* If you double click on a photo below you'll be able to view each of the photos enlarged. At the bottom of the article will be a map, an elevation profile, and a Wikiloc link for GPS tracks.
Difficulty: Moderate. Distance is flexible but also farther than beginners usually want to tackle for a day hike. For backpacking though you do half of that each day, then 3+ miles is an easier distance. Be prepared for rocks and tree falls though.
Elevation changes: Ascent 1218; Descent: 1198, no section steep as you will see on the graph below.
- Take 160 toward Yuba Gap.
- In .2 mi. turn right onto Lake Valley Road. It turns slightly left and becomes Crystal Lake Road.
- In .2 miles make a slight right toward Lake Valley Road. Continue for 1 mile.
- Make a slight left onto Forest Route 19 and drive for 3 miles.
- Continue onto Power Line for .8 miles.
- Continue onto Forest Route 19 for .2 miles.
- Turn left and drive for 1 mile.
Notes: If you are a backpacker, I highly recommend this popular trail and the lakes. There is plenty of room and many campsites along the way. Sure, there are people at the first lake but the further you go, the fewer you'll be likely to see. For me the last lake was most beautiful and enjoyable. The first Loch Leven Lake is large and groups were there of young people swimming. Various backpackers were solo and had separate camps with privacy enough.
This time of year is full of color and variety. I love the macro shots like this first one. Enlarged, you'll see the little residents and scavengers that may appear to be dirt or debris in the field!
My vision of what it might be like was good as gold. No one was there but us, no splashing or tents. We picnicked and took off our boots for a wade in the pleasantly warm shallow water. This was a fantastic destination!
Wikiloc for GPS. Other tracks are available.
Grouse Ridge Trails
Survivor Night on Crooked Lakes Trail
Carr Lake Under Snow
Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents