Bull Run Lake Trail

MODERATE 19 reviews
#29 of 106 trails in

Bull Run Lake Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.7 miles
1479 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




horseback riding

trail running





47 minutes ago

Great hike, look for rock formations if you’re questioning the route.

6 days ago

Us and our 2 teens walked in easily finding the trails to the gorgeous lake in 2 hours. I back packed here 20 years ago several times and it was amazing on the east/south shore. Beware of losing the trail as you cross streams and never go on a holiday; 20+ years ago on a Memorial Day or 4th of July weekend we found 30+ campers all around the lake blasting stereos and almost no room !!!!!

9 months ago

Nice hike.... tough uphill once you start heading up to the lake. We went Labor Day and it was stupid crowded! Kids screaming, girls yelling, drones flying..... anything but peaceful. Caught some fish and fried up some dove breasts my brother brought....

9 months ago

Go light there are lots of rocky areas and climbs my gaia gps tracked us at more like 4.3 mi id say its not a beginner trail its probably the hardest trail ive backpacked then a day hike to the surrounding peak was awesome
My buddy caught 2 fish and put them back. The water was refreshing after the days hike. Late august the trail is hard to follow with out the homemade markers it would have taken alot longer

10 months ago

Great for the lake and proximity. But in July 2017, the snow and snow melt made it very difficult to find the trail very often. Probably the worst trail conditions for a July-August trip I've been on due to the snowy conditions and the number of trail creek crossings.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

I'd say this is definitely not a beginner trail. Lots of rock scrambles and a trail that is not so well marked in places. However, the payoff at the end is worth the effort.

Monday, July 18, 2016

With a weekend supply backpack this can be a challenging trail (especially the last third) if you are in less then fair/good health. We hiked it June 2016 and there were a lot of down trees, sketchy creek crossing and though there are trail blazes we found at times that we had to rely on stacked rocks from past hikers to help guide the way. We stayed 2 nights and it was absolutely beautiful there. We would absolutely go back again but the lack of fish made for a not so exciting weekend. We seriously saw no activity on the surface of the water or under or any signs of life other than frogs at night. Plan on instead of fishing to hike to the falls (May-June) that are visible from the lake.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I visited bull run lake in October. It was an easy hike and great for beginners. Only 3.5 miles in but you feel like you are much deeper into the back country. Very pretty. And fishing was ok, despite what other reviews might say. We had some success.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Took the Bull Run Lake trail from the Mosquito Lake Trailhead. Lovely trail with moderate hills and a nice variety of terrain. Several downed trees block the trail, but trail markers have been built to show you the detour. Beautiful lake, really interesting deposit of sand at west end of lake.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A perfect hike with a respectable elevation gain that's broken up in three parts. I went on a Sunday and started out around 11AM. The trail was properly populated for my taste (not at all crowded but still occupied; running into other hikers every so often). Being late in the summer and having come off an atrocious snow year the river and streams were essentially dry save for a few ponds. There were a good amount of wild flowers in bloom however. Bull Run itself was beautiful and all in all it was a perfect day for the hike. I definitely plan to backpack in and camp at the lake sometime in the future.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This is one of our favorite hikes. We did the hike with our 1 year old in the backpack and 3 dogs in June on a Tuesday. Absolutely gorgeous! The creeks were all flowing pretty good so we were glad we were both wearing waterproof boots. The Mosquito were viscous! Trail was well marked for the most part, and absolutely gorgeous! It's was well worth packing the nice camera. I would rate this as a moderate hike. We drove off of hwy 4 and stayed on the 4wd trail till it ended at the Stanislaus meadow trailhead. That probably cut 30-40 minutes off of our hike but we were glad at the end. We spent about 4.5 hours doing the hike, stopping for a short lunch at Bullrun lake and several photos. It was a bit cool at the lake around 4 pm. We had to pull out our jackets to stay comfortable while we explored the lake. We met one other couple on the trail that day but that was it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I did this hike as part of a loop which started at Mosquito Lakes, went up the Heiser Lake trail, down the Bull Run Lake trail and then part of the Sandy Meadow trail.
From Heiser I went off trail to reach Bull Run and while it was rugged going, the views were amazing.

Bull Run is a very pretty and swimmable lake. While there I saw/heard several big fish jump. Why don't I have my fishing permit yet?

Nice hike.

Ten or eleven miles the way I did it.

Also, I camped at the Mosquito lakes campground, which I discovered is free after 9/23 as are the others in the area, but with no bathrooms etc...

8 days ago

15 days ago

2 months ago

8 months ago

recorded Stanislaus Meadow

9 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, October 09, 2016