Sly Park Jenkinson Lake Loop Trail

MODERATE 304 reviews

Sly Park Jenkinson Lake Loop Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pollock Pines, California that features a lake 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.

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
629 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Summer boating, fall colors, winter snowshoeing, and spring waterfalls make this El Dorado park enjoyable year round The trails around Jenkinson Lake can be visited on horseback, mountain bike and foot. This guide, however, is going to focus on hiking. The full route, if you go all the way around, is just over 8 miles. With the continuous ups and downs it can feel like a lot further though. The total elevation change is insignificant but the small "whoopdedoos" can amount to hundreds and even thousands of feet perceived elevation change. Good physical endurance is a must if you're going to make it all the way. Jenkinson Lake at Sly Park has outdoor activities all times of the year. Snowshoes, cross-country skiing, boating and swimming are enjoyed by many. It's a huge park with more features than most people can visit in one day. There are events in the park that include everything from community mixers to the yearly "Run on the Sly". This park has been voted "Best Recreation Facility by the Mountain Democrat newspaper year after year.

3 days ago

beautiful trail with dogwoods for a bunch of different kinds of flowers blooming. It was a Serene Trail all the way to the waterfall. we went late in the day and the temperature was perfect it was mostly shaded

4 days ago

Beautiful views of the lake. The trail was clear and easy. I didn't do the whole 7 miles but enjoyed it.

hiking
17 days ago

Rad trail, plenty of shade, cool waterfall, lots of water access. Serene and quiet.

22 days ago

A few parking spaces right off the road, plus a lot just a couple hundred feet up. $5 fee, bathrooms and trash cans.

camping
1 month ago

One of my all time favorite locations for all types of outdoor recreational activities. This place is loved and very well maintained. I’ve Kayaked, hiked nine miles of trails around the lake, biked, watched Eagles, geese and camped. From the well maintained trails, to restrooms and staff, I’ve always enjoyed this location.

hiking
1 month ago

We camped here last weekend and decided after setting up cap to hike around the lake- FYI this hike is closer to 9 miles. We are both in great shape and It took us a long time, but the trail is flat and every angle of the lake is beautiful. There is a waterfall along the trail that is gorgeous! We will definitely come back in the summer when we can get in the lake.

trail running
2 months ago

Awesome lake. You can swim in it all of summer. Sometimes there is a waterfall depending on rainfall. Overall great place to trail run, walk, or hike. Good camping too!

hiking
2 months ago

This is not a difficult trail it’s about 9 Miles from the campground to complete the loop. Some areas you’ll have to walk on the street others past the campgrounds and picnic areas. The waterfall is gushing this year. If you have 3-4 hours to spare this is a nice hike with great views of the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

hiking
4 months ago

If you’re doing the loop just know you’re going to have to walk on the street for like a half mile to get back to where you parked. It’s closer to 9 miles.

The real scoop... the west side of the loop, the long side, is interrupted by several camp sights. So it’ll be awesome and then you’ll walk the huge camp sights and finding the trail and getting back on track can be a pain. The east side, around a mile shorter, is amazing. Great trail. Ups and downs. My gf and I enjoyed it a lot.

The waterfall is awesome. You have to walk past the bridge, can’t miss it, and you’ll approach it. We sat and had our lunch here. For a man-made waterfall is amazing. Still beautiful and would go back to see it any time, but would only hike the east side and not do the loop.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice and pretty easy hike. It’s beautiful and this time of year, not many people on the trail.

mountain biking
4 months ago

This is a nice mellow ride with a lot of great views. I recommend going counter clockwise around the lake. make sure to stop and check out the water fall near the East part of the lake called the meadows area. There is a lot of pine needles on the camping side of the lake.
There a couple of Free to Park areas that are very small and a couple of $5 day use parking areas outside of the main gates. Just ask about them at the entrance of the lake.

5 months ago

Great peaceful hike. Spotted two bald eagles. Including a baby.

hiking
6 months ago

Don't get me wrong with the three stars. It's pretty and well maintained. It's also very convenient location wise. Without having to drive at least an extra half hour more, this was as woodsy of an outing I was going to get of a hike in El Dorado that I saw right off the highway.

It's a GREAT place for kids and larger families. If you're looking for quiet and less people around this is not your place. Almost never had a clear photo shot without a human, auto or boat, or man made something in the shot. It was also kind of noisy with lots of talking and loud machinery on the north side. Even the waterfall is not natural it seems. The trail around the lake also makes you go on the paved road for quit a while which was a bit of a bummer. There was a bit more trash than I could pick up while walking but honestly for the amount of people that use this area I am surprised how clean it is.

I also think $12 for day use for a regular car is very high. I'll make sure to push to go out a little further next time.

6 months ago

North side of the lake isn’t well marked but south side is. Great views and good hike for older kids.

7 months ago

great hike one day AFTER it rained no dust on the trail lots of bathrooms along the 8 mile trail water fall was flowing strong

8 months ago

Only did southern part of lake but beautiful, well shaded, and even got some fall colors

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail around a uniquely shaped lake. The southeast corner of the lake is definitely the most scenic stretch for fall colors during this time of year. Lost the trail at the end and went over the two damns on the road which was only downfall, but would go back!

8 months ago

Couldn't figure out an exact trail. I recommend going across the freeway away from the lake and exploring the forest area. Steep downhill but fun hike. Beware of horse poop!

hiking
9 months ago

The hike around the Jenkinson lake is fairly easy and has beautiful views! Yes, there are a few steep locations, but if you go slow then the slope isn't too bad. Be aware of bikers on the trail though. The chimney area makes for a great location to go for a swim. The water isn't too cold. My Fitbit clocked me at about 9 Miles, but my cousin somehow got about 10.1 miles.

Map: http://www.webreserv.com/catalog/ eldoradoirrigationdistrictca/images/sly _park_brochure_16031700002.jpg

hiking
9 months ago

great hike, great views!

hiking
9 months ago

We parked at the entrance of the park and started on the trail counter clockwise. We hiked to the waterfall and back and my GPS said it was 8.68 miles. Mostly shady and very little traffic. Probably because it was forecast to be 105. Nice trail and scenery. Next time we'll look for a closer parking to the trail.

hiking
10 months ago

We hiked the south side of Lake to falls. Well maintained trail that's almost all shade. The falls were really nice. Plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

we loved it. we went clockwise which means you go through all the campgrounds first and then after the waterfalls you have the private area the private part of the hike the second half is a lot more up and down Hills so if I did it again I would go counter-clockwise and it is longer than 7.7 we clocked in around 8.8.

hiking
10 months ago

I feel like I am pretty picky when it comes to trails, but I really enjoyed this one. I am even willing to go back and would like to go ahead and do the stroll around the lake.
I brought my out of shape dog and my friend who isn't used to hiking. We started at the Bumpy Meadows Trailhead (vaulted toilets and $5). The realistic goal for my dog and friend was to get to the waterfall and go back (6 miles).
We got a late start, so I started off pretty peeved. Then, just a short jaunt down to the water and some disrespectful humans left a man made fire ring AND a pack of uneaten burritos, which my dog managed to get a bite out of before I got them away.
Even though we started late, there really wasn't many people. There was shade the majority of the trail. There was a lot of mosquitos, so bring bug spray, I only got bitten 11 times (that is a pretty low count for me).
The water was a beautiful green blue and so deliciously cool. The rocks weren't slippery, so off the shoes went and I was able to get in there and set up my tripod. :)
It was a really peaceful hike. I was happily surprised how many people had their dogs on leashes, most trails require this, but I rarely see people follow it.
Really the only disappointment was all the trash that I saw.

hiking
11 months ago

Great Hike! My friend and I took our kids (7 children-all under 10 years old) and they did great! The trail was easy enough to follow, with minimal hills. We passed a few mountain bikers and horseback riders along the way, all of which were very kind and patient with our little hiking group! The waterfall was beautiful and refreshing and the kids loved exploring the entire area.

11 months ago

I do this hike and run this trail a lot. I love it. Plenty of shade and not to hard going

hiking
11 months ago

Nice, easy, mostly shaded hike.

hiking
11 months ago

They say this is moderate and damn is it right. I spent most of the time scrambling uphill and downhill. That's IF you go to the left at the start. 3.6 miles of it. When you see the bridge , go right and you will see a magnificent waterfall that makes it all worth it . Climb to the top for a gorgeous view or go to the bottom and swim the heat away.

Now the return trip. It's low so it's nice. Keep taking the low path. For the love of god keep the low path. Soon you'll get to a camp site and think nothing of it. And keep going. Well, you're going the wrong way. You have to go through the camp site (stock up on water) and jump on the road. The road is the rest of the trail. Remember left on Lakewood drive. And then you'll hit a parking lot. At this moment take the trail in the woods for .1 miles and boom. Home free

My trail stops short because battery is dying. I was out that long.

Five stars

Edit : the road is winding. Take the right path, or take the left path down and the right path up

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