* If you click on a photo you will be able to view all of the photos enlarged.
Update 11-2012 The roads have snow and trucks are going up, but cars may have problems. Also, be aware it is hunting season.
The campground wasn't being used except for us and a family at the other end. They were expecting to use the road you see on maps that goes to the Feeley Lake Dam. They brought kayaks for fishing but had not planned on having to carry them and all of their car camping gear back in. The gate is always locked and used only by personnel, so you pack your gear in.
*Permits are not required. Let someone know your plans and the time of expected return.
Elevation: 6,285 ft-6,900 ft.
- I-80 to Hwy 20 (Nevada City) Exit 161
- Hwy 20 3.8 mi
- Right on Bowman Rd 8.4 mi
- Right on dirt road NF 17 (Called-Lindsey Rd) 2.9 mi or right on earlier dirt road following sign "Carr Feeley TH" for 4 miles.
- Take food, water, and first aid. I also suggest taking a warm layer as weather is unpredictable and we've used those layers unexpectedly! Survivor Night on Crooked Lakes Trail explains my cautionery note!
- Spectacular views and many alpine lakes for fishing, swimming, camping, backpacking, hiking, and photographing! The area is pretty level and the trails normally are in good shape, after a rough storm being the exception. A GPS is helpful on this hike to clarify your planned hike since there are numerous unnamed lakes and ponds that might confuse a newcomer.
- So that you can do some research, the lakes we go by include Carr, Feeley, Island, Long, Round, and Milk Lakes, and then you can go south to Sanford Lake or just beyond Milk lake you can go west to Downey Lake. We have taken Glacier Lake Trail heading northeast of Milk Lake and with a couple of creek crossings you can get to Glacier Lake. I'll include a map at the bottom of the page.
- Another option is to head north after Milk Lake and visit Lake 3, Middle and Shotgun Lakes to another junction heading west with a side trip south (on trail) to Penner, then back north then rejoin the previous trail. Head west and then south hitting Rock and Lower Rock Lakes. Return the way you came in. That tour would be best left for backpacking!
- We did hike north of the end of Crooked Lakes Trail to Culbertson Lake and the trail turned uphill on scree and was not at all worth the trouble. The view was nothing to shout about and the hike was an ankle twister.
Remember that this is a popular deer hunting area so check your dates when planning your hike if that makes you uncomfortable. Otherwise be advised to wear reflector materials to avoid any accidents!
These were taken in the fall and our campsite was at the backpackers camp near the Carr Trailhead. There is a bathroom back in a ways. As you can see, our tent was completely hidden from the trail but was close to it! We were also near enough to the lake for water, but did indeed find large cat tracks the next morning so take your pepper spray and bear canister!
|Actually new signs were placed in 2012.|
When we allowed 3 hours to hike there it was just not meant to be. Plan a whole day or use the backpackers camps for a base camp and choose different trails and lakes for each day you stay! With all of those lakes and views, we stopped often for photos and a few splashes in inviting lakes. We have enjoyed this area in every season, although in winter there are no road plows (we hiked in), and you can't get too far past the backpackers campground at Carr TH without snowshoes. Below I loaded photos to show you the pleasures and the hazards of hiking up there in the winter!
This is one of my favorite places to hike or backpack. Happy Trails!
Wildflowers even in snow! Wonderful!
Peachy Hikers Table of Contents
Hikes By Locations
and other articles about this area:
- Grouse Lakes Basin Trails near Lake Tahoe
- Grouse Ridge Campground and Trail Head 11-2012 This is a car campgroud recently improved. There isn't running water, but there is a vault toilet, and sites accessible by car. There is a lookout tower ytou can also hike to from here, and access to Round Lake Trail, Glacier Lake Trail, and trails that connect to Spaulding Lake Trail and the Pioneer Trail.
- No GPS tracks are posted here but the trails are marked as photographed above and just a map like I posted and a compass will serve you well.