To reach Upper Rock Lake in Nevada County, drive to the
Lindsey Lakes 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 Lindsey Lakes Road. This road is an unimproved
dirt road that is moderately rough but still manageable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle with
modest clearance. We were the only car in the parking area on a Friday morning.
The hike to Upper Rock Lake starts in the parking area just below Lower Lindsey Lake and makes its way past
Lower Lindsey Lake and the campground on the north side. This is a 4WD road that passes several lakes along the
way including Upper Lindsey Lake and Culbertson Lake. The hike is moderate with only a few hills to hike up.
Construction crews were repairing the dam at Culbertson Lake when we were there and the lake had been drawn down significantly. The road
leads to the Rock Lakes where, at Upper Rock Lake, it ends and a maintained trail begins. Following this trail leads
you to Shotgun Lake or Penner Lake if you take the right turn just past Upper rock Lake. An excellent camp site exists
on the west side which has plenty of space for a large group and/or livestock.
We are pretty confident in saying that Upper Rock Lake has no fish. We fished throughout the afternoon from
the west side and didn't even get a bite. We saw no signs of fish at all, even when the sun had gone down
and the midges began their journey to the waters surface causing tiny ripples on an otherwise glassy lake.
The next morning we kept our eye on the water to see if there were any fish rising but we saw nothing. The lake
was like glass. So, we left Upper Rock Lake without seeing any action at all. By 9:30 am we were back on the
trail on our way nearby Penner Lake where we knew we would see some trout action for sure.
On a side note, we did stop by Lower Rock Lake on our way up the hill and it looked to be fishless at first
glance. However, after returning home, I watched the
video that I customarily take of each lake and I spotted a fish jump out of the water that I didn't
notice when I was there. There is a magnificent camp site at Lower Rock Lake that I would love to visit again. So,
next time we go this way we will stay at Lower Rock where we might have a shot at catching a fish.