Volcano Lake Hike

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

Start Exploring
Volcano Lake Hike


  • Passing Sardine Lake Campground, the trail is flat and easy at the beginning.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Crossing Sand Creek.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Views of the Yuba River drainage.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • The trail starts climbing with the Sierra Buttes in the distance.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Looking back to the east up the Yuba River.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Manzanita blossoms.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Volcano Lake.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Sierra Buttes hover over Volcano Lake.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Cold, clear water at Volcano Lake.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Volcano Lake.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Volcano Lake.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Heading back down the trail.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • Looking up toward Yuba Gap.- Volcano Lake Hike
  • - Volcano Lake Hike
Overview + Weather
Starts right in the campground. Beautiful scenery all the way up. Lovely lake.
One tricky turn.
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
600.00 ft (182.88 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,673.00 ft (1,729.13 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Volcano Lake is a fairly easy day hike that starts right in the Sardine Lake Campground. This hike is an easier alternative to the much more challenging hike up to the Sierra Buttes that also starts nearby. Until recently, over 3,000 acres of the Sierra Buttes area were private land, including Volcano Lake and much of the rocky buttes themselves. In 2011 the Trust for Public Land acquired some of these parcels and continues to maintain them for public use.

The trail to Volcano Lake starts on Sardine Lake Road across from the turnoff to Packer Lake. The trail can also be taken from the east end of the campground, just behind the camp host site. Following an old mining road for much of the way, the trail first crosses Sardine Creek (there is a log crossing to the right of the trail) and then slowly climbs up the rolling hills that follow the North Yuba River below the Sierra Buttes. There is a hard-to-spot turn at the 1.25-mile point, marked at this writing by an orange tape tied to a branch, that leaves the dirt road and leads to the lake. It is a steep climb up to the lake, but very worth the effort. An additional 4 miles round trip and 1,000 feet of elevation gain leads to the Mountain Mine site.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(43 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
51 Members
Who's Done It
3 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
628 Adventures Explored
559 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