Sand Pond Interpretive Trail

General Information

•Mileage: 0.8 miles
•Elevation: 6000 to 6000 feet
•Difficulty: Easy
•Use Level: Moderate
•Season: June through October


Take Highway 49 approximately five miles east of Sierra City and turn onto Gold Lake Highway at Bassets Station. After 1.4 miles, turn left at Salmon Creek bridge and proceed west toward Sardine Lake for approximately one mile to the Sand Pond Swim Area parking lot.

Trail Description

The trail begins either at the gate on the west (right) side of the parking lot near the sign explaining the history of Sand Pond, or at a point adjacent to the handicapped accessible parking area on the east side of the lot. The western route passes through the picnic area between the dressing room and the pond. The eastern trailhead route and the remainder of the Sand Pond trail are designed to meet Level 2 accessibility standards. Both trailheads serve the same trail.

At the southeast end of the pond the trail splits. The right fork takes you around the pond, while the left fork is the Sand Pond Interpretive Loop Trail. This trail provides an interesting route through a forest/marsh transitional zone and discusses some of the elements and relationships that occur here. A variety of wildlife lives in this area, and it's a good spot for viewing birds, insects, and sometimes beaver. The interpretive signs along the route will help you explore and enjoy the area.

To try a really challenging hike, check out Sierra Buttes Lookout.
For a moderate year-round hike, try Canyon Creek Trail.
For a great waterfall hike, take the hike to Loves Falls.
For a panoramic view, choose the Lakes Basin Ridge Trail.
For enchanting forests and rushing creeks, try the Second and Third Divide Trails.