To reach Round Lake in Nevada County, drive to the
Carr Lake trailhead by taking Highway 20 from
Highway 80 at Yuba Pass. Take Highway 20 west until you can turn right on Bowman Lake Road.
From Bowman Lake Road, follow the signs to the turnoff for Carr Lake Road. Carr Lake Road is an unimproved
dirt road that is very rough but still manageable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle with
modest clearance. The parking can be sparse due to the trailhead being very popular.
The hike to Round Lake starts with a hike to
Island Lake. You will cross paths
with many other day hikers and backpackers on your
way to Island Lake but after that they should
thin out. At the junction of the Crooked Lakes trail and the Round Lake trail near Little Island Lake, stay to the right as
marked by a wooden sign nailed to a tree. There is a short, uphill climb over the saddle and then you drop down towards Round Lake.
Follow the trail until you see the sign for the spur trail that leads right to Round Lake. Camping areas at Round Lake are found on
the west side of the lake.
The High Sierra fishing at Round Lake in Nevada County was fair for small Brook Trout that were about 9 or 10 inches long.
I saw a couple of trout rising when we arrived so I was glad to see signs of life. I set some poles up with a worm rig for
my kids and wife and then set out to take photos of the lake. We stayed about two hours and landed three Brook Trout total.
We were able to release two of them and keep one to eat. The middle of the lake fished well but the outlet area produced
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to break out my fly rod as I was distracted with kids, so I will have to do that
another day. There are a few areas to backcast on the west and south side and the east side is rocky outcropping that may be
accessible but I didn't try to get to it.