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Union Reservoir to Elephant Rock Lake

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Stanislaus National Forest

Union Reservoir to Elephant Rock Lake is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Strawberry, California that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 232 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips


bird watching





over grown

9 months ago

If you are staying at union lake this is a good hike with the family. Easy, pretty, maybe see a bear or some deer...careful in late September due to hunters, lots of hunters.

Mon Sep 11 2017

The trail from Union reservoir to rock lake is a fairly easy hike. Not much of an elevation gain and it starts out in shady, wooded terrain. The trip to Elephant Lake and rock is the most pleasant part of the trip. As you circle around Elephant Rock you enter a burned out forest with lots of under growth and many downed trees. It is wide open space with no remarkable views; sunny and desolate. The trail is littered with downed trees that must be climbed over or circumvented. Rock lake is small and will one day be a meadow. It is not a destination lake - it is more of a lake you would notice while you were on the way to another, more beautiful location. The lake shore has many, many downed trees. There is no easy access to the shoreline (too filled with downed trees and muddy), which made getting drinking water difficult. The lake bottom is silty which makes wading/swimming a dirty affair. It is not a welcoming lake for swimming. We cut our stay here short, cut our losses and moved on to find other prettier and welcoming destinations. We will not be going back to Rock Lake.

Sun Sep 04 2016