Pinecrest Lake Loop is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Strawberry, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.9 miElevation gain367 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashkid friendlyCampingFishingHikingNature tripsRunningForestLakePartially pavedRiverViewswild-flowersWildlife
Description
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Getting There

This trail offers lots of up and down boulders, but well worth it for the views especially from the halfway point! The dam can be fun to traverse and the granite cliffs before the dam are amazing. Pinecrest is a popular little lake. There are many activities and people, but not a lot of parking. Best to arrive as early as possible get parked and set up and then walk the trail. It is very scenic! Dogs are not allowed near the lake between May 15th and Sept 15th.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Summit District Ranger Office: Travel northeast on Highway 108 to Pinecrest Lake Road within the Pinecrest Recreation Area.

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Reviews (481)
Photos (866)
Recordings (366)
Completed (1,162)
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Richelle Gatdula
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2021
Hiking

Went 2/15/21. Went clockwise. Before crossing the dam, there's minimal snow. some slippery, icy areas, but doable with micro spikes. After crossing the dam, the snow becomes about waist deep. You will fall in. BRING SNOWSHOES! This is mandatory. Do Not attempt this hike without it.

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Mark Banks
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2021
SnowshoeingIcySnow

I am part of the SAR team that has had 2 rescues on this trail in the deep snow (shady) part of the loop trail in the past 2 weeks. This trail is currently impassable on the south side without snowshoes and the proper winter gear. Starting this hike in the afternoon is also a bad idea!

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Sherri Schmidt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 23, 2021
HikingGreat!IcySnow

This is a beautiful hike with lots of terrain options. However, if the snow is melting off on a sunny day, this can be dangerously icy! The shady side is almost unpassable when it's at its iciest. Many of the hikers were literally just sitting and sliding through several sections on their rear ends. On a full snow covered day (with snow boots) or on a nice sunny day after the ice has melted away, this is a great hike.... just avoid the ice! I need to repeat that.... avoid icy days as it is very dangerous and difficult! It does get a lot of traffic, but the views and the hike are really great.

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LuAnn Solari
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful day to hike the trail. Icy in a few places. Trees across trail in a few places as well.

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Kyle Devlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy

Nice hike, pretty icy this time of year so make sure you wear appropriate shoes. But would definitely recommend!

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Gianna Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
HikingGreat!Snow

Absolutely lovely! Beautiful views. Kind of snowy on some spots but nice weather. Kind ok crowded on the lake bed but the trail was deserted:)

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steve pearce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 4, 2021
Hiking

Nice but slippery

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kacey Z
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Hiking
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Lynde Metzler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Not trafficked this time of year. Decided to turn around 2 miles before Peak due to knee deep snow and will bring snowshoes next time

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Ciera Pasturel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 31, 2020
HikingIcyMuddyRockySnow

Definitely a lot of snow! And quite icy on the side opposite of the dam. Be on the lookout for black ice. Make sure to wear shoes that are good for boulder climbing, snow, and mud.

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Chance Bills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 22, 2020
Hiking

The snow that was there made it all the more beautiful of a hike. On half of the loop trail it’s quite icy so I would recommend only hiking through the loop trail on the side that passes by the dam

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Tsil Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!IcySnow

Beautiful view this time around the year. The lake is drained and lots of snow to walk around the lake if you want to take a short cut from the trail. Need good hiking boots!

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Laura Davis
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Hiking
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Debra Perry
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Hiking

Always a treat !

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John P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 3, 2020
Hiking

Not a rewarding loop. Very rocky, uneven trail. Entire south side of the lake has very narrow trail entirely lined with private homes — not outdoorsy feeling. Eastern end of the lake was the best part, with more dramatic rocky outcroppings and great view of the lake. Early November ‘20 had extremely low water level, but still scenic. North coast of lake had a wider trail and fewer private homes. If I had to do it again, I’d do an out-and-back via the northern side, and spend time exploring the rocky eastern coastline. Crossing the dam on the northern side was fun. Whatever you do, avoid the bathroom area at the east end of the lake — it was closed when I went, and the entire area was littered with feces and toilet paper, plus discarded hygiene products and a pair of dirty underwear. Trailhead is easy to access via a paved road, with plenty of parking on a weekday in early November.

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Basanth Roy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2020
Hiking

This is not really a review of the hike. But just an FYI that the water level is super low. By my rough guess, the level is some 40-50 feet below where it was in Aug. The lake looks very shriveled. We reached there Sunday afternoon and there were very few vehicles in the parking lot. We got a parking spot right next to the boat launch marina. Usually that never happens. Even the other parking lots were bare. EDIT Went there again nov 22. Reached there around noon and completed a lake loop in about 3 hours with my 7 year old son. I would rate the hike as hard

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Donna Sauter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

Easy parking, facilities were open and not very many hikers today (11/01) water is very low, but it didn’t distract from the views. My Labrador and son (30 yo) both enjoyed it. We’ll go back and do Cleo’s Bath with it ( adds another ~3 miles)

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Dan Ham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 30, 2020
Hiking

nice trail, dog friendly

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Rachael Drago
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Hiking
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Ashley Gordon
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