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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.

Great, exerting hike....

Steep and Straight Forward. Great view of surrounding lake.

Got there early enough to catch the beautiful sunrise, great exercise. I recommend this trail

Excellent experience and beautiful scenery.

This was my first time hiking and I really enjoyed myself. It definitely wasn’t easy but there were a couple of nice shaded areas with rocks to sit on which made the climb easier.

great excersize.

Entrance fee into Millerton Lake was $12 for Memorial Day. Nice view of the lake. It was very steep the whole time up. A lot of bushes and brush getting stuck in our socks and clothes. We did not complete the trail but still got a decent lookout view. There is no shade, we went at 9 am and it was very hot already.
We also took an 8 and 6 year old. They fell a few times on the steep parts. I do not recommend for kids.

hiking
24 days ago

This is my “go to” hike when I’m itching to go hiking but don’t have much time to drive out an hour.

First off, the park area is great and you can also walk down to the lake prior to or after your hike.
On some occasions our “fight team” use this area for fight camp because it has the parking lot for running and then we’ll hike or run the trail to the top of pincushion mnt. The view up there is very rewarding.

This is a good challenging hike for me. I enjoy hiking but i have not gone out for years. I plan on hiking this trail more often so it can condition me for future hikes. See you soon...

It was a good challenge for me. Not easy.

In the middle of a network of trails, offering something for any level of ability. At roughly the 0.4 mile mark the trail has a major fork. The posted trail is primarily the left fork. A shorter and steeper version is the right fork. Left side has more breeze and more scenery; while the right fork offers more thigh burn.

This is a nice trail with beautiful chaparral landscape, with lots of oaks, rocks and wildflowers. It is a good steady climb to the top, but it’s good for beginners. The walk back to the parking lot at the end feels steeper than you remember on the descent down, so just keep that in mind as you go. It’s very sun exposed on the ascent (if you go counterclockwise), so I’d go on a cool day and would probably avoid peak summer if you are sensitive to the Central California heat. I personally can’t wait to go back during tarantula season!

I was looking for a hike that was dog friendly and this hike was NOT it. About 2 miles into the hike we noticed that the trail was covered with foxtails and another corkscrew looking. Super brutal on my poor little pup. Main reason for my 3 star rating.

We started the hike early and I suggest everyone do the same. There is little shade once you reach the backside of the trail and it was got hot quick. We took another hikers suggestion and took the trail counterclockwise. Some great views. Challenging steep consistent incline for first 3 miles. This is a great hike if you are looking for a workout. I am happy that we completed this hike but don't think I will take up the challenge again.

good hike but a little challenging if you are out of shape but it is doable.

Short but intense hike. Pretty steep most of the way up. My calves are definitely feeling it a couple days later. My 8 year old was able to make it while the 11 year old puttered out just before the steepest part towards the end. As others have noted, the views at the top are well worth it!

Awesome Trails

hiking
1 month ago

Great trek for my first hiking experience. There are sections that are steep and challenging for those of us who have limited hiking experience. However, I enjoyed the 3 mile round trip which made for a pleasant beginners hike. The views are great and the people on the trail were very friendly.

It was a great hike. A couple of steep parts, which was my favorite. It’s great for trail running. I was eaten a bit by the bugs, but the views are gorgeous and worth it!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Warning: NOT for mountain biking. Hiking, yes. Mountain biking, no!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice day hike! Good for uphill conditioning in places. Best hike within 30 minutes of Fresno

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike. I’ve done it several times training for a longer upcoming hike and it makes for a good workout. Once you get away from the river you really don’t see many other people either so it seems nice and remote even though you aren’t far from civilization. Beautiful views of the river gorge.

Couldn’t enter the park since the gate to pay was broken. Was told we could pay at the Friant Park and then call the marina after they opened 2 hours later to let them know we had paid but they may not honor it. Why would we pay and sit and wait with the chance that we wouldn’t be able to get in. Very disappointed since we were really looking forward to this hike.

Very scenic !

trail running
1 month ago

It’s got damn hard but I love it. The view is amazing and the trail conditions are good to great. I’m not too sure about the fences but they keep the cows contained. You have to go to the peak! That’s all
I’m gonna say. Enjoy

hahaha ......it kicked my ass.....havent been hiking in years.....this was a good reminder of how out of shape i am.

Pretty great trail. App is wrong in distance more like 20 miles if you do the trail the app has.

Easy and the views at the top are amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike 4/15/18. Absolutely stunning. Great views and lots of spring flowers right now. Take the loop counter clockwise. Can't wait to go back!

Beautiful scenery!

Fun little day hike. Not too long. Early hike in the morning and be at work in the evening. Cows sometimes lay in the trail. They’re indifferent to the hikers being there though.

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