This gentle sloping 4.5 mile one-way hike follows the old Sugar Pine Railroad grade. This trail, or fire road, is open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders year-round but may be covered in snow throughout the winter months. The fire road traverses private property which is owned by Sierra Pacific Industries, so no motor vehicles allowed. The elevation starts at around 4000′ and only gains about 200′ total. On the way to Lyons Reservoir the views out over the Stanislaus River canyon and beyond are magnificent so make sure and take time to enjoy this.
Once you get to Lyons Reservoir the views are no less spectacular. With a back drop of conifers and blue sky, Lyons is the perfect spot for a Sunday picnic. Lyons Reservoir is also a popular California fishing destination so you might see several fishermen casting their lines from the top of the dam.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can hike down the steps to the back side of Lyons Dam to do a little exploring or cross over the dam to the other side.