Deer Lake, Gold Valley

Total Miles
39.8

Elevation

2,276.51 ft

Duration

5 Hours

Technical Rating

2

Moderate

Best Time

Summer

Trail Overview

Trail begins with an easy climb to a high scenic ridge above beautiful Deer Lake. The route then descends into rugged Gold Valley and heads north past mines and lakes. To modify the trip, you can head north from Waypoint 02 to a scenic campground above Gold Lake or just exit back to Gold Lake Highway. Another option is to head north from Waypoint 02 and immediately turn left to run difficult Snake Lake, Trail #9. Unlicensed vehicles must stop at Waypoint 06.

Photos of Deer Lake, Gold Valley

Deer Lake, Gold Valley
Deer Lake, Gold Valley
Deer Lake, Gold Valley

Difficulty

Moderate: Deer Lake trail is mostly easy except at the north end. After Waypoint 03, the trail drops steeply into Gold Valley and wanders backand- forth across a narrow, rocky creek bed. Okay for stock 4x4 SUVs with high clearance and skid plates. Novice drivers use caution.

History

Sierra County was an extremely active gold mining area starting with the gold rush in the 1850s. Many mines are located between Sierra City and Johnsville, including the Four Hills Mine on this route. Nearly a half million dollars in gold was extracted here from a high-grade surface deposit. To learn more, take time to visit the excellent Plumas Eureka State Park Museum at the end of the route.

Technical Rating

2

Status Reports

Andrew Connors
Sep 24, 2023
4x4
Open
Dusty
Rough/Deteriorated
Roger Craig
Aug 09, 2023
2017 Toyota Tacoma
Open
Normal
Rick Fletcher
Jun 25, 2023
4x4
Obstructed
Deep Snow
Richard Bloom
Mar 09, 2023
Dirt Bike
Open

Access Description

Take Highway 89 north from Truckee about 30 miles, then head west on Highway 49 about 14 miles to Bassetts Station Country Store. From store, head north on Gold Lake Highway 1.3 miles and turn left on Packer Lake Road across bridge. Stay on this paved road 4.4 miles until you reach the top of steep hill at Packer Saddle. Deer Lake Trail is on right.

Popular Trails