RiderPlanet USA Motorcycle And ATV Trails
HomeFind ATV TrailsATV and Dirt Bike ArticlesCalendar of ATV and Motorcycle EventsSupport CenterDonate
Help Scroll down for trail contact information and regulations. Select a photo to enlarge.

Lower Blue Lake

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Alt Names

Eldorado National Forest, Amador Ranger District, Clover Valley, Deer Valley, Stanislaus National Forest, Calaveras Ranger District, Hermit Valley

Last Known StatusTemporarily Closed

Beautiful forest scenery, technical rocky sections and several deep stream crossings make up this challenging seven mile 4x4 trail. There is no single track but there are some rocky sections that could easily have a black diamond rating.

Most of the rocky sections have a less direct or alternate line to take however novices and young kids might still be advised to not attempt this trail. For instance, the last section of the trail before you reach Hermit Valley Campground is a very steep and rocky descent with loose dirt, rocks and roots. Once you go down it, the only way out is to go back up (or take the road if you are street legal).

Trail Map... Driving Map... Best Nearby Trails...

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Nearest CityWoodfords, CA
Go Back To California List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
1) Take Hwy 89 south to Hwy 88 west
2) Proceed about 2.5 miles on Hwy 88 west
3) Turn left (south) on Blue Lakes Road
4) Continue south on Blue Lakes Road toward Lower Blue Lake, about 12 miles (Blue Lakes Road turns into Forestdale Road)
5) Veer left at the fork (you will see a large kiosk in front of you and Lower Blue Lake Campground to your right)
6) Proceed aboout 230 yards to the staging area.

Note: This staging area is not recomended for long RVs.

TYPE OF AREA

AreaTrail
LandNational Forest

RATINGS

Prosdecent forest scenery, several deep stream crossings
Consnot for novice riders, no single track, some sections are very rocky and challenging
Our RatingRatingGood    
Recommended Stay1-2 Days
Summer/Fall
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)

TERRAIN

Square Miles7
Miles Of Trail7
Climate TypeForest
Elevation7000 to 8000 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has some loose dirt.Some
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has mostly rocks.Mostly
TreesThe trail has almost all trees.All
Steep HillsThis trail has some steep hills.Some
Water CrossingsThe trail has some water crossings.Some
Small JumpsThis trail has few small jumps.Few
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has no single track trails.None
RoadsThis national forest has no roads.None
IntersectionsThis trail has no intersections.None
Rider TrafficThe national forest has few rider traffic on typical days.Few
ShadeThis national forest has almost all shaded areas.All
Ranges/GunfireThis national forest has few shooting ranges or gunfire.Few
HazardsThis trail has some hazards.Some(hazards not marked)
steep hills with technical sections
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has no beginner terrain.None
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has mostly expert terrain.Mostly

REGULATIONS

Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenApril - DecemberCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle Width
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermittedNot Recommended
CA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
ProhibitedCA OHMVR stickers required
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
Certain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
Helmets RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
BicyclesNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HikingNo Restriction
HorsebackNo RestrictionNot Recommended
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingNo Restriction(camp anywhere)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresNo Restriction
Night RidingYesNot Recommended
Cross CountryProhibitedstay on trail
AlcoholNo Restriction
FireworksProhibited
FirearmsSome Areas
Emergency / Law EnforcementFew/Periodic
Insurance*Disclaimer: Be Safe! RiderPlanet recommends insurance for all riders and visitors to the destinations depicted on this website.

FEES & PASSES

ParkingNo ($0.00)
EntryNo ($0.00)
RidingNo ($0.00)
CampingYes
Tent: $23.00
RV: $23.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $0.00
Blue Lake Upper, Lower and Dam Campground Fees
CommentNo camping fee at Hermit Valley Campground.

KEY SERVICES

First Aid First Aid20-30 Miles (N)Barton Memorial Hospital (530) 541-3420
Gasoline Gasoline20-30 Miles (N)Woodfords Station (530) 694-2930
Diesel Diesel30+ Miles (NE)AM-PM (775) 782-8200
Potable Water Water1-5 Miles (N)Lower Blue Lake Campground
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (N)KOA - S. Lake Tahoe (530) 577-3693
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (N)KOA - S. Lake Tahoe (530) 577-3693
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Site
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (N)Liras Supermarket (530) 577-5399
Swimming Swim AreaOn Site Lower Blue Lake
Body of Water Water BodyOn Site Lower Blue Lake
Boating Launch Boat RampOn Site Lower Blue Lake

OFFICIAL CONTACTS

Contact InfoEldorado National Forest - Amador Ranger District
26820 Silver Drive
Pioneer, CA 95666
(209) 295-4251
www.fs.fed.us
Contact InfoStanislaus National Forest - Calaveras Ranger District
5519 Highway 4, P O Box 500
Hathaway Pines, CA 95233
(209) 795-1381
Commentmanages Hermit Valley Campground
Contact InfoStanislaus National Forest - Supervisor's Office
19777 Greenley Road
Sonoma, CA 95370
(209) 532-3671
www.fs.fed.us
Contact InfoRoad Department Location
50 Diamond Valley Road
Markleeville, CA 96120
(530) 694-2140
www.alpinecountyca.gov
Commentcontact for road conditions

RECENT COMMENTS & REVIEWS

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Lower Blue Lake Trail

The first mile or two is a blast and a moderate challenge.  There are big rocks, but they are far enough apart be avoided.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Off-Road Bike in the water at Lower Blue Lake Trail

The first water crossing is deep and wide.  We suggest you hug the shoreline wherever possible.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Lower Blue Lake Trail

One of the expansion campgrounds at Upper Blue Lake.  There are four campgrounds in all.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Lower Blue Lake Trail

An early part of the trail.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Off-Road Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

A pretty good variety of stuff to be found.  The trail was pretty wide in this part.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Amenities example at Lower Blue Lake Trail

The day-use area sits on the shore of Lower Blue Lake and has restrooms, tables, and fire rings.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Off-Road Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

The first part of the trail was especially fun.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Off-Road Bike in the water at Lower Blue Lake Trail

One of the many many mud puddles in the first couple of miles.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Off-Road Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Then it got a little dusty.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Then it got really rocky. This is one of the more technical portions of the trail.  There are about 2 miles of this.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

This part was something less than fun on a bike.  There were two sections like this.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

This is about as chunky as the trail got, until the last mile, which was similar but steeper. There are bypass trails for some of it though.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Coming down the hill towards the end.  Not easy going down.  (Not easy going back up either, which you will have to do.)

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Overall it was a pretty fun ride.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Start of the descent to the campground.  Almost there.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Getting the hang of it.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Lower Blue Lake Trail

Looks bad, but there is actually a smooth line through most of these sections if you are on a bike.  Check out the left.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Some terrain at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Did we mention there are a lot of rocks?

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle crossing some water at Lower Blue Lake Trail

The second crossing was wider, but also more shallow.  But this was dry season so this may be as low as the water gets.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Fun for jeeps too.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Scenery at Lower Blue Lake Trail

These rocks shoot out all along the shore of Lower Blue Lake in front of the day-use area.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Scenery at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Great views of the lake everywhere.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Some terrain at Lower Blue Lake Trail

This is the main trailhead, which can be found at the south end of the lake under the dam.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Scenery at Lower Blue Lake Trail

There are also some hiking trails on and around the dam.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Motorcycle at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Just getting started...

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike getting wet at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Typical section of the early part.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

OHV getting wet at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Every section of this trail presents a different challenge.  That's what made it so fun.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Lower Blue Lake Trail

This is the staging area and campground you will find at the end of the trail.  The trail is 7 miles each way.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Once you get up the mountain, things smooth out for a couple of miles.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike getting wet at Lower Blue Lake Trail

The water crossings are deep in the middle if you go straight across.  You may want to pick a less direct line like this.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Ninety percent of the trail looks something like this.  A little chunky for bikes, sure, but still very fun.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Some evidence of trail maintenance.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

After you get down it, you have to turn around and go back up.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Typical trail.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Scenic view at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Some scenery from a stopping point during the early part.

Lower Blue Lake Trail Photo

Honda CRF Trail Bike at Lower Blue Lake Trail

Cruising along the road between the campgrounds.

Copyright © 2016 Misirena Digital, LLC All Rights Reserved. Home  |   ATV Trails  |   Articles  |   Calendar  |   Support Center  |   Good Stuff