One of the main attractions of this area is the hiking. There are great destinations, wonderful views, historical goodies and lots of flora and fauna. Although there are too many to list Lindy and I have a few favorites thought we would share with you. The picture above is on top of a local mountain and these friends of mine actually carry a bottle of Patron to toast a new summit. Sounds okay to me! If you would like info on trails in the region, click on www.trails.com and put in Sierra City, CA or 96125 for the zip and follow the instructions.
*Deer Lake Trail: this trail starts off Packer Lake Road. Go up Packer Lake Road and turn in to the Pack Saddle Camp Ground. There is parking there. Walk directly across the street to the north and you will see the trailhead. It travels up hill, mildly about 2.5 miles to the east side of Deer Lake. This is one of Lindy's favorites. It crosses some nice creeks and has great views. Moderate hike. If you are long legged, continue down to Upper Salmon and have someone pick you up.
* Loves Falls- this trail can be found off Highway 49, and is part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The best way is head up 49 out of Sierra City a couple of miles. You will come to the brown Pacific Crest Trail sign. Continue another 150 yards and pull over into the wide spot on the south side of the road. There is a cable between two big cedar trees. Go under the cable, turn left on to the PCT and start walking down the trail to the bridge. It is a spectacular view off the bridge as the river cascades under your feet. The trail continues as far as you want, heck clear to Mexico. Only 1/4 mile to the bridge from the car. Easy trail.
* Round Lake Trail- take the Lakes Basin Road towards Graeagle until you see the Round Lake Trail marker, and also the Gold Lake Lodge sign. Turn in and park at the forest service parking lot, you will see the signs and restroom. Take the trail and follow the signs to Round Lake and all the others. If you take the loop it will pass no less than 5 lakes, all with fish and good to swim or soak your feet. There are numerous trails so get a map in our office of the area, only 2 dollars. The trail is moderate and you should wear good shoes and take water. It is about 3.5 miles.
* Sierra Buttes Lookout- this trail goes up to the lookout, used to spot fires in the summer although not staffed now. Drive to Packer Saddle and proceed to the trailhead about 1/4 mile after the pavement ends. It is well marked and is about 2.5 miles to the stairs up to the lookout. It is all uphill fairly difficult but no big deal if you hike. Take water and a camera, the views are awesome.
* North Yuba Trail- this trail runs from Goodyears Bar to the Rocky Rest Campground along the Yuba River. You can start at either end, the trail is 7.2 miles long. The trail parallels the river in most areas, the best place to start is from Rocky Rest. Drive down 49 about 7 miles below Goodyears Bar, park in the day use area of Rocky Rest, take the foot bridge across the river and turn up river. Our little trick is we take two cars and leave one at each end and walk all the way through. Great trail. Fairly easy but long.
* Wild Plum Loop- take Wild Plum Road to the bridge before the camp ground. Before you cross the bridge, park and follow the trail along Haypress Creek. It goes about 1/2 mile, starts uphill and ties in with the PCT. Turn right and follow it until the trail dives off to Haypress Creek, down the road and thru the campground and back to the car. About 3 miles, moderate trail.
* Frazier Falls- this trail takes you to Frazier Falls which fall 176 feet. It is accessed off the Lakes Basin Road from two locations, both signed. Park at the restrooms and follow the paved trail about 1 mile to the overlook. It is wheel chair accessible and spectacular. Very easy walk, but worth it.
* Sardine Lake/Tamarack Lake Connection Trail: Drive five miles up Highway 49 to Bassetts, turn left and drive 1 mile, turn left on Sardine Lake Rd. Drive in about 1/4 mile and you will see the right turn to Packer Lake. Stay on the Sardine Lake Road and continue about 100 yards. The trail head is on your right. You can park along the road. This trail runs along the slope above both Sardine lakes then abruptly turns uphill and over the top. It starts down the other side and turns into an old 4 wheel drive road. Stay to the left and follow it to the 4 wheel drive road that comes up from Packer Lake. At that junction turn left and you are at lower Tamarack lake. Great swim. This hike is long and rocky, wear good shoes. It is warm and dry, take lots of water, and it has a couple steep spots to climb.
Volcano Lake: Take Highway 49, 5 miles to Bassetts. Turn left on to the lakes Basin Road and drive 1 mile to the Sardine Lake turn off. Take that road and drive towards Sardine lake. The turn off to packer Lake will be on your right. Across the road from that turn is a dirt road. Turn left on the dirt road and park in the wide spot on the right. The walk to the lake is about 1.5 miles up an old jeep trail. Proceed on the road. You will eventually come to a dirt road that goes up the hill to your right. Take it. It is the second dirt road to your right. Up the hill maybe 300 yards and there is the lake. It is in the conservancy and open to the public. Good swim and had small Brook trout.