Jenkinson Lake – Sly Park Recreation Area

Walter E. Jenkinson

Walter E. Jenkinson

I’ve been lucky lately to work in locations that lend themselves nicely to a hike or trail run afterwards.  Last summer I did a half marathon trail race in the Sly Park Recreation Area, which is about 60 miles West of Lake Tahoe.  It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done (keeping in mind that I’m a marathon runner), but it was beautiful.  So knowing that I was going to be working out near that area, I took advantage of planning to hike the 8.5 miles loop trail around Jenkinson Lake.  I later agreed to work a job in the evening, but didn’t want to forgo my hike, so the hike quickly became a trail run (done in half the time!)  And I’m so glad I went!  If you want a nice mellow trail (at least during the day mid-week) with picturesque views of the lake, trees, and Sierras, this is a real treat!

Bumpy Meadows Trailhead

Bumpy Meadows Trailhead

I started out from the convenient parking lot at Bumpy Meadows just off of Mormon Emigrant Trail Road.  $5 to park and plenty of spaces mid-week, although I was informed that occasionally during the off-season this parking area is closed (mainly due to snow) leaving parking options to the main road with much fewer spots.  From here you’re pretty much a few steps away from the lake.

Jenkinson Lake

Jenkinson Lake

The trail follows the shore of the lake pretty much the entire loop except for a few places when it turns into a road through the very popular campground areas.  The trail is well established and very well marked especially at the points where the horse trail splits and reconvenes with the main trail.  I did however run into some unexpected short, steep climbs.

Good for hill training!

Good for hill training!

And then I spotted something which made me think about being more prepared with bug spray!

Yellow Jacket Trap

Yellow Jacket Trap

The next few miles of the trail were marvelous bringing me across quiet sitting areas and creeks with the comforting sounds of rushing waters.

Meditative Spot

Meditative Spot

Park Creek

Park Creek

Park Creek Bridge

Park Creek Bridge

A nice day for sailing as well!

Sailboat on the Lake

Sailboat on the Lake

I’ve definitely decided I want to do this loop again.  It’s a little ways from Sacramento, but totally worth the drive and a great place to stop going to and from Lake Tahoe.  I was a very happy girl yesterday!

Post Trail Run

Post Trail Run

 

 

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