Explore the most popular walking 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.

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

Great hike however it was extremely difficult for me but I am also no where near being in shape

backpacking
19 days 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!!!

nature trips
25 days ago

Great little day hike with a cascading water falls and swimming holes throughout. I would rate the hike down as an easy hike. Not too over-crowded and you’ll be able to find a peaceful spot without too much trouble if the main water fall is crowded. Great jumping options rated beginner to expert and as of the first week of April ‘18 the water isn’t as cold as you’d think. Get in! Highly recommended for single, double and family groups. Will be coming back to this beautiful hike/swimming hole.

hiking
1 month ago

Great for an easy introduction for kids that aren’t used to hiking, or when you are short on time.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Low impact but gets rocky by the end. Peaceful and pretty. Nice hike along creek to waterfall.

One my favorite mc runs that I've done many times...

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.

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
2 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.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Was a really gorgeous, but we missed the trail and went straight at the end of the parking lot and had a hard time finding the trail to the Craters. Go left at the end of the parking lot and follow the blue markers all the way up! The Craters are frozen right now so no bright blue water but still really pretty.

off road driving
2 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!

hiking
2 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
3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked it with my wife and 2 year old. Definitely a bit too tough for the 2 year old, but the hike and the view at the end are totally worth it.

hiking
3 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
3 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!

Some nice views and very well marked trail but the trail got a little boring after awhile. It is very flat and anyone in reasonably good shape can do it. The trail ends abruptly with no major payout at the end which was a bummer. There are also lots of ticks so bug spray is a must and be carried you bring your furry friends.

hiking
3 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.

Easy to navigate, beautiful forest and nearby river. Plenty of parking with restrooms.

backpacking
4 months ago

Backpacked out to the falls with the dog weekend of 12/16 -12/17: his first backpacking overnight and this was a nice introduction on a pretty gentle trail. Trail was mostly clear, but especially in the last mile the path was covered in downed trees, branches and debris from a previous fire. Pup is about 20 pounds so I had to carry him for a lot of this final stretch as it was such a mess.

It was very quiet-- one other truck when I arrived but otherwise not a single person on the trail the whole 24 hours. Beautiful hike, and the waterfall at the end makes for a beautiful rest at the end. No snow or ice yet, just some frost in the shadowed areas of the canyon.

I put the coordinates from alltrails in Google Maps and it took me most of the way there: it ended on the switchback road down to the canyon. At the bottom of the switchbacks, turn right and drive past the dam and water plant all the way to the end (it looks like it might lead to a back lot for the plant at one point) and you'll get to the large trailhead parking lot.

backpacking
4 months ago

We had a great time backpacking here the weekend of December 2nd 2017. This time of year it is hard to find a sutible place to go backpacking with my wife and 6 year old son. I was drawn to this place for it's low elevation, paved road access and close proximity to my home in the bay area. We were rewarded with a beautiful hike. We found a really nice camp spot about halfway. I really wanted to push on to the falls but my son was getting tired and the sun was soon to set. The natural beauty was abundant. This is a hidden gem that has been cast in the shadow of and often overlooked by Yosemite's grandeur.

Very nice hike , not too hard, the waterfall is beautiful

Awesome trail. Good up hill the way there. The lake is beautiful. I did it 2 weeks ago and the snow wasn't bad at all. A little here and there. The trail was pretty easy to stay on.

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