Explore the most popular camping trails in Stanislaus National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 days ago

Got a late start (as usual!) today so wasn't sure if I would get back before dark and my RV was parked in the day use area. It probably wouldn't have been an issue but I pushed hard and made it back at twilight without any problem. I went up on the left side of the lake and missed the turnoff to the peak at first but checked the app and saw my mistake so went back. I lost the trail shortly after that as well, it turned left and I missed it and ended up on a rocky ridge. After that I didn't have any problem except never did find out for sure where the actual high point on the summit was. I jogged back most of the way back down except for the real rocky places and returned on the same side of the lake. I saw a couple before the dam but no one else the rest of the hike. I was amazed that some mountain bikers have been riding down the upper part of the trail. They really seemed to like the rock jumps! A good hard workout with lots of elevation gain.

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail in early Oct 2018. For fitness context, I am a mid twenty year old who goes to the gym 2-3 days a week and is active during my job and my boyfriend is in his early 30's and goes to the gym 4 days a week. We found this trail really great and got a nice workout in without feeling spent or crazy sore by the end. As people have mentioned, the bouldering is the main challenging part of this hike, but it's pretty short and surprisingly easy. For example, several dogs were able to do it. It took us from around 1:00-5:00 for the whole hike, but we stopped and explored the area around Cleo's Bath a bit. Also, the trail isn't incredibly well marked once you leave the pinecrest lake loop, so watch for the blue areas and stay with your group! We picked up a lost hiker on the way back to the lake so it definitely can happen. there was no place to get portable water along the trail but there was a flowing river so bring water or a filter. The only bathrooms were at the beginning of the trail.
Overall, a very beautiful hike for a wide variety of fitness levels.

13 days ago

Beautiful October hike

backpacking
20 days ago

Beautiful trail, just the right mix of semi-difficult hiking and easy paths. My 7 year old and two year old both made it all the way around. (Although the 2 year old had to be carried for about half the way). You’re walking around the lake, so there’s always a fantastic view of the water. Would defiantly take this hike again!

backpacking
21 days ago

Gorgeous views, lots of campsites at Bear Lake, good amount of shade, and trail was clearly marked. Took a couple of newbies and everyone had a great time.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an absolutely beautiful hike! It's correctly listed as "moderate" because there are a lot of elevation changes (small, but strenuous), sections where you are hiking on boulders (but the trail is also mostly dirt/pine needles), and several narrow spots. I recommend a hat, hiking pole, sturdy shoes, and plenty of water. Why anyone would bring a child in this hike is beyond me. The best time to go is after the summer rush before it gets too chilly. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hiking trail with beautiful views. The trail is well marked and taken care of.

Definitely will be doing this trail again. We only went to camp lake this day but will be back to continue to bear lake. The beginning is mostly incline and was heavily traveled with a few large groups. Once at the lake we explored a bit. It is worth while to hike up to the ridge to see the views.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked this as an overnight backpacking trip with my family: two girls, ages 13 and 15, and mid 40s wife. We did so over Labor Day weekend and were not expecting big crowds at the Crabtree trailhead. Fortunately, we were able to find a nice campsite at the lake. Most folks had already set up at the south end (where the trail enters the lake) but there are a lot more spots if you continue north/left. Fuel here is at a minimum. Also, it's easy to pick up that this is a popular spot (toilet paper, bit of trash, no low limbs on trees, etc). Overall, a nice beginner's backpacking trip. The lake itself was quite warm at this time of year and good for a dip.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked this as an overnight backpacking trip with my family: two girls, ages 13 and 15, and mid 40s wife. We did so in June and it was exceptionally hot! Once we made it to the falls though we were able to hydrate and cool off in the river. Upside of the temperature may be that we had the place to ourselves. There was plenty of fuel for a campfire at the time and multiple campsites to chose from. Nice trip for beginner backpackers given the distance and elevation change. The trail itself was pretty overgrown in parts and, as others have mentioned, you have to watch out for poison oak.

Very nice mostly easy terrain until you get to the boulders. For me it was harder going up then coming down but totally worth it even without the waterfall. I’d advise wearing pants or longer shorts as I had to be in some awkward positions to climb the rocks and get back down. No woman wants scraped up legs. I enjoyed that it wasn’t full on sun. There was plenty of shade to enjoy on a hot day. Although I did see dogs at the bath I wouldn’t recommend bringing them up there. Also bring a backpack keep your hands free as you will need them both to get up to the bath.

Very nice trail . We didn’t have any trouble finding
The trails , not much water but it’s a beautiful place

hiking
1 month ago

First hike with a group. Was challenging for us newbies. Beautiful views of the lake and surrounding rocks. Was very proud of making it all the way around.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike but lots of poison oak. The trail goes right through knee to chest high poison oak especially on the first 1/3 of the trail. But other than that it was an awesome day hike!!!!

off road driving
1 month ago

Rather easy trail. Passed a truck towing a 5th wheel travel trailer. Stopped at the cabin and had lunch outside. We brought tools so we decided to fix up some shutters, outside boards and little things in the cabin.

Pretty hike but lots of mosquitos, my sister and I got eaten alive towards the end of the hike.

Parts of the trails were misleading. But overall it has beautiful scenery with some wildlife added to the trip. The hike is for sure over 6.7 miles. Also you need to be aware of some rock climbing involved. Overall I would recommend nice trail.

Lovely trail with beautiful spots to swim!
Remember to bring lots of water.

Was rather smokey when we started, but got better later in the morning. Challenging, but the worth the trek. Great view from the top!

off road driving
2 months ago

I have driven this trail a few times and it is always fun, once in late Spring, Fall and Winter where we got stopped by snow just before the beautiful overlook. This is a good trail for the beginner with a 4x4 with some ground clearance. There will be a few spots that might worry a first timer but the rocks are easily driven over and most of the trail is fire roads. Bring some food and have lunch at the overlook.

Even in late summer with little flowing water the pools and vistas make the hike more than worthwhile!

Awesome hike and very scenic!

California Conservation Corps help rebuild this trail and rock steps !! ⚒

hiking
2 months ago

Don't follow the directions through this app. Thank God I was driving a Jeep, even then I had to get out and look and make some assessments as to whether I needed to turn around. Take Crabtree Rd out to gianelli and skip going through Dodge ridge. yikes. It was super pretty and a good adventure though. Def would recommend for a short lil hike with the kids.
Also this is labeled as lightly traveled and on a Monday I seen probably 15-20 other hikers. I would say that's at least moderately traveled.

First time hiking in Pinecrest and I absolutely loved Cleos bath trail. It's not too clearly marked in some areas, you can lose the trail. Some people are nice enough to spray paint arrows but they are fading. The swimming hole at the top is the best part of the hike!

love this trail

This trail was tough. Not good for little kids unless their parents are patient and strong.

we only made it to Camp Lake but it was great!

Good place to take your little ones for a hike and camping trip. It’s gets very packed with people on the weekends!

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