Explore the most popular fishing 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.

Really cool hike it's a little hard to follow the path. But they have blue arrows directing you for the most part! Really pretty views along the trail

hiking
12 days ago

This hike is gorgeous! I’ve hiked around Pinecrest several times and always wanted to hike back in. The water was really moving today, and we could hear the waterfall from pretty far away. Be prepared to scale some large boulders. We saw one small ran snake, but I’m sure there were others hidden in the rocks and plants so watch your toes! The trail can be hard to find at times. Keep an eye out for blue spray painted arrows, piled rocks, and occasionally arrows that look like they were done with crayon! If all else fails, follow the water up! A lot of dogs were on the way back, but once we scrambled up the rocks a lot stopped at the bottom. It’d be very difficult for them and young kids/elderly.

hiking
13 days ago

This is a beautiful hike but more than moderate in difficulty in places, especially in the uphill portion to Cleo's Bath. The trail is not well mark in place that resulted in a number of side tours for us and other hiking at the time. The last stretch to the top of the falls can be outright dangerous if you take the almost vertical route.

We hiked around the lake on Memorial Day with our kids (ages 7, 5, 3 and the 1-year-old was on our backs). Our 7 and 5 year-olds hiked the whole loop with no problems. It was not only a scenic trail, but the trail itself was a lot of fun to walk on.

Was definitely a great trail to run! Pretty challenging with all the rocks to climb and hop over. the bridge you have to cross over a waterfall was a bit spooky but totally worth the views!

Nice and easy trail but heavily trafficked. Have to constantly move out of the way for oncoming hikers or people behind you. Some people almost take pets out and doesn’t clean up after them. Either than that the trail is beautiful and worth it if you have the patience.

Easy hiking with a well maintained trail and easy to find markers. The main water inlet is absolutely amazing, plenty of great spots along the way to take pictures, pinecrest can get overwhelmed with guests so we like to do our adventuring as early as possible.

Moderate scrambling, but fun for the whole family ! The pools are awesome and if you don’t mind cold water take a swim!

beautiful - hike by Pinecrest Lake, Stanislaus River, forested area, waterfalls and Cleo's Bath at top. the rock scrambling is rigorous in one spot.

Definitely a “easy” trail. Not moderate at all. Great Lake and cold swimming most of the year.

Nice hike, great views and the snow on the ground made for great pics! animal tracks in the snow indicate a bear or mountain lion were present beyond the water tanks. I would never do this hike during tourist season but February 2018 was a perfect time!

Loved the view . It’s a great little hike :)

Great hike with good views! Not hard but has a bit of it all on this loop!

Great hike. Loved that there was actual climbing required to get there. Not too hard to do, I saw dogs and children as young as 7 doing it. The best part is having a nice cold bath waiting for you at the end, with some great views of Pinecrest Lake.

It’s a beautiful trail, my first and only time there was during winter time. The shore was covered with snow, not a soul around and the water eerily calm. With proper footwear and clothing trail was doable and I managed to do about 1/2 of it until I started to freeze. Looking forward to spring and summer, looks like a fantastic place to go swimming.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Love this hike! Have done it multiple times. Definitely some good climbing. Did this with my 7 and 4 year old. It was tough but they made it up and down

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike, but lots of hikers on the main trail around the lake. A word of caution: the end of this trail requires bouldering several hundred feet up...a challenge for humans and an even bigger challenge for dogs!

hiking
5 months ago

Make sure you take the other way back around the side of the lake that you didn’t head out on. The side with the dam is amazing and offers more of a challenge than the side with the majority of houses. Just completed this hike in Dec and the weather was fantastic, minimal snow pack.

Beautiful hike around a high mountain lake.

This trail is relatively easy, however it is extremely rocky so small children should have a carrier, their are high cliffs and boulders that can be dangerous it is not a leisurely stroll. So bring water and sun screen pack a lunch and enjoy the amazing sceneries.

backpacking
7 months ago

Not really sure why this says 10 miles, the map that I have marks it a little over 6 miles to the lake.
This was definitely a beautiful adventure! My friend and I chose this trail for our first backpacking trip and besides us not being correctly prepared, this was the perfect choice!
We started at 1030 and didn't make camp till 1700! Those backpacks really slow you down! The last mile, we walked through ankle deep mud and thought it was never going to end! Luckily, we made it, made camp, froze, and ended up having to share a tent. Thank goodness we brought emergency blankets haha.
Because of a miserable night of sleep/freezing, we cut our trip short and headed back at 0900 and made it to the car at 1500. We found a much easier way back through the marsh, just hike higher up, farther away from the water. ALSO, the ground was pretty frozen, so that definitely helped.
It was an amazing experience and am currently on the hunt for a better, warmer sleeping bag, so I can do it again soon!
Oh, the trail was pretty dead, but make sure to wear bright colors, there were lots of hunters for deer season.

Took about two and half hours. Wear good shoes. Not all areas are flat. Nice view of the lake.

A little tight in some spots but fun

trail running
8 months ago

Amazing trail. Views from the baths at sunset were spectacular. The bouldering and scrambling made the trail fun and challenging. Only ran into a couple people on the trail. Great option for seclusion in an amazing landscape once you leave the lake shore.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome once you get away from the campground!

backpacking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This hike is NOT kid friendly (at least for our experience, ages 7 and younger) as stated above. Toward the end of the hike, it's very inclined and has a lot of large rocks that you'd have to climb in order to get to the baths. I would recommend going to the right side trail of the lake (not crossing the dam) because it's shorter and isn't as strenuous. I definitely recommend very well gripped hiking shoes for the inclined rock climbing part toward the end of the trail to the baths.

backpacking
9 months ago

prepared to get muddy in the last mile to the lake. everything else was amazing.

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