Kennedy Lake Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fishing, and horses and is best used from July until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Start off at Kennedy Meadows Resort and take a nice stroll through some beautiful country. Someone said there is no water but the trail pretty much follows the river and we never had an issue. The hike to Kennedy Lake is roughly 7 miles and relatively easy going once you get past the first 2 or so miles. Also this trail is open usually in May and only closes when they close Hwy 108 at Strawberry around November depending on the weather. This trek looks to go a good ways past the lake to the PCT.
A beautiful trek through granite cliffs and grassy meadows. We hiked in from the car park but realized on the way back out we could have saved a few miles of hiking with packs by dropping them at the bottom of the trail and walking in to them. The hike was a bit strenuous due to the rarefied air but was not too harsh. One note, there is NO water after you start the climb until you reach the top so bring extra with you. A couple of full fuel bottles should be enough. It was in the 90's when we hiked so we were consuming lots.
We camped about halfway between the Sharon lake cutoff and Kennedy lake. The creek lulled us to sleep at night. We didn't see any wildlife other than birds but something set my dog off early morning the second day. We went back into the tent until the sun came up. We were able to day hike to both without lugging all out gear. We went midweek/mid September so the trails were empty and we didn't see a soul until we hiked out on Friday.
This trail is dog-friendly but make sure that you bring booties and beware of those who don't understand leash laws. We ran into quite a few dogs off leash who have questionable greeting manners.
Awesome scenery, decently difficult, but definitely worth it! The fishing was great as well!
This is a moderately challenging trail mainly because of its length. We heard estimates of 14-18 miles for the out-and-back hike. The shorter mileage gets you just short of the lake, but then you don't have to deal with the boggy marsh as you approach the lake. We are purists and hiked clear to the lake. It was a fairly dry winter, so the marsh was not boggy at all. We brought sandals in case but were able to stay in our hiking boots & never even got wet socks! Spent an hour on the rocks at the lake munching lunch and dipping in the cool water. Then back down the dusty trail (shared with horses). Made it just in time for our dinner reservation at Kennedy Meadow Resort. Hike was about 11.5 hrs, a little long for a day hike. Next time we'll camp.