

    FRENCHMAN LAKE – Plumas NF, Feather River, Portola CA

    lakes

    GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA
    GLORY HOLE CAMPGROUND

    New Melones Reservoir
    Angels Camp, California Gold Country

    GREEN VALLEY CAMPGROUND NFS
    Green Valley Lake, Big Bear Lake Area, San Bernardino NF

    GRIZZLY CAMPGROUND
    Lake Davis, Plumas National Forest, Portola CA

    lakes

    HAYWARD FLAT
    Trinity Lake, NorCal Highway 3, Weaverville CA

    HORSE CREEK
    Lake Kaweah, South Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers CA

    HUME LAKE – Kings Canyon & Sequoia NP, Hume Lake

    HUNGRY GULCH NFS
    Lake Isabella, Kern River, Kernville CA

    HUNTINGTON LAKE – Western Sierra Nevada NFS

    HUTCHINS CAMPGROUND
    Bucks Lake, CA, Plumas National Forest

    Bucks Lake Campgrounds

    lakes

    ICE HOUSE CAMPGROUND
    Ice House Reservoir, US Hwy 50, El Dorado NF

    ISLAND PARK
    Pine Flat Reservoir, Kings River, Sierra NF

    JACKSON FLAT GROUP CAMP
    Jackson Lake, Angeles NF, Wrightwood CA

    JACKSON MEADOWS Reservoir – Tahoe National Forest, Truckee, CA

    JUANITA LAKE GROUP CAMP
    near Butte Valley Wildlife Area, Klamath NF, Weed CA

    JUNE LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, June Lake, CA Eastern Sierra

    JUNIPER LAKE – Lassen Volcanic NP NPS

    Lassen Lakes

    KASPIAN CAMPGROUND
    hiking trail to Barker Peak @ Lake Tahoe CA

    lakes

    LAKE ALMANOR – Northern Sierra Nevada

    LAKE BERRYESSA – Wine Country California

    LAKE BRITTON –  Burney Falls Park State Park

    LAKE CACHUMA – Santa Barbara Mountains

    LAKE DAVIS – Plumas National Forest

    LAKE EDISON – Sierra National Forest

    LAKE ISABELLA – Kern River, South Sierra NFS

    LAKE MENDOCINO – Wine Country California, US Hwy 101

    LAKE OROVILLE SRA State Park
    Oroville Lake State Recreation Area
    Loafer Creek, Equestrian Camp, Feather River Oroville CA

    LAKE PERRIS SRA State Park
    Inland Empire, Southern California

    LAKE PILLSBURY, Trout Creek Campground (currently closed)

    LAKE SONOMA – Wine Country California, Geyserville

    LAKE SPAULDING, PG&E Campground, Interstate 80

    tahoe emerald bay

    The Gem of the Sierra Nevada – Lake Tahoe

    LAKE TAHOE – Sierra Nevada Mountains State Park NFS

    LAKES BASIN CAMPGROUND NFS
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area, North Gold Country

    LAKESHORE EAST
    Shasta Lake, Northern California

    LAKESIDE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Prosser Reservoir, OHV Camping, Truckee, California

    LEWIS CAMPGROUND
    French Meadows Reservoir, American River, W of Lake Tahoe

    LIBERTY GLEN CAMPGROUND
    Lake Sonoma, Wine Country California

    Lake Davis Trails

    Lake Davis Trails – hike, bike, horseback

    LIGHTNING TREE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Lake Davis, Plumas National Forest, Susanville, California

    LOGGER CAMPGROUND
    Hume Lake, Sequoia Kings National Parks

    LONE ROCK NFS
    Antelope Lake, Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    LONG POINT NFS
    Antelope Lake, Plumas NF, Indian Valley, Greenville, CA

    LOON LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    ElDorado NF High Country, Georgetown, CA

    LOON LAKE CHALET NFS
    ElDorado NF High Country, Georgetown, CA

    LOS ALAMOS CAMPGROUND
    Pyramid Lake, North Los Angeles, Interstate 5

    LOWER TWIN LAKES NFS
    Twin Lakes CA, BRIDGEPORT, Eastern Sierra

    LUPINE
    Bass Lake, Sierra NF, South Yosemite

    lakes

    MAMMOTH POOL – Sierra NF, South of Yosemite NP

    MANZANITA LAKE – Lassen Volcanic NP NPS

    MARY SMITH CAMPGROUND
    Lewsiton Lake, Trinity River, Lewiston CA

    MEEKS BAY
    Lake Tahoe California, west shore

    LAKE MENDOCINO
    Lake Campground Mendocino, Ukiah CA, US Hwy 101

    MERRILL CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake, Susanville CA

    MESA CAMPGROUND
    Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Cajon Pass L.A.

    MILLERTON LAKE SRA State Park
    Millerton Lake Campground, Fresno CA

    MODESTO RESERVOIR REGIONAL PARK
    Western Sierra Foothills, Modesto, Merced, Central Valley

    lakes

    NELSON POINT
    Shasta Lake, Northern California

    NEVADA BEACH CAMPGROUND
    Lake Tahoe, south shore @ Nevada state line, US Hwy 50

    NEW HOGAN LAKE – Valley Springs, Gold Country

    NEW MELONES Reservoir – Angels Camp, Gold Country

    NORTH FORK CAMPGROUND
    Bass Lake, Sierra National Forest, Yosemite South

    NORTH SHORE
    Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino National Forest

    lakes

    OAK KNOLL CAMPGROUND
    New Hogan Reservoir, San Andreas, Gold Country

    OAK SHORES
    Lake Berryessa, RV Camping in Wine Country

    OH RIDGE
    June Lake, California, Eastern Sierra

    June Lake Loop, Eastern Sierra

    June Lake Loop, Eastern Sierra

    lakes

    PAHA CAMPGROUND
    Twin Lakes, Bridgeport CA, Eastern Sierra

    PARADISE COVE
    Lake Isabella, Kern River California

    PINECREST LAKE
    Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, Stanislaus National Forest

    PINE FLAT Reservoir – Kings River, Sierra NF

    PINE POINT
    Shasta Lake, Shasta National Forest

    PINES GROUP SITE
    Stony Gorge Reservoir, Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    PIONEER POINT
    Lake Isabella, Kern River, South Sierra

    PROSSER Reservoir – Truckee OHV Camping

    PYRAMID LAKE – North Los Angeles, Interstate 5
    (no campground on lakeshore)

    RUTH LAKE –  Mad River, Six River NF NFS

    lakes

    SAGE HILL
    Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara Mountains

    SALTON SEA SRA State Park
    Salton Sea State Recreation Area, Imperial Valley Desert

    SAN LUIS RESERVOIR SRA State Park
    Central California, Interstate 5 @ Hwy 152

    SARDINE LAKE
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area, North Gold Country

    SHASTA LAKE – Northern California NFS

    SILVER LAKE CAMPGROUND NFS
    June Lake Loop, Hwy 158, Eastern Sierra

    SILVER LAKE EAST
    El Dorado National Forest, Markleeville CA

    SILVERWOOD LAKE SRA State Park
    Cajon Pass, San Bernardino NF, Southern California

    SOUTH SHORE CAMPGROUND
    Lower Bear Reservoir, El Dorado National Forest

    STONY GORGE Reservoir – Sacramento Valley, NorCal

    SUGAR PINE POINT SP State Park
    Lake Tahoe California, west shore

    SUGARLOAF RIDGE SP State Park
    Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Santa Rosa, Wine Country

    SUMMIT LAKE – Lassen Volcanic National Park NPS

    SUNSET CAMPGROUND NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, El Dorado NF, US Hwy 50

    SWEETWATER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Mammoth Pool Reservoir, Sierra NF, North Fork CA

    Mammoth Pool Reservoir

    lakes

    TAHOE SRA Campground State Park
    Tahoe State Recreation Area, Lake Tahoe California

    Tahoe Valley Campground
    large private campground, South Lake Tahoe, CA

    TANNERY GULCH NFS
    Trinity Lake, Shasta Trinity NF

    TRIMMER CAMPGROUND NFS
    Pine Flat Reservoir, Kings River, Sierra National Forest

    Trinity KOA Kampground
    Trinity Lake, Hwy 3, Northern California

    TRINITY LAKE – Shasta Trinity NF, Weaverville CA NFS

    TROUT CREEK CAMPGROUND (currently closed)
    Lake Pillsbury, Mendocino National Forest

    TRUMBULL LAKE
    Virginia Lakes, US Hwy 395, Eastern Sierra

    TURLOCK LAKE SRA State Park
    Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, Central Valley

    TUTTLETOWN RECREATION AREA
    New Melones Reservoir, Angels Camp, Gold Country

    TWIN LAKES – Eastern Sierra, Bridgeport CA NFS

    Twin Lakes, Eastern Sierra

    Twin Lakes, Eastern Sierra

    lakes

    Union Valley Reservoir – El Dorado National Forest NFS

    UPPER STONY CREEK NFS
    Hume Lake, Sequoia NF, Sequoia Kings Canyon NP

    VERMILLION NFS
    Lake Edison @ John Muir Wilderness,
    Sierra National Forest, beyond Huntington Lake CA

    lakes

    WARM SPRINGS PICNIC & RECREATION AREA
    Lake Sonoma, Wine Country, Geyserville CA

    WENCH CREEK NFS
    Union Valley Reservoir, Desolation Wilderness;
    ElDorado NF. Placerville, Gold Country

    WEST EAGLE CAMPGROUND
    Eagle Lake Recreation Area, Susanville CA

    Oak Bottom Campground

    Oak Bottom Campground, Whiskeytown

    Whiskeytown NRA
    Whiskey Creek Group Area, Oak Bottom Campground
    Whiskeytown Lake, Redding, Old Shasta

    WHITEHORSE CAMPGROUND NFS
    Bucks Lake, Plumas National Forest

    Wilderness Lakes RV Resort
    Inland Empire, Temecula, Menifee, Southern California

    WILLIAM KENT CAMPGROUND
    Lake Tahoe CA, west shore @ Tahoe City CA

    WISHON @ BASS LAKE NFS
    Bass Lake Campground, Sierra National Forest, South Yosemite

    WOLF CREEK
    Union Valley Reservoir, Eldorado NF, Placerville CA

    WOODCAMP NFS
    Jackson Meadow Reservoir, Tahoe NF, Truckee, California

    WOODWARD RESERVOIR REGIONAL PARK
    Stanislaus County Park, Modesto, Stockton

    WRIGHTS LAKE NFS
    near Ice House Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    WRIGHTS LAKE EQUESTRIAN CAMP
    near Ice House Reservoir, Eldorado NF

    WYANDOTTE CAMPGROUND
    LGVR, Little Grass Valley Reservoir, La Porte Road

    Little Grass Valley Reservoir

    Tioga

    Tioga Lake Tent Camping, E Yosemite

    lake campgrounds

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Dinkey Creek

    Dinkey Creek, California

    dinky what?

    Dinkey Creek California
    Dinkey Creek really ain’t all that small is it?

    Dinkey Creek elevation 5700′

    Dinkey is a major feeder creek originating with high altitude lakes in the Wilderness above, flowing down to the Kings River. Dinkey Creek has a seasonal large campground and a general store that is open during the summer months. Campground Reservation are common since this is a well-known destination of the Western Sierra.

    in the mountains above Fresno

    Located deep in the Sierra National Forest, 15 miles south of Hwy 168 @ Shaver Lake, via a very long, winding, paved road. Not suitable for large motorhomes.

    Dinkey Creek Road becomes McKinley Grove Road @ intersection of historic, wooden Dinkey Creek Bridge. McKinley Grove Rd  leads further south, past Sequoia trees, numerous other NFS campgrounds and on to the 2 big reservoir lakes. The Dinkey Road is usually only open during warmer months (MAY-OCT), snow permitting.

    Dinkey Creek Store

    A very popular place for summer vacations, fishing, hiking and picnicking. The day use area near the historic wooden bridge has numerous dirt parking lots, trails, picnic tables and pit toilets. Excellent place for exploring on foot with the family, or creek fishing from the boulders.

    mountains backroad horseback trails picnic fishing mountain bike camps hikesnight skiesNFS

    wooden bridge

    Historic Dinkey Creek Bridge

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Dinkey Creek Campground RV campingcamp

    • Elevation: 5,700′
    • Number of Sites: 128
    • Water: piped
    • Toilets: flush
    • Amenities: showers, horse corrals
    • Vehicle Accessibility: 30′ max RV
    • Campsites Reservation: Yes
    • Length of Stay: 14 Days
    • Season: May – September
    • Trailheads: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

    Mckinley Grove intersection

    hikesDinkey Lakes Wilderness 

    Dinkey Lakes Wildernesstopo mapsDinkey Lake Trail Map

     

     

    Back roads are abundant around Dinkey, leading higher up to large, granite reservoirs (with more camping options) and numerous forest dirt roads zig-zag across the mountain terrain wherever possible.

    Dusy Ershim Trail is a famous Sierra 4×4 route that connects Courtright Lake to the Kaiser Pass. Granite everywhere, slow-go rock crawling, skirting in between two Wilderness Areas.

    Sierra Forest Road #11S12, is a dirt road that leads downhill, past the North Fork of Kings River, from high elevations near Dinkey to the Black Rock Reservoir and meeting up with Kings River near Pine Flat. An excellent loop trip for those wanting to experience dispersed camping on the back roads, but a high-clearance vehicle is required. This road is gated and closed for winter, so call ahead to the rangers, to see if it is open before you make the journey.

    Wilderness Wishon California

    This whole Western Sierra is home to major hydroelectric dams that create a water supply for farms and cities located in the Central Valley below.

    nearby lakes –

    Gold Lake California

    lilgoldlake

    Hike-in only Gold Lake, Bucks Lake Wilderness.

    California has more than one Gold Lake!

    goldsign

    Gold Lake, CA

    (Sierra Co)
    6409′ elev.

    The biggest Gold Lake, California is the well-known one, along the Gold Lake Highway in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Plumas meets Tahoe National Forest. North of Gold Country Hwy 49, Downieville & the Yuba River. Right where the Sierra Nevada granite meets the volcanic lava rock of NorCal.

    Packer Lake

    Lakes Wilderness Map

    Impressive jagged spires known as The Sierra Buttes (8591′) tower above the stunning lake scenery. This big Gold Lake is surrounded by a dozen smaller alpine lakes which make up the popular region called Lakes Basin. Easy access paved highway, which closes in winter for deep snow and winter recreation. The Gold Lake Highway is also referred to as Plumas County Road #S620

    sierra buttes

    the sierra buttes

    Sardine Peak Fire Lookout lodgeranger rentals
    NFS fire tower – overnight rental overlooking the Sierra Buttes and the serene Lakes Basin, Yuba River, Northern Gold Country CaliforniaUSFS

    LAKES BASIN RECREATION AREA:
    Cabins, camping, lake fishing, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-roading, snow-mobiling.

    lakesbasinhikers

    California Lakes

    mini gold lake

     

    Mini Gold Lake

    (Plumas Co)
    6000′ elev.

    Another smaller Gold Lake exist on the granite slopes in Bucks Lake Wilderness – E of Oroville & W of Quincy, CA.

    gold lake trailheadThis hidden gem is a hike-in only lake – and well worth the effort. A somewhat short hike, great ridge line views to the east, although the last half mile of this route is a doozie (moderately strenuous).

    The main trailhead departs from Silver Lake and climbs a ridge line that heads over to the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). An off-shoot trail goes another mile to the miniature Gold Lake, a granite bowl of sheer beauty. A great day hike for those wishing to see the backcountry. Pack your picnic lunch, camera, and make a whole darn day of it!

    Swimming & skinning dipping seem quite natural at this alpine lake, since it is a pretty remote location (without a lot of visitors) and there is absolutely no swimming allowed at neighboring Silver Lake.

    bucks trailhead

    The steep, overgrown, rocky shoreline leads one to bush whack through old trails, only to be met by a rock slide. Many dead ends and obstacles to climb around, or over. Some way… maybe, or maybe not!

    Boulder and rock scrambling is the key phrase to remember, once you reach this lake. Knees may be sore from climbing, up and over the boulder ledge surrounding the lake bowl.

    goldshore

    Bucks Lake Wilderness Map

    A few primitive camp sites are scattered about on the edge of the lake for those backpacking in, but be warned – they can be very difficult to reach. Much more suitable campsites can be found scattered throughout the area.

    Warning: there are no flat, lush meadows to lounge in up at the lake, so pick yourself a side route (on the walk in) to find real seclusion and privacy.

    view to Quincy

    This mile-long-ridge hiking trail to mini Gold Lake has some amazing views down to the east side – Jacks Meadow right below; then Meadow Valley & Quincy off in the distant hills. Plumas County from above.

    jacks meadow

    jacks meadow, way below

    Sierra Nevada Lakes

    High Sierra, California

    hike-in only lakes

    hike

    Golden Bear Lake
    (Tulare Co)
    12,000′ elev

    High Sierra – Kings Canyon National Park
    Center Basin / Center Peak 12,760′
    PCT – Pacific Crest Trail
    North of Mount Whitney
    Eastern Sierra, Independence, CA

    hike

    Golden Trout Lake
    (Inyo Co)
    11,500′ elev

    Trail #3306 from Onion Valley Campground
    North of Mount Whitney
    Eastern Sierra, Independence, CA

    goldentroutlakecanyon

    onion valley trail views