Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservior Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews

Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservior Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1610 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

A great hike with a lot of beautiful sights to see.

hiking
11 days ago

Awesome hike. My son Andrew and I hiked to Grouse Creek 5 miles from Kennedy Meadows south east side of the reservoir. Pretty much all up hill, but bright side is all down hill back

1 month ago

Uphill hike but where we ended up hardly had any campsites. Very hard to get to the water because of all the rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

This was a fantastic hike. It was difficult for a non exerciser who works on their feet all day. It is dog friendly however your dog must like horses as there are lots of them on this trail and there is an etiquette for backpackers around horses (posted on signs). The scenery is spectacular but prep yourself with stair climbing exercise before going. It took about 3 hours to reach the north shore and I think it would have been another 45 minutes to get to the south shore where there are more camp sites available.
If you enter Kennedy Meadows the parking lot is right to your left but it is a .5 mile walk to Kennedy Meadows lodge/store where a drop-off can be made. You walk from the parking lot down the road past the campsites and cabins. I recommend a drop off of packs and hikers then 1 driver goes pack to park the vehicle. I believe it is actually almost 1.5 miles to the Wilderness sign letting you know you are entering Emigrants Wilderness and then the climb begins.

We were so tired reaching the top we went to the North side... after you peak head to the right which brings you down by the dam. The North side is shy on camp sites so next time we go we will spend the extra time to head to the left after the peak and then hike to the south shore where there are plenty more camp sites.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Amazing trail! Quite easy to follow...as long as you are parallel with relief reservoir. Lots of fire pits set up already. The farther south you go the more secluded. Swimming and fishing at the lake....

backpacking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Great Hike. The hike there followed a raging river with a few waterfalls. Once we got to Relief lake we were awestruck at the view of a pristine alpine lake surrounded by snow capped mountains.

backpacking
2 months ago

fishing
3 months ago

Rad trail but heard it's much easier when not having to hike in the snow. We didn't get any fishing in because the river was running far to quick and the reservoir was frozen over.

5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Awesome trail. I absolutely love this trail. It has plenty of life and growth and tall trees. Plus your hiking alongside a creek with fresh water. This trail was very scenic. However, it is very steep. This was a challenging hike. It is about 4 miles from Kennedy meadows to relief reservoir and it is an uphill battle the whole way. (About 1600ft) uphill. Be prepared to go uphill. But it is beautiful and there are several locations to pitch a tent if you don't make it all the way to the reservoir.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Difficult climb up to Relief Dam, but the payoff is totally worth it.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Amazing trail, parking is kind of strange, you park then walk on the road through a lodge then trail begins. Since there is a lodge, this trail can be busy, with both people (I don’t mind that) and horses (kind of mind). Trail is very nice a good climb up. Very photogenic area once you get to the lake, going up a lot of it is exposed, so have water and a hat. We saw a Bald Eagle make a dive at the reservoir there and at the time we were the only ones there, but I am sure it can get busy there. Highly recommended trail, oh be sure once you get to a split stay to the right, the other trail goes to another longer trail.

hiking
Friday, July 31, 2015

Fantastic hike. Started at Baker Campground so was a bit longer. Beautiful scenery every direction if you don't mind some horse crap and pee every now and then. Steady climb all throughout the hike but that also means a quick descent! Tons of wildflowers, wildlife, and great views of the reservoir on the way down.

hiking
Sunday, July 15, 2012

This trail is well marked and beautiful. There are some definite climbs in altitude but well layed out.
Once at the reservoir it is gorgeous. My family camps in Kennedy Meadows and have hiked and done trail rides up there.
We love this area. Lots of walking along the river.