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Pinecrest Lake Loop

MODERATE 278 reviews

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.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 367 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

bird watching

running

forest

lake

partially paved

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

NOTE: Dogs are not allowed near the lake between May 15th and Sept 15th.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Loved it !! Plenty of places to rest if needed with the view of the very blue lake. Hiking shoes recommended so you don’t feel the rocks on your feet. Definitely coming back to Pinecrest to do the other trails.

hiking
21 days ago

Gorgeous hike, but really Rocky all the way around,

hiking
22 days ago

One of my favorite hikes!! I have hiked this trail in every season including winter with snow on the ground, and it is beautiful every time!

recorded Pinecrest Lake Loop

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

nice easy trail around the lake. Great for trail runners

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Pretty rocky. Trail is clear and easy to follow all the way around. Shady and clean. Definitely no strollers.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Love it here ,such beautiful views of the mountains

hiking
2 months ago

Great.

hiking
2 months ago

We got started around 8:45am on a Sunday and it was not too crowded, but by the time we finished the loop just before noon, it was so crowded and no one could find parking. Get an early start! Beautiful lake, great hike. After parking in the lot by the main beach/restrooms, keep the lake on your right (going clockwise) so that you will do the harder/sunny side first, leaving the less rocky and flatter portions for the end. We brought our dog and he did fine on all the rocks. Just the main beach doesn’t allow dogs, but the hike itself is fine for dogs. Feels more like 5-6 miles with all the rocky up and down, not 3-4 as stated here. Highly recommend - the lake is serene and it was a great escape for the day.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful Friday in early August but lots o people and kids, still excellent hike. Closer to 5 miles by my iPhone and suggest hiking boots and not tennis shoes because of unstable footing, excellent swimming in creek/river running into lake just past footbridge; snow melt cold!

hiking
2 months ago

This was a nice hike for our “rest day” from Yosemite. It wasn’t difficult at all. It had some nice views, but it was very crowded. Even on the far end of the lake, we ran into so many people.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with awesome views along the way and places to stop and enjoy them. Other than being hesitant at the rushing spillway metal bridge at the dam, my older dog had a great time too. The times we’ve gone over the last month were early on a Sunday. At that time it was easy to find parking (even shady) and the trail wasn’t too crowded. Seemed to be getting a lot busier by the time we headed back to the car.

hiking
2 months ago

Great walk and views of the lake, we even took breaks when it got to hot and swam in the lake where there was beach access. There’s minimal uphill and you’re in the shade a lot so great even for a sunny middle of the day walk which is what we did. I didn’t pre download this trail and when we got there I realized I had no reception so I don’t have a gps tracking of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

We do this hike every summer - it never disappoints! The lake is full this summer with crystal clear water, absolutely beautiful. It’s a fun hike for all ages with plenty of swimming opportunities when you need to cool off.

hiking
2 months ago

Hit this trail last over the weekend. It was pretty awesome. The views are amazing.. Lots of cliffs to stop and take pictures. Got lucky this time, plenty of water coming. So the river inlet looked like a roaring river. I would highly recommend this trail to others

hiking
private property
rocky
3 months ago

It gets treaterous around the east and north sides, lots of up and down, rocky, steep and it seems to run right through back yards but otherwise, if your prepared its a gorgeous hike! when you get across the bridge, going counter-clockwise, theres an area of the river that is shallow and still enough to swim in, we spent half hour there before continuing on, the dam is flat but if your afraid of heights you might get squeemish. lots of kids and ppl fishing along the trail. great workout!

Great hike around the lake. Stop by the bridge and inlet for lunch or sunset. Easy hike for all ages and dogs. Check out my video on the hike. www.youtube.com/vonscheller

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

We try to do this hike a couple of times in the summer, never disappoints! This is the first time in the past few years the water levels have been up to their normal which means that in some parts of the hike you can stop and stick your feet in from the trail! Use caution with kids and pets in the back of the lake this year as the water is rushing pretty well into the lake.

4 months ago

There can be several adventures on this Trail. Its an outstandingly beautiful Sierra Nevada Lake. Small sailboats, power boats, & kayaks cross Pinecrest Lake. The Trail winds over & through granite outcrops. In places safety chains have been installed. Water thunders down the South Fork Stanislaus River as it enters the Lake. Hikers even get to cross over the dam dating to the early 1900s. Get more information at hikingthegoldenstate.com

hiking
4 months ago

I’m not sure the dogs-not-allowed is accurate. This is a recreation area with marina, etc., and dogs are not allowed at the beach area, but they also have a special “dog beach.” Around the lake, if your dog is leashed and you pick up after, (poop bags everywhere on recreation side) you’ll be fine. It’s a relatively easy trek around the lake with some difficult and rocky ups and downs, but I see younger ones walking around in flip flops so that just shows my age. It can get hot as the summer wears on. Best to enjoy in the am.

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

Pinecrest is amazing and beautiful! Trail is marked well and it’s not extremely hard or long. It will definitely give you a nice little work out though. There are bugs out the so wear your repellent! It’s so nice to take a swim in the lake after that hike or take a paddle boat out. It is like 3ish miles or so, with minimal ups and downs around the lake. It can be muddy sometimes but there is lots of shade she sometimes the water doesn’t dry up as fast.

5 months ago

LOVED IT. The scenery is beautiful! The trail is well maintained and well marked. Its mostly shady, half of it is rocky, and theres just a little mud from the snow melt.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail run! One of my favorite places to be

5 months ago

We did this trail yesterday and my goodness it's beautiful. There are some difficult rocky parts, but also lots of flat terrain. The snow is still melting from above so there was quite a bit of water and muddy portions over there.

5 months ago

Our 3 and 5 year old have been asking for hikes. This may have been more than they were asking for but they did it! It's much like I remembered doing 19 years ago.

5 months ago

Great hike for all. Places to take breaks to rest, swim, or play on the rocks

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