Lone Oak Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews

Lone Oak Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Los Banos, California and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles
1243 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



mountain biking

trail running


horseback riding

  • Parking
    Head out to Goosehead Point, it's the boat ramp on the south side of the lake in the Basalt Area of San Luis Reservoir SRA.
    37.03565, -121.09233
  • Trail Head
    The trailhead is back up the road on the large curve before the parking area. Alternatively, the trail can be reached via a trail adjacent to the boat ramp and then rounding the point via the trail/service roads. These are not immediately visible from the parking lot. Zooming in and studying the aerial imagery and trail guide map on this app is an easy way to see the trails!
    37.03426, -121.09341
  • Junction
    At the top of the first knoll the trail hits its first junction. The road forks and will rejoin itself within a few hundred feet. Take the left fork and watch for any "volunteer trails" heading down the westerly side of the knoll towards the lake and bay on the other side.
    37.03379, -121.09438
  • Side Trail-The Route Down
    This is the second of the trails down to the Lone Oak Trail. It's more established than the others. Follow it down toward the beach and bay, it will connect to our trail.
    37.03406, -121.09478
  • Lone Oak Trail
    Connect to the Lone Oak Trail and head southwesterly around the bay. The rest of this trip will be primarily through tall grasses with periodic ventures down to the beaches. In general the trail will follow the contours except when crossing periodic spines of the peninsulas extending out into the lake.
    37.03393, -121.09511
  • Junction
    Service road after crossing a gully.
    37.03175, -121.09752
  • Trail Junction
    Not wanting to travel on graveled and packed earth service roads, we opted to follow the single-track trail again at this point.
    37.03164, -121.10204
  • Trail Damage
    Ground slumpage, the trail needs to migrate up-slope here next season!
    37.03274, -121.10622
  • Bay
    The bays so far on the walk tend toward gently graded and fairly smooth bottoms. Not a bad place to launch or swim. Some of the more sheltered bays can get fairly green with plant growth.
    37.03245, -121.10777
  • Junction-Service Road
    Back at the service road. Head out to the peninsula and take a look at the Quien Sabe Point Light. This is one of the Wind Warning Lights scattered around the lake.
    37.03217, -121.10837
  • Quien Sabe Light
    Wind warning lights are used on San Luis Reservoir to alert boaters of the current wind conditions. On this lake the three light stations are set up around the lake: near the Basalt entrance station, Quien Sabe Point, and Romero Visitor Center. Wind Velocity Condition Light Color Below 15 mph Okay All lights off 15 to 29 mph Use caution Amber Over 30 mph Closed to boating Red When done enjoying the view of pretty much the whole lake, head on back to that last junction.
    37.03521, -121.11162
  • Junction
    Return back down the service road to the junction at the low saddle at the base of the point and head southerly on the cross trail. It will look as though you're heading to a smaller lake (rather than the next bay on San Luis).
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  • Beach
    A nice sheltered lake beach can be accessed here.
    37.02996, -121.10700
  • Range Fence
    After leaving the beach area a 4 wire range fence crosses the trail. There is no gate so the only way to cross is to climb. It's lovely open grasslands back there with an inviting trail! As it turns out, the land south of the fence has been leased out for grazing and at the time, there were no restrictions to hikers. Regardless, keep an eye out for cattle and the possibility of bulls.
    37.02876, -121.10790
  • Junction
    A trail heading up a gully at this point and a trail down to a beach. The creek was still just flowing at the beginning of July. The beach at the gully base is densely vegetated with coyote brush which can provide some seclusion. After crossing the gully the trail splits into several cattle trails, each generally following the hillside contours at several elevations. None appear as "the trail". Chose one and follow it to the next bluff.
    37.02697, -121.10723
  • Vista
    Atop the next bluff the lake visas open up again.
    37.02534, -121.11037
  • Trail Splits
    A number of cattle/game trails in this region. None stands out as the main trail. This will continue all the way through to the final hill though in places, the main trail does stand out.
    37.02308, -121.11127
  • Trail
    Just above the beach the trail is again visible. It will head up the gully and around to the back side of the Lone Oak hill.
    37.01745, -121.10601
  • Leave Trail
    For the final climb to the Lone Oak there are two choices: 1) Cross country straight up. 2) Locate an existing trail to the oak.
    37.01434, -121.10514
  • The Lone Oak
    This is a variant of a white or possibly black oak tree. The compressed ground cover below the tree shows evidence of animals using it for shade. The lower branches have been grazed as well. Regardless, it's a nice place to grab some much-needed shade and enjoy the vistas of the lake. When done, and since the local trails were so sketchy, I headed down toward the bluff over the beach and located an easy spot to head down to the water's edge. Following the shore I regained the trail at a deep gully at the northerly end of the beach.
    37.01456, -121.10566
  • Service Road
    For a change of scenery and as an opportunity to explore follow the service road up slope. It will rejoin the trail closer to the trail head.
    37.03210, -121.10827
  • Return to the parking lot.
    37.03564, -121.09231
4 days ago

While the area is lovely, the trail itself is completely overgrown and riddled with burs and bugs. We were only able to get in about 1 mile before it became too itchy and had to turn around. I'd love this hike though if it were maintained a bit better!

4 months ago

mountain biking
Thursday, May 08, 2014

mountain biking
Sunday, March 09, 2014