California Trails

Sacramento: Loon Lake to Spider Lake

Grab a quick overnight on this 8.8-miler past two lakes, where bald eagles soar the blue skies and dive for fish in Eldorado National Forest.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.1



Location: 38.9821891784668, -120.314796447754

Hike NE along shores of Loon Lake


Location: 38.9843406677246, -120.313697814941

R @ Y; spur trail leads down to lakeside campsites


Location: 38.9859504699707, -120.312400817871

Cross creek; thin stands of pines. Bald eagles cruise updrafts above this sizeable lake; hike NE


Location: 38.9930000305176, -120.29759979248

2nd creek crossing


Location: 38.9941291809082, -120.296401977539

Veer R. This area clears @ the top of a knoll. There’s a few dead-end trails here, so stay R and follow main trail


Location: 38.9975318908691, -120.291801452637

R @ Y; trail picks up elevation and becomes rockier with large sections of dynamited granite closer to the lake


Location: 39.0107688903809, -120.286003112793

R @ Y. Head uphill on wide rocky trail. This begins the Rubicon Trail which leads into Desolation Wilderness in 2.5 miles. Going L leads to Pleasant Campground


Location: 39.0114097595215, -120.279296875

Short off-trail section: Dense pines obscure views of Spider Lake from the Rubicon Trail, so tick off cairns leading the way due E


Location: 39.0117988586426, -120.277198791504

Spider Lake: This mountain tarn sits in a granite bowl. Best campsites on W end. Views to Devils Peak, too. Next day, explore local peaks near lake and return to trailhead