Balsam Forebay

EASY 23 reviews
#39 of 88 trails in

Balsam Forebay is a 1.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Camp Sierra, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and fishing and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
137 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

walking

lake

wildlife

Short hike from the Balsam Meadows Sno-Park parking lot to the edges of Shaver Lake's forebay, where water is pumped at night to facilitate power production. Gorgeous little lake with dam and nesting Osprey.

hiking
27 days ago

Absolutely incredible “hike”. One of my favorites I’ve ever been on. The walk down to the actual lake it a nice, easy walk. Not so much a hike. The real beauty happens when you walk around the lake and along the top of the dam (I’m an engineer so I nerd out over stuff like that). We were the ONLY people out there so that was also great. I would absolutely suggest this hike. The views are stunning the entire time.

1 month ago

The hike was more rocky than I expected. Other than that I enjoyed it the corny is pretty and we saw an Osprey nest. There was an Osprey flying high too. All in all a great time.

walking
2 months ago

Nice view. Easy trail.

2 months ago

love it

hiking
2 months ago

Nice short trail, .5 miles from the trailhead to the little lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Great little trail to walk with the kids and the dog. You can easily get in an out in an hour or walk around the lake and make it an adventure door to door from Shaver lake in 2 hours. June has glorious wild flowers and crisp lake waters to jump in.

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice easy short hike. We were looking for snow but luck. There is a small lake that you can walk around. Don't forget you snow-permit if hiking in the winter/spring months.

hiking
9 months ago

Good hike to see variety of trees. Find the one that smells like vanilla. Not much elevation gain. Add some distance by walking around the lake. Some good rocks for kids to climb. Don’t forget your snow-permit if hiking in the winter/spring.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

short hike not spectacular but nice

hiking
Friday, June 23, 2017

Really short out and back, nice views but unable to walk across the dam anymore. Lots of tree clearing, but really green.

hiking
Friday, June 23, 2017

very peaceful short hike to the beautiful lake Saturday morning. very few people

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Late Sunday afternoon and nobody around. Great short hike to get wet in the water if you'd like. Good distance for kids and those getting started in hiking.

hiking
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Great trail, beautiful spot for birding and sightseeing. Pretty little lake. Highly recommended, easy drive from shaver!

1 month ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

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11 months ago

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017