Rock Lake + Jamison Lake

Lakes Basin Recreation Area

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

Start Exploring
Rock Lake + Jamison Lake


  • Historical buildings at the trailhead.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Mining equipment near the trailhead.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Little Jamison Falls.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Jamison Creek Trail.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Grass around Grass Lake.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • The view north from the approach to Rock Lake.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Morning fog.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • Jamison Lake in the morning.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • The sun rises over nearby Mount Elwell.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • South shore of Rock Lake.- Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
  • - Rock Lake + Jamison Lake
Overview + Weather
Great scenery. Easy access. Historic mining features.
Limited camping near the lakes.
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,028.00 ft (313.33 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,274.00 ft (1,607.52 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The Sierra Nevada Range is well known for big, glacially-carved landscapes composed primarily of granite. When traveling north in the Sierra (as many Pacific Crest Trail hikers do), the Lakes Basin area presents a final hurrah to big rock scenery as the range elevation begins its final descent toward the Cascades. Granite is not the only geologic draw of this area. Gold was discovered in current-day Plumas Eureka State Park in 1851. As the Plumas Eureka mine began to decline in the 1880s, additional gold was located to the south along Little Jamison Creek, and the Jamison mine was established. This is your trailhead to reach Rock Lake and Jamison Lake.

There is much to do around the trailhead before or after this trip. Plumas Eureka State Park offers historical museums as well as car-camping options. There is old mining equipment just lying around the connecting trails near the trailhead. When you're ready to begin, head south along the Jamison Creek Trail and heed signs directing you toward Rock Lake and Jamison Lake. There are several trail intersections that provide longer loop options. A short spur trail (signed) will lead you to Little Jamison Falls, and Grass Lake will make a nice resting spot along the way.

At only 3 miles one way, this trip is great for backpacking beginners and veterans that want to surround themselves with big views without enduring too much difficulty. The trail deposits you between Rock Lake (resting to the north) and Jamison Lake (to the south). Unofficial foot trails and light rock scrambling can give you access to most of Rock Lake and the north shore of Jamison Lake. A good camping location is on the southeast corner of Rock Lake in a stand of fir trees.


Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
127 Members
Who's Done It
10 Members
Submission by
39 Adventures Explored
22 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info