Explore the most popular river 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.

on Preston Falls Trail

hiking
3 days ago

This is one other amazing trail to hike. You hike along the bank of the vibrant river and its very refreshing.I had been on a mid spring sunny day when the weather was around 70F. I had started to hike by 1030 hrs and found it highly draining and had got dehydrated by the time i got back, may be I am used to hiking a lot during fall and winter and had still not acclimatized to the spring weather. My suggestion is to hike during dusk or dawn so that you will to get enjoy the hike thoroughly. It took 0430 hrs for me to hike this 8.9 mile hike.
Note on the travel direction: after you cross the vehicle bridge in the cherry lake road while driving from Highway 120, please turn to the right towards the cottages. There is no sign board directing to the trail head and mostly you will tend to get lost. from there it is just a 3/4 mile to the trail head and it is called as Stanislaus National Forest Trail Head.

off road driving
3 days ago

Great trail but definitely go with others. My stock two door rubicon did well, tho I did scrape the skid plates underneath a bit. It’s better suited for vehicles with more ground clearance and bigger tires.

nature trips
5 days ago

I would rate this more as a nature hike. The trail is fairly easy until the last 1/4 mile. From there it becomes steep and rocky until you reach the falls. We did it with a 4 year old in tow.
The trail is within the burn area of the 2013 Rim Fire, it provided a great learning opportunity for our 12 year old to see the devastation and regrowth as part of our nature's cycle.
The falls are amazing with pools to dip in if you dare (that water is icy! brrrr!!).

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!

Great place to visit

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.

hiking
12 days ago

There are several short hikes here and you can easily jump from one to the other. The parking area was not clean and maintained. Pretty sad all the garbage was over flowing. The trail is not really special and yes was burned several years ago.
The falls are worth the hike. Great swimming holes and cold water!

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

does anyone know if slick rock is open yet? I would like to go up this weekend

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

backpacking
1 month ago

The Dece Scouts headed to Preston Falls for an early season backpacking trip. The weather was supposed to be horrible. We started the hike in the rain, walking along the very high and flowing river. The rain died down after an hour or so, and by the evening it was clear skies. Lots of trees down on the trail, and parts were flooded, but all in all, a great hike.

Easy hike, plenty of space to park, restrooms, beautiful view!!!

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!

This trail has dangerous fall situations. Not for children

This trail is very dangerous and should never be mistaken for less. I personally have assisted in two helicopter rescues from this trail, both being fall victims. On three different visits the the bath, I have seen the remains of dogs that had fallen to their deaths. I am a local and have frequented the bath for over forty years and say this trail demands caution!

This trail is near level with little grade. It is an out and back trail, unless two or more people will be hiking together. In this case a vehicle can be left at the far end for an easy return to the trailhead.

Easy and flat trail with beautiful views. Our dog loves it too. I can't wait to see the wildflowers in spring.

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!

I enjoyed the fact that there were markers along the way telling you the names of some trees. Also how far you have gone and some history of the rails. My dog enjoyed it as well.

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.

hiking
3 months ago

I found this to be a wonderful winter trek. Following the river up to the falls, clear water, cataplier, mushrooms, birds, and snow. I look forward to visiting again in the summer. Easy hike with some moderate (steep) hiking up to the falls.

off road driving
3 months ago

Are there trails that I’d be able to take my stock 2017 tundra on? I’m not expecting to do rock crawling, I just want to get on some dirt roads and climb up the mountain to see some beautiful sites!

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
3 months ago

Can't wait to go back in the summer, but this was a beautiful winter hike. Just a few slick spots and snow, but we'll worth the effort. Gorgeous waterfall and Crystal clear water on this quiet easy stroll.

Wonderful hiking trail! Great trail markers and educational signs. Picnic tables and benches along the way. Awesome views. A trail for all ages to enjoy.

hiking
4 months ago

A fantastic day hike on a very mild Jan 2. Beautiful river with pools and rapids. We were the only two people on the trail. We didn’t start until noon so only got to large pool and falls about 3.5 miles in and came out to finish by dark. Will definitely come again to have more time.

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