Grouse Ridge Trail

Tahoe National Forest, California

Distance9.6mi
Elevation Gain244ft
Trailhead Elevation7,492ft
Top7,696ft
Elevation Min/Max7492/7696ft
Elevation Start/End7492/7492ft

Grouse Ridge Trail

Grouse Ridge Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Nevada County, California. It is within Tahoe National Forest. It is 9.6 miles long and begins at 7,492 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 244 feet. Along the trail there are a camp site and information guideposts. The trail ends near Grouse Ridge (elevation 7,713 feet). This trail connects with the following: Beyers Lake Trail, Spaulding Lake Trail, Blue Lake Trail, Lindsey Lake Trail, Glacier Lake Trail and Round Lake Trail.

Grouse Ridge Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Top Trails Sacramento (Wilderness Press)
Steven L. Evans
View more trails from this guide book
"The Grouse Lakes area is truly Sacramento’s “land-o-the-lakes.” This long but rewarding loop hike will bring you within view of more than fifteen lakes of all sizes, and to the shores of seven of the lakes. Whether you are to swim, stalk wily trout, or watch a sunset over an alpine lake, this is the place to be. Despite its long history of public use, much of the area is privately owned, so please respect property rights. The old network of jeep roads that formerly connected the lakes has been closed to motor vehicle use, creating a wonderful area to explore by foot, bike, or horse."

Grouse Ridge Trail Trip Reports

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7/23/2018
One of my favorite high Sierra hikes. The lakes in this area are just beautiful. There are pretty forest views, rock formations, and wildflowers. Wonderful for a long day hike or backpacking trip.
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8/29/2010
Bowman Lake Road, Grouse Ridge to Meadow Lake. Had light rain, sleet and snow at high points. OK for 2WD but slow going, ruts and embedded rocks.
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8/24/2007
Starting from Carr Lake instead of Grouse Ridge, to make it a longer trip, my daughter and I did a 11 mile out and back backpacking trip. We hiked in on a Friday in late August and while we saw maybe 10 other dayhikers at the lake during the day, we had the lake to ourselves that night.

The description of the trail is very accurate. The only potential "gotcha" is the turnoff to Sand Ridge, which is right after a short but wide grassy meadow. The signpost is down on the ground at that trail junction.

The Black Buttes are impressive and imposing. We did not try to scramble up them - it looked formidable but doable. Someday I will make the trip over the saddle and down to Beyers Lake.

The weather was spectacular, typical of the Sierra in the summer. Glacier Lake was very swimmable - there was no more snow on the buttes, so no snowmelt to chill the lake.

The downside to hiking here in late summer was that the corn lilies along the trail were all wilted, and that we could not have campfires, due to fire hazard.

While you are at Grouse Ridge, be sure to hike the half mile up to the lookout. You get a wonderful 360 degree view of the area.
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6/10/2007
Great hike in the sierras to the Black Buttes. Easy scramble up to the buttes for great views and sunset. Glacier lake is nice, and there are several smaller lakes around too if you hike around a bit. You can also take the sand ridge trail to Glacier lake for an alternate hike along the ridgeline with less mosquitoes in the summer.
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6/9/2006
We drove out to Bowman Lake, Grouse Ridge is still under snow half way up. The road, once the pavement ends is awesome. Great views and a fun ride. Once you get around to the lake there are a couple of campsites right on the water. We took the first available ones we saw and hung out there for the weekend. Funny thing happened, at about 1am on Friday night about 50 off road vehicles drove by in some type of caravan. I wonder where there were going and what kind of backwoods rally was going on. Can't complain, great spot free camping and a beautiful clear lake to take a dip in.
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8/11/2005
We went to Upper Rock Lake
Lots of PG&E construction along beginning of trail
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7/26/2004
Great trail. Hard to get to so 4 wheel drive would be ideal for the rough road. Beautiful views of various surrounding peaks and lakes. Can even see Lassen on a clear day. The hike wasn't too strenuous for the most part but you will work hard. Mosquito repellent was a necessity due to the melting snow through most of the trail. Wildflowers were also blooming, made for a fresh, mountain smell throughout the hike.
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Grouse Ridge Trail Photos

Trail Information

Tahoe National Forest
Nearby City
Tahoe National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Tahoe National Forest, Nevada City and Sierraville Ranger Districts
Local Contacts
Tahoe National Forest
Local Maps

Trail Log