Bull Run Lake Trail is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
I'd say this is definitely not a beginner trail. Lots of rock scrambles and a trail that is not so well marked in places. However, the payoff at the end is worth the effort.
With a weekend supply backpack this can be a challenging trail (especially the last third) if you are in less then fair/good health. We hiked it June 2016 and there were a lot of down trees, sketchy creek crossing and though there are trail blazes we found at times that we had to rely on stacked rocks from past hikers to help guide the way. We stayed 2 nights and it was absolutely beautiful there. We would absolutely go back again but the lack of fish made for a not so exciting weekend. We seriously saw no activity on the surface of the water or under or any signs of life other than frogs at night. Plan on instead of fishing to hike to the falls (May-June) that are visible from the lake.
I visited bull run lake in October. It was an easy hike and great for beginners. Only 3.5 miles in but you feel like you are much deeper into the back country. Very pretty. And fishing was ok, despite what other reviews might say. We had some success.
Took the Bull Run Lake trail from the Mosquito Lake Trailhead. Lovely trail with moderate hills and a nice variety of terrain. Several downed trees block the trail, but trail markers have been built to show you the detour. Beautiful lake, really interesting deposit of sand at west end of lake.
A perfect hike with a respectable elevation gain that's broken up in three parts. I went on a Sunday and started out around 11AM. The trail was properly populated for my taste (not at all crowded but still occupied; running into other hikers every so often). Being late in the summer and having come off an atrocious snow year the river and streams were essentially dry save for a few ponds. There were a good amount of wild flowers in bloom however. Bull Run itself was beautiful and all in all it was a perfect day for the hike. I definitely plan to backpack in and camp at the lake sometime in the future.
This is one of our favorite hikes. We did the hike with our 1 year old in the backpack and 3 dogs in June on a Tuesday. Absolutely gorgeous! The creeks were all flowing pretty good so we were glad we were both wearing waterproof boots. The Mosquito were viscous! Trail was well marked for the most part, and absolutely gorgeous! It's was well worth packing the nice camera. I would rate this as a moderate hike. We drove off of hwy 4 and stayed on the 4wd trail till it ended at the Stanislaus meadow trailhead. That probably cut 30-40 minutes off of our hike but we were glad at the end. We spent about 4.5 hours doing the hike, stopping for a short lunch at Bullrun lake and several photos. It was a bit cool at the lake around 4 pm. We had to pull out our jackets to stay comfortable while we explored the lake. We met one other couple on the trail that day but that was it.
I did this hike as part of a loop which started at Mosquito Lakes, went up the Heiser Lake trail, down the Bull Run Lake trail and then part of the Sandy Meadow trail.
From Heiser I went off trail to reach Bull Run and while it was rugged going, the views were amazing.
Bull Run is a very pretty and swimmable lake. While there I saw/heard several big fish jump. Why don't I have my fishing permit yet?
Ten or eleven miles the way I did it.
Also, I camped at the Mosquito lakes campground, which I discovered is free after 9/23 as are the others in the area, but with no bathrooms etc...