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Cleo's Bath Trail via Pinecrest Lake Loop

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Stanislaus National Forest

Cleo's Bath Trail via Pinecrest Lake Loop is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and canoeing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 843 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Trail marker is off the north side of Pinecrest lake. Pleasant trail through forest and rocky switchbacks at high elevation. Opens up into river, wading pool and waterfall area. Great views of Pinecrest Lake.

Plenty of parking upon my 9 am arrival on a Tuesday summer day. Started counter clockwise and got to Cleos in about 1:15. Forgot how fun the little scrambling on on the way up. Had a great time jumping in the pools with new friends. I continued on counter clockwise after I left cleos to make it a true loop and not an out and back. A really fun hike and definitely challenging for kids or those out of shape.

hiking
12 hours ago

We hiked in to the trail from Strawberry on 7/5. It was a great hike. We have 4 kids (14,12,10,7) and I wasn’t sure how it would be for the little one. They all made it just fine. We also passed a family that was coming down from the pools with kids that were younger than ours. I used the great reviews on this app to know what to expect as far as the hike goes but I wanted to write a review about having kids because I didn’t see many. It took us a little over 2.5 hours to get there. And another 2.5 to get back to our car. The trail is pretty easy going the whole way until the end. Lots to look at. We saw two snakes one was a rattle snake and lots of fish in the clear water. We did get a ton of mosquito bites. But we were also hiking later in the afternoon and early evening. Bring lots of water to drink. I would highly recommend this hike. Getting to Cleo’s Bath is so worth it.

hiking
rocky
2 days ago

Did the hike today on 7/5. It was a beautiful hike. Went the way the map shows and We clocked the hike in at 7.5 miles and a little over 1,000ft elevation gain. Cleos bath was absolutely worth it! I’d highly recommend wearing some sort of hiking shoe. Getting up and down the boulders in cross trainers is a bad accident waiting to happen.

hiking
3 days ago

If you are a more experienced hiker or are comfortable with some climbing, I HIGHLY recommend going straight up the right side of the falls to the bath. When you initially reach the bottom of the falls where it begins to incline, stay left where the trail splits and just go up those boulders to the bath. Views are beautiful the whole way and it is quite a workout but worth it!

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

My husband, my dog, and I did this hike on June 30th. Pinecrest is stunning! If you do the whole hike to Cleo’s Bath the initial hike is mild but work has to be put in to reach it in the last stretch. Our lab usually does pretty well on hikes but it was very difficult to get to the top with him. We had to pick him up several times to get to the top and back down because of the boulders that had to be climbed. Otherwise it was beautiful and I would recommend this hike.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

okay so guys, this is actually a really tough hike. I was told it would be "an hour or so" it is NOT. we went the long way around Pinecrest, by the dam, and it took us hours to get to the sign pointing up to Cleo's Bath or Sunset Point (I think it was called). we asked another hiker how far the rest of the way was and he said a solid hour. I couldn't make it up. I had a terrible throbbing headache, I think from the elevation. I rated this 4 stars because it still was an absolutely beautiful hike and I'm sure Cleo's Bath does NOT disappoint. I just wanted to point out that it was much longer and harder for me than expected. I'm not fit but I am active, so I thought I could handle it. oh well! I'm seeing a lot of posts saying this is easy, and unless you're a more consistent hiker, it might not be for you. heads up!

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

The other night at 1am I decided to spontaneously leave and drive up to pinecrest (only 1.5 hours from where I live). I arrived at 3:00am and stealth camped some miles down the road. Woke up so I can have an early start. This was my first real hike. I’ve gone on small local trails, but nothing with arrows and such. I also went solo. I had no clue where I was going. I walked for a few hours and come up the climbing portion. Halfway up I started going back down. It was extremely hard, but I didn’t even know if I was going the right way. Luckily I took a break at the bottom of the main climb and these nice elderly ladies talked me into hiking the rest. So glad I did. Cleo’s bath was right at the top of that! I almost turned around! Lol. It really wasn’t that hard after I took a quick break. It was my first break other that stopping and enjoying a few views. I’m sore the next day, but it was soooooo worth it. The climb isn’t that bad at all. I’m sooo glad I didn’t see a lot of these reviews. I would have chickened out. But not bad at all.

recorded Recording - Jun 27, 4:49 PM

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

rocky
14 days ago

Beautiful hike with few people on the Cleo's Bath section of the hike. The last .5 miles are not dog friendly, with huge boulders that would be difficult for a dog to be able to climb. Great hike though and definitely less populated than the regular Pinecrest Lake loop trail.

hiking
bugs
closed
rocky
14 days ago

Love this hike, we have done it a few times. Not so crowded as it typically is due to a weekday and it just opened back up. However the bathrooms at the halfway point were closed. It’s at least a 5 hour hike, so it would have been nice for the rangers to have the bathroom open since they opened the trails. And they blue spray painted arrows need to be redone. We always get turned around. We will do it again.

hiking
rocky
scramble
23 days ago

Really fun hike! You see everything—the lake, dam, and waterfall. Try to come early because it got crowded by noon. Be prepared for ROCK CLIMBING up (and down) to the bath. It’s a bit hard to find the trail but google maps can help a lot. We took lots of detours looking for the right trail. There were lots of mosquitos in the forest areas.

This hike was awesome :) it was pretty easy up until you get pretty close to cleos bath and then you had to scramble over some rock. With COVID-19 the parking lots are open but if there isn’t a place to park in the parking lot you can’t park on the road. Super fun and a great hike.

bugs
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

just opened again after COVID lockdown. going around the lake is beautiful and easy. getting up Cleo required some more difficult climbing at the end. totally worth it when you get to the top. blue and red markers really help.

hiking
closed
30 days ago

Main etrance was guarded by two rangers they mentioned that only Pine Crest was completely closed until June 15 with possibility of getting pushed back. So we went trough Strawberry. Theres parking space before the bridge on your right or you can go past the bridge and immediately turn right onto Herring Creek Ln and go up the road and park at the beginning of the trail.

hiking
off trail
1 month ago

We came in on the back side by Strawberry and glad we did! The trail is not too hard, but it has as much challenges to make it for a good hike. The walk along the water is unbelievable. Great for picture taking, the weather was perfect, we’ll definitely do it again, once the lake opens.

hiking
bugs
closed
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! got there pretty early in the morning and just walked passed the signs that said closed until June 15th. It wasn’t until after our hike we were greeted by a park ranger. He informed us it is closed. Also informed us if you wanted to enter from a different area just up the road then that’s fine. Cleos bath trail is rocky and there’s some climbing involved. You’ll see blue arrows spray painted on rocks telling you were to go.

This hike is closed until June 15 at the main entrance, but you are allowed to access it from a side road for now according to the park ranger. There will be some blue arrows, stacked rock markers and red lines to guide you to Cleo’s bath. You will also do a little bit of rock climbing. This was an awesome hike, one of the best I’ve done so far. There are some gnats and mosquitoes, for those that are wary of them. Overall this was an relaxing hike with great weather and beautiful views.

hiking
bugs
closed
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Thanks, Paul Fabbri, for your detailed review on directions. That helped tremendously. We went yesterday and there was an overcast. Bring bug spray. The hike around the lake was beautiful. Easy. However, going into Cleo’s Bath gets a little tricky. It’s 1.5 miles in and 1.5 miles out. Follow the blue arrow to go in and red spray painted arrow to find your way back out of the trail. It’s worth it.

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