Hike Name: Grass Lake via Jamison Creek Trail (Forest Service Trail Number 11E13)
Name of area/general location: Plumas National Forest, Graeagle, CA
Land Acknowledgement: This trail is located on the ancestral homelands and traditional territories of the Maidu and Wašiw (Washoe). To learn more about the original residents and stewards of the lands, visit native-land.ca.
Trail rating: Moderate to difficult; Short distance but moderate elevation gain.
Trail mileage: 3.2 miles round-trip, with the option of adding mileage for longer distances and additional destinations including the Pacific Crest Trail.
AllTrails Hike Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/jamison-mine-trail
For more information: Contact Plumas National Forest (530) 283-2050
Additional information to note: Please remember to #RecreateResponsibly and follow all posted regulations. Dogs are not allowed on trails within the State Park other than if you are accessing the Jamison Creek Trail that leads into the Plumas National Forest and must be on a leash when accessing the trail.
Description of area, sights, wildlife and any key markers on the trail:
Located within the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, Grass Lake is one of many small lakes found within the recreation area that holds significant human history. Of note are the Indigenous history, evidenced by significant modern day remnants from tool making and much more, as well as the history of gold discovery that ultimately resulted in a significantly negative situation for the Indigenous community.
To access this hike, you will have to start within the Plumas-Eureka State Park which has free admission. The trail and area are popular for birding, hiking, and walking, particularly during the summer season. The trail to Grass Lake is a gradual uphill climb for about 1.25 miles. At about the 1-mile point, the trail exits the state park and enters Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Large rock steps in the first half mile have been referred to as “The Stairway to Heaven”.
Along the way you may see the Red Fir forests, and depending on the time of year, you may see seasonal wildflowers or the golden leaves of the Aspens in autumn. For those seeking a longer experience, you may add more mileage to access several of the other lakes or make your way towards the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, more commonly referred to as the PCT.
Directions to the trailhead: At Highway 89 in Graeagle take County Road A14, the Graeagle-Johnsville Road west toward Plumas Eureka State Park and Johnsville. From Highway 70 in Blairsden take Mohawk Road pas the ranger station to County Road A14.
From here proceed on County Road A14 about 3.8 miles to the state park and a sign indicating ‘Jamison Mine’ and turn left onto this dirt road. Continue 1.25 miles to the trailhead. Inside the state park the trail is called Grass Lake Trail.
Caution: Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials
*Featured image by John Wagner and taken from AllTrails.com