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

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Oakhurst, California Map
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Pretty hike, lots of other people on the trail (holiday weekend) but didn’t feel crowded. Would be excited to come back in the spring to see the waterfalls at their peak!

Very tranquil hike. Not too challenging but about 1000 feet of elevation gain from the trailhead to Red Rock Falls. About two creek crossings, not bad at all. My 22lb dog kept up the whole way and enjoyed! Would do again.

Absolutely stunning!!! Great first hike, beautiful views and weather. Trail was well paved and easy to follow. Definitely will return!!!!

One of favorites! Family fun all seasons. We have hiked this trail a few times! Beautiful and majestic views! So peaceful. Some strenuous spots but so worth it!! Check it out!

12 miles round trip from Quartz Mountain Trail head to middle lake. Easily doable in a day, in and out, but pretty uphill on the way in. About 3 hours up and 2 hours back with a daypack.

great... lots of mosquitos, but beautiful lakes and peaks to climb

The lakes are nice, particularly the second one. It took me a bit of time trying to find the final lake (have to scramble up the rocks ahead of the second lake) and I actually lost the trail at a couple of points on this hike. The walk was fine but there’s wasn’t much of a scenery.

hiking
17 days ago

This route is closer to 71km (44.12mi) than the reported 63.9km (39.70mi) (and I didn't visit Chain Lakes!).

Thank you to the originator of the track - the detailed waypoint labels were a huge boon on the walk.

After completing Rae Lakes a couple of months ago, I wanted another challenge and felt this would be roughly equivalent in difficulty. Based on previous pace I'd hoped to complete the loop in 15-16hrs and given available daylight wanted to do the lollipop stick in the dark (about 4h). I set off Saturday 06:05 and the light was hitting towards the first stream crossing.

The loop becomes interesting around Merced Pass where we snatch glimpses towards the Valley. Seeing Half Dome from around here was a pretty cool moment for me and seeing it in the distance but still relatively close (just 21.9mi according to an upcoming sign) made Yosemite feel small in my mind.

The approach to Red Peak Pass is very good - extremely well maintained trails with no routefinding issues whatsoever. Presumably this is because the section is shared with the more popular "Clark Range Loop" which starts and ends at the more accessible Happy Isles. The lakes on the way up offer great views and seeing Merced Peak up close is also extremely impressive. Topping out at Red Peak Pass was absolutely *the* highlight of the loop. The visa here is huge - all of the main peaks such as Dana and Conness are laid out in front of us. I'm not great at names but an app like PeakFinder AR is a great option here. Better still is that as you descend just a few switchbacks you get your first glimpse of the Minarets over to your right.

The descent of Red Peak (and Post Peak and even moreso Fernandez) Pass is quite hard going with scree (talus) under foot. I'd hoped to run down some sections of the descents but didn't want to risk it so far out in the wilderness. In late October there was icy snow on the north side of Red Peak Pass but this was only present for a handful of switchbacks.

Descending through the meadows towards Post Peak Pass was absolutely gorgeous and the only real time on the loop I wanted to stop and spend some time. In particular one "unnamed" lake that was accompanied by a waymarker would be an ideal stop for me. For now I can only imagine how gorgeous this would be in summer with more greenery.

Post Peak Pass was a great ascent - crossing over an alpine meadow (again, summer would be a great time to be there) and then slowly ascending and looking back at the meadow as well as the Clark Range. As crazy as it sounds this is where things start to feel really remote. Obviously people ascend this pass but throughout the hike there were signs listing the distance to Fernandez Pass but very few to Post Peak Pass. Amazing views walking along the ridge into Ansel Adams Wilderness. This is where I drew in my last views of the Minarets before starting the descent to the next ascent of Fernandez Pass.

At this time things went downhill for me. I'd already noticed that my pace was slow (I hoped for 14:00/km but instead finished with 15:14/km) but was now beginning to notice just how much of a sandbag the trail was. Due to the low resolution of the track a lot of distance in switchbacks, etc. were cut and as a result my walk was extended by around 7km or close to two hours. I had anticipated on being close to the top of the lollipop stick around the time it got dark and then finish with a two hour descent to the trailhead. In the end I reached Fernandez Creek Trail Junction after dark and walked the next four hours by headtorch. I have no idea what the views from Fernandez Pass are like or any other section on. I expect they were great and regret not having had a chance to see them myself. Perhaps in future I will walk up to Fernandez Pass out and back from the trailhead with an easier approach.

My gripes/thoughts:

The lollipop stick 10km walk is really not fun. Nor is the narrow windy singletrack down from Fernandez Pass. This route can never be 5/5 with those two sections. To add insult to injury you do the 10km lollipop stick twice - that's four hours of pretty grim walking and a significant chunk of this walk.

I debated with giving this a 3 but I think rushing to do it in a short space of time, not seeing Fernandez Pass, etc. I erred on the side of caution.

Finally - this trail is HARD. I thought it would compare favourably to Rae Lakes but that's a doddle by comparison. Your feet, legs, back, everything will take a beating. Three passes (even if neither is as high as Glen Pass) is brutal and mentally challenging. I enjoyed almost every minute of Rae Lakes but would not personally recommend this be done as a day loop - in summer with more daylight it will be too hot and in winter you miss too much.

Hiked the lower Lake two weeks ago and loved it. Hope to do the upper Lake soon.

hiking
22 days ago

Great Hike!! Camped at the Fresno Dome campground. Beautiful fall colors and a amazing view.

WEAR bugs spray; There’s plenty of bugs & mosquitoes. Trail/creek was beautiful. Expects INCLINE and minors obstacle on trail (fallen trees). Creek was full of flowing water.

Great trail! All up hill at first so heading back is easy. There were literally thousands of lady bugs more towards the middle to end parts of the trail. There are plenty of waterfalls to see and it is almost completely shaded. Heading back we ran the trail.

Great day hike. I guess you can walk down or walk up. We walked up. It will challenge you but the beauty and peacefulness it nice. Go hike a mountain.

Fun little trail up to a waterfall. A few other groups on the trail so no worries about the mountain lion. The Lewis Creek trail car park is actually in the middle of the trail on this map. Worth a try if you’re in the area.

My wife and I hiked Goat mountain trail yesterday. We just moved to Oakhurst and wanted to try something different than going into Yosemite. We thought this would be a nice change.
We started at the green gate where the app told us the trail begins. We missed the first turn to take you up the mountain, so we had to backtrack about a quarter mile.
The trail goes through lots of forest land with occasional views of Bass Lake. It finishes after a steep incline to a cell tower at the top of Goat Mountain.
It's always nice to get out, in the early fall but here are my complaints about this hike.
The trail is not very well marked. We ran into a pair of mountain bikers who weren't sure they were at the right place either because the trailhead was not marked. It wasn't until we finished that we found out we could have shaved off a couple of miles by parking at The Forks Resort.
Second, the end was a little anticlimactic. After 9 miles we were expecting something spectacular, it was a nice view from the top of the mountain, but I think we were expecting more.
Finally, there were tons of gnats all along the way. Very frustrating to be hiking and have to swat at bugs from getting in your face, mouth, and eyes. Granted, it's outside, but definitely something to be aware of ahead of time.
Overall, not a bad experience, just nothing to write home about with all of the opportunities in the Oakhurst area.

nature trips
1 month ago

This was my all time favorite hike.We did it over six nights so we could enjoy every second and we did.Hope to do it again some day!

I did not see any mountain lions, however there are mountain lion warnings with a note from another hiker dated 9/18/18 9am that he spotted a mountain lion drinking water near the waterfall. I solo hiked and made a lot of noise. Very cool hike. I would have rather had a partner because I had mountain lion on the brain the entire time and I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so concerned.

Wow one of the most scenic hikes I’ve ever been. The observation deck has an incredible view of the cascading waterfalls.

Beautiful but tons of little bugs in your face. Bug repellent is a must!

This is my close to home favorite. Easy and keeps you hiking when you do not have much time.

Really like it. It's not that easy but during the hiking there is a flowing water next us. And there is a waterfall in the end to play in the water. One of the best trail!!

The majority shaded trail is very easy with a few steep spots especially to get to the upper Corlieu Falls but there’s a guide rope to help you get down and back up safely. The water was crisp and refreshing creekside and in the falls. Plenty of rocks to sunbathe, read or picnic fall-poolside. I recommend hiking down off the initial trail to the small grottos, smaller falls and creek views along the way. There are butterflies everywhere, the running water and ample shade are soul soothing.
There are a lot of gnat type insects around but I didn’t notice many mosquitos.
August 19,2018

There’s a paved trail so it’s perfect for direction, there was some fallen trees that you had to go under or jump over! Other than that it was great! Didn’t hike the whole thing but what I did I was still able to see creeks and small waterfalls. Started from cedar valley road and parked across from where the trail started in a dirt area- car was safe.

We took this hike today with a few Boy Scouts, we started from Cedar Valley Road and went all the way to the falls and back. The water felt great but the first half of the hike has a lot of up and down hills. Overall we had a great time and took our time to enjoy it all.

Took the whole family: 10 year old, 4 year old and 11 mo old in front pack. We parked off 41 and hiked all the way down into the falls. great trail!

backpacking
2 months ago

I'm interested in taking the Chiquito Pass Trail up into Yosemite toward Crescent Lake and Johnson Lake with my daughter for a few days, and then connect with the Chilnualna Falls Trail that takes me down Wawona Dome and into North Wawona where we have a cabin right by the trailhead. I am planning on driving up Beasore Road and then on to the 5S04 to catch the start of the Chiquito trail there. I have a question: will a Lexus SUV (RX330 survive the 5S04 or am I taking a lot of risk to drive the couple of miles on that road? From Google Earth it doesn't look that bad.

backpacking
2 months ago

8/7 - 8/11 hiked from Fernandez TH to Vandeberg 1st day then to Lillian 2nd day. Hike was moderately challenging with our heavy packs - training was key. All creeks were dry but lake water levels only couple feet down. Day hiked to Rainbow and Chittenden for fishing. Air quality pretty good considering Ferguson and Lyons fires were pretty close - blue skys most of the time with haze for couple hours at a time. Smoke seemed to settle down hill from us. BTW no campfires allowed except at Lillian. Overall the area is gorgeous and I recommend you go see for yourself!

Great group hike. Fair amount of boulder hopping, thankful for those dreaded squats!

on Goat Mountain Trail

hiking
3 months ago

I’d like to do this again next time I’m on this side of the states just because the smoke from the fires is real and I bet the views are even more amazing than what we did get to see, which were still great. The gnat pockets are real, but that’s nature. We parked at the start coordinates and recorded at 10.1 mi for us. Took just under 5 hours at moderate pace and while out of shape.

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