Explore the most popular walking trails near Groveland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
15 days ago

There are a couple different trail heads to this lake. One longer and one shorter. Beautiful spot for a short easy backpack trip. Would be great for a first time trip. Or a trip where you want to test your gear before heading out on longer trips. Make sure to get a permit from the ranger station in Groveland and have bear canisters.

hiking
21 days ago

This was a nice out and back hike. At first it is lay and easy. Once you get to about a mile/mike and a half in, the trail gets hilly and a bit more challenging. Near the falls it gets a little tough o see the trail but once you’ve reached this point your basically at the falls. The falls weren’t as big as imagined they’d be but nonetheless is was a beautiful spot. There is a swimming hole there as well.

very beautiful short hike. I just like to ask everyone to be very careful with the rocks, they are very slippery the closer u get to the water fall.

Hiked in here with a few guys, all in our mid 40s and of various fitness levels. It's a relatively easy hike in but at one spot, the trail was at a bit of a bog and we all got wet. The meadow itself is very nice. There are a few campsites to chose from and easy access to running water. There was a ton of fuel on the ground for a campfire. As this was a 3-day trip for us, on our second day, a few hiked up to the summit of Smith Peak. Wow! What a view! Well worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked this as an overnight backpacking trip with my family: two girls, ages 13 and 15, and mid 40s wife. We did so in June and it was exceptionally hot! Once we made it to the falls though we were able to hydrate and cool off in the river. Upside of the temperature may be that we had the place to ourselves. There was plenty of fuel for a campfire at the time and multiple campsites to chose from. Nice trip for beginner backpackers given the distance and elevation change. The trail itself was pretty overgrown in parts and, as others have mentioned, you have to watch out for poison oak.

hiking
1 month ago

A little fun finding the trailhead but a beautiful day hike. Not too steep but has some up & down to it with twists and such to keep it interesting. Bring you trunks if you want to cool off nice swimming holes and smaller cliffs to jump off if your into that
Enjoy!

The trail to Lake Tilden from Racheria Falls was demanding giving the gift of time. Moments were everlasting to make me want more in the future. Best part was view of a canyon at Jack Main trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike but lots of poison oak. The trail goes right through knee to chest high poison oak especially on the first 1/3 of the trail. But other than that it was an awesome day hike!!!!

Lovely trail with beautiful spots to swim!
Remember to bring lots of water.

hiking
2 months ago

For a novice this was great

California Conservation Corps help rebuild this trail and rock steps !! ⚒

hiking
2 months ago

Would do again. I loved the waterfall at the end. Bring good shoes with traction

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike last weekend with a few friends. Weather was a bit hazy from smoke but nothing serious. Throughout the day it cleared up. Light traffic.

My 14 year old and 11 year old got there before anyone else. A good hour went before we saw anyone. Then an organized troup of kids walked by on the trail. An 8 year old girl slipped off the trail and over the fifteen foot cliff. I was shocked when I reached her and she was dusting herself off. Awesome place, but be careful with the children.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, very shady which helped on a hot day. The incline and rocks were not too bad. One thing I found different was the beach sand the whole way up to the waterfalls. We had a lot on rolling ankles in our group so be careful The water at the end was PERFECT.

Beautiful shady hike on a hot day. Some rocky steeper spots but overall an easy hike. The cold swimming water at the end felt great on my hot feet!

Nice trail, nice swimming holes and beautiful water falls but please please be very careful if you climb to the top of the falls they are very slippery and you can easily slide down into the fall! Please use caution we had a accident that could have ended in tragedy. Thank you to a very kind and brave stranger who risked his life for my wife! Again!!! Please be safe!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Great views! Great swimming area!

Great area to get away from the crowds. Plenty of areas along the trail to dip in the water. Water is very cold but refreshing after the hike in.

on Carlon Falls Trail

hiking
4 months ago

The trail runs along the river for a good portion of the route, which provides for nice scenery in contrast to the absolute devastation from former burns if you look in the other direction. Ease of navigation leaves something to be desired - there are countless offshoots and no blazes to reaffirm whether you are on the actual trail. The falls at the end of the hike are a worthwhile finale.

hiking
4 months ago

Great out and back trail. It was pretty warm when my husband and I did this and we definitely should have taken more water. After the first couple miles there’s not much shade! We took a couple dips in the water to cool down and it was amazing. Make sure you have a hat and bring enough water! :)

If I could give zero stars for this hike I would. First of all there is no parking for the trailhead, just about two spots in what looks like a short turnaround across from the trailhead. This is definitely a strenuous and difficult hike which is not rewarded by any beautiful scenery. The trail exposed to sun, it’s hot, dry and extremely dusty with poison oak along trail. Trail is primarily through the burned forest from the Rim fire. When the trail descends into the valley floor the trail becomes lost and there are no trail markers in sign. You’d have to make your own trail to get to the river. Be warned, the way up is rough. Don’t do this hike without tons of water. Wouldn’t recommend this hike unless you hate yourself and want to punish yourself.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice little day hike. Mostly shaded. Nice little falls/cascades at end. When water volume over falls is lower, many swimming opportunities would be available.

on Preston Falls Trail

hiking
4 months ago

This is one other amazing trail to hike. You hike along the bank of the vibrant river and its very refreshing.I had been on a mid spring sunny day when the weather was around 70F. I had started to hike by 1030 hrs and found it highly draining and had got dehydrated by the time i got back, may be I am used to hiking a lot during fall and winter and had still not acclimatized to the spring weather. My suggestion is to hike during dusk or dawn so that you will to get enjoy the hike thoroughly. It took 0430 hrs for me to hike this 8.9 mile hike.
Note on the travel direction: after you cross the vehicle bridge in the cherry lake road while driving from Highway 120, please turn to the right towards the cottages. There is no sign board directing to the trail head and mostly you will tend to get lost. from there it is just a 3/4 mile to the trail head and it is called as Stanislaus National Forest Trail Head.

nature trips
5 months ago

I would rate this more as a nature hike. The trail is fairly easy until the last 1/4 mile. From there it becomes steep and rocky until you reach the falls. We did it with a 4 year old in tow.
The trail is within the burn area of the 2013 Rim Fire, it provided a great learning opportunity for our 12 year old to see the devastation and regrowth as part of our nature's cycle.
The falls are amazing with pools to dip in if you dare (that water is icy! brrrr!!).

Great place to visit

hiking
5 months ago

There are several short hikes here and you can easily jump from one to the other. The parking area was not clean and maintained. Pretty sad all the garbage was over flowing. The trail is not really special and yes was burned several years ago.
The falls are worth the hike. Great swimming holes and cold water!

backpacking
6 months ago

The Dece Scouts headed to Preston Falls for an early season backpacking trip. The weather was supposed to be horrible. We started the hike in the rain, walking along the very high and flowing river. The rain died down after an hour or so, and by the evening it was clear skies. Lots of trees down on the trail, and parts were flooded, but all in all, a great hike.

Easy hike, plenty of space to park, restrooms, beautiful view!!!

hiking
8 months ago

I found this to be a wonderful winter trek. Following the river up to the falls, clear water, cataplier, mushrooms, birds, and snow. I look forward to visiting again in the summer. Easy hike with some moderate (steep) hiking up to the falls.

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