In whatever season you hike, I recommend skipping Sylvia Lake altogether in favor of the additional 320 feet of elevation gain to nearby Lyons Lake. Unfortunately, on this excursion, we were short on time and couldn’t add Lyons Lake to the itinerary. (But we saw it in September and it’s such a gem!) We contented ourselves with Sylvia Lake, which admittedly offers much better shores for fetching sticks from the lake’s surface.
Whichever destaination you choose, the hike along Lyons Creek will leave you footsore but not challenged beyond bearing. The path gains 1520 feet between its start and Lake Sylvia, but the grade is rarely steep. The jaunt to Lyons Lake is the only portion that will leave you gasping.
This is the best time of year to hike the trail and see lupine, columbine, paintbrush, lilies, larkspur, asters, and more. (Believe me, without the colorful flowers, the five miles never ends.) But bring your bugspray because wildflower season is MOSQUITO season in the Sierra. I’ve got the bites to prove it!
Source: Evans, Stephen L. "Lyons Creek Trail" Top Trails Sacramento. 4th ed. Birmingham: Wilderness, 2012. Print.
Length: 10 miles (to Lake Sylvia and back)
Water: Seasonal streams are dry, but Lyons Creek and the runoff from Lake Sylvia are flowing moderately well.
Use: Moderate. We hiked this on July 4th and there were surprisingly few people on the trail for a holiday.
Differences from published description: none.
Jasper’s rating: 4 paws out of 5.
Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!