Millerton Lake State Recreation Area is located in the heart of California, near the southernmost end of the Mother Lode gold region. Here, where the San Joaquin River flows out of the Sierra Nevada foothills and into the Central Valley, 319- foot Friant Dam was built across the river canyon in 1944 to form Millerton Lake. With over 40 miles of shore land for water sports, this SRA offers visitors swimming, fishing, and boating. The hills surrounding the lake provide good hiking opportunities. Wildlife in the park includes ground squirrels, cottontails, mule deer, badgers and bald and golden eagles. During winter, the park has special boat tours to view the bald eagles. The lake was created by construction of the Friant Dam across the San Joaquin River in 1944. The park’s camping facilities include boat camping. The park contains the original Millerton County Courthouse, built in 1867. The area is 20 miles northeast of Fresno via Highway 41 and Highway 145. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
One of the better hikes close to home in Fresno. With all of the rain, so many small streams, a waterfall and much green vegetation. I began from trailhead by the group camp site and returned there. Took about 45 mins from that point to the roost. The view from the top late in the day was tops. I'm sure within a month that the wildflowers will make it even better. Beware of mountain lion(s) as I found scat near the "roost". Also, signs indicate "no dogs". Please abide and pack out your trash. Enjoy!
Late February hike after a long winter of good rain in Central CA. The poppies and wildflowers were absolutely stunning!! We hiked up from the lake @ the Fine Gold Creek Rec area and hiked it to Big Bend just over 2.5 miles in. That 1st mile up the hill is not easy but once you crest the ridge it's a comfortable rolling walk. Lot's of people but I wouldn't call it crowded. We took a nice bread at Big Bend with a great view of the valley then worked our way back to the the starting point. We're planning on doing this again soon as the flowers should be just as amazing in 2017.
Pretty basic hike but for January, it was great. The hike from the lot to the gorge was mostly downhill till you cross the bridge. We took the counterclockwise route which climbs gradually for a couple miles. Because the trail winds in different directions throughout the hills you get different views of the surrounding hills and peaks off in the distance. The downhill trail was a similar distance to the uphill but seemed steeper in places. We attacked the trail at a very casual pace and managed to make it back to the lot in four hours. Not sure of the moderate rating, I’d probably lean a little more towards easy, however, if you consider the distance then I suppose the moderate rating could be justified. The trail was very busy this day…lots of mountain bikes...all of which were going clockwise.
Susan H. on Buzzard's Roost Trail
Great trail in late fall or early spring. Trail can be hard to follow in some areas due to overgrowth. Kid- friendly 7yrs on up.