Gold Lake Road

Area Status: Open

Gold Lake Road

The Gold Lake Road travels from Hwy 49 beneath the towering Sierra Buttes and heads north to Graeagle.  An abundance of campgrounds, picnic sites, and small lakes dot this picturesque area.  A variety of winter and summer trails can be accessed off the Gold Lakes Road, one of which is a hike to the top of the Sierra Buttes Lookout.   

Activities such as camping and hiking are listed below for this corridor.   


River and Stream Fishing

Horse Riding

Areas for Horse Riding at Gold Lake Road

Interpretive Areas

Areas for Interpretive Areas at Gold Lake Road

Scenic Driving

Gold Lake Road is a scenic route that connects Bassetts station to Graeagle.  Just north from Bassetts Station, the dramatic and jagged peaks of the Sierra Buttes suddenly appear and provide a spectacular backdrop for camping, hiking, fishing and mountain biking near Sand Pond, Lower Sardine Lake, Salmon Creek and Packer Lake.  Continuing north, drivers will pass miles of thick forest and lush high mountain meadows.  Bright splashes of color dot these meadows with wildflowers in the spring.  Dozens of saphire colored mountain lakes such as Salmon Lake, Snag, Goose, Long and the larger Gold Lake are along the route.  The outlet for Gold Lake provides the water that gushes over Frazier Falls.  A paved, almost level 1/2 mile trail to a vista point overlooking Frazier Falls shouldn't be missed for a slight detour off Gold Lake Road.   

This drive is especially beautiful in fall with the crisp and crystal clear mountain air showcasing the golden yellows of quaking aspen along the drive.  If you are up to braving colder conditions, take a winter snowmobile tour and experience this region as a winter wonderland.  It will be an experience you will never forget!

From Graeagle, drivers can loop back to Bassetts Station on Hwy 49 over the Yuba Pass, or explore additional areas by taking Hwy 70 west to Quincy and the Feather River Canyon or head east to Portola to explore the Sierra Valley and the eastern side of the Tahoe National Forest to Truckee via Hwy 89 south.

Rental info: This region offers a number of resorts, cabins and lodges at Bassetts, Lower Sardine, Packer Lake, Upper Salmon, Gold Lake and Graeagle.  Some areas also offer boat rentals for fishing.  There are stables at Gold Lake and Graeagle. 

Boating - Non-Motorized

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Gold Lake Road

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Nordic skiers are welcome to use all routes groomed for snowmobiling.  

The Lakes Basin Cross Country Ski Trail is on the Plumas National Forest but is relatively close by to trails on the Tahoe National Forest.   This groomed 1.5 mile ski trail connects the Gold Lake Staging Area to the road leading into Gray Eagle Lodge and Smith Lake Trailhead.  Snowmobiles are prohibited on this trail.

Access:  From Quincy: take Highway 70/89 east.  Turn south on Hwy 89 and continue one mile past Graeagle. Turn right and follow County Road 519 to the staging area.

From Reno: take Highway 395 north to Hallelujah Junction. Turn left on Highway 70 and follow to Highway 89.  Turn left and follow to one mile past Graeagle.  Turn right on County Road 519 and follow to the staging area.

Status: Open


The Gold Lake Highway is groomed for snowmobiling through the Off-Highway Vehicle Program.  Watch for snow grooming machines. Snow grooming can occur at any time, but rarely during daytime hours on weekends and holidays.  Nordic skiers are welcome to use all routes groomed for snowmobiling.  The route follows the Gold Lake Highway, from Bassetts at Highway 49, to the snowline in Plumas County.  There are wonderful views of the Sierra Buttes and the Lakes Basin area.

Limited parking is available at Bassett's.

Yuba Pass and Little Truckee Summit can be accessed from the Gold Lake Highway.  Travel 3 miles north from Bassetts to the Haskell Peak Road (Forest Road 09).  Take road 09 east to Forest Road 09-15.  This road continues south to Yuba Pass.  The route to Little Truckee Summit can be accessed at Yuba Pass.  These routes are marked.  Parking is available at the Yuba Pass Sno-Park (permit required.)

The slope in any direction is gradual and travel is easy for a beginner.  

Elevation: 5,400 feet at Highway 49 and Gold Lake Road junction.  Elevation increases to 6,400 feet at Gold Lake. 

Topographic Maps: Haypress Valley, Gold Lake and Clio

Status: Closed

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


A boy holding a fish

A Boy Fishing