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

The lakes and creeks were teeming with mosquitoes. Even with deet and smokey campfires, I got about fifty bites, mostly near the creek crossing where we camped around mile 6.

Gem lake (10mi) was free of mosquitoes around 1pm and was lovely to swim in. I expect it would have been a nice place to camp without getting eaten so badly.

Grouse Lake (15mi) was also not too bad, but still not great.

Lots of horse poop on the trail.

Pretty hike but lots of mosquitos, my sister and I got eaten alive towards the end of the hike.

Parts of the trails were misleading. But overall it has beautiful scenery with some wildlife added to the trip. The hike is for sure over 6.7 miles. Also you need to be aware of some rock climbing involved. Overall I would recommend nice trail.

Was rather smokey when we started, but got better later in the morning. Challenging, but the worth the trek. Great view from the top!

Even in late summer with little flowing water the pools and vistas make the hike more than worthwhile!

backpacking
13 days ago

gorgeous hike with wildflowers and a big green lake. the stream crossings are super manageable this time of year but be aware of high risk for forest fires. we backpacked in and had the whole lake to ourselves. dog friendly!

Wonderful trail for all experience levels. Some friends and I went on a two night backpacking trip this past weekend and enjoyed the scenery regardless of the smoke from the fires nearby. Hope to go again soon when fire season is over.

Awesome hike and very scenic!

First time hiking in Pinecrest and I absolutely loved Cleos bath trail. It's not too clearly marked in some areas, you can lose the trail. Some people are nice enough to spray paint arrows but they are fading. The swimming hole at the top is the best part of the hike!

hiking
26 days ago

Trail was absolutely breathtaking. So many beautiful wild flowers. A few very challenging areas where climbing or crossing creeks required the help of friends. Definitely worth the challenge!

Great summer hike! Rough at times but the swimming hole in the end made it very rewarding.

One of the best I’ve done yet. The reward at the end is awesome. Trail needs a improvement in some areas. Almost lost the trail in certain areas but over all is a great trail.

Definitely got lost coming back down and went to the left instead of staying to the right and ended up on a very scary ledge. Just make sure you stay to the RIGHT when you head back down and look for the stacking stones. Fun hike and very rewarding at the top. Highly recommend this hike but be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

I went to Blue Ridge Lake today. if you don't mind a little high elevation and a little bit of rock scrambling this is an absolutely beautiful Trail flowers were everywhere however I will warn you to parking lot is fairly small. this off limits the amount of people going out to the lake which is nice because it's not a big late but it is stunning against the mountains in the snow.

Beautiful Hike!! Struggled with hiking in the high elevation but so worth it.

Backpacked the loop clockwise two weeks ago. As soon as we hit the pass before Piute Lake, mosquitos became unbearable. Camped the first night at Gem Lake and regretted that decision. We woke up early and had a great second day fishing Rainbows in Buck Meadow Creek and Cherry Creek West Fork. Camped at Grouse Lake second night and bugs were still bad but much better than Gem. We caught three Brown at dusk and one Rainbow at sunrise. Can’t wait to check out this area again without the skeeters.

it was awesome! 4 hard spots especially with my dog

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike a year ago and I’m so excited to do it again! The views and geologic history of the canyon fascinate me and the lake itself was so serene and peaceful. I recommend this to everyone I meet!

Definitely Not Year Round trail!! Who's managing this site. it's Snowed in in the winter.

Blue Canyon Lake is a stunning turquoise blue - worth the climb! Please be prepared for many stream crossings and getting your feet wet this time of year(June/July); trusty hiking boots are a must on this slippery gravel/talus trail. This trail is not for the faint of heart as there are some sections that require light scrambling. I don't recommend this hike for beginners primarily due to the stream crossings, scrambling sections and the ~1200ft gain in a short 1.8 miles. Also, the trail is not well-marked with signage and there are a few deceiving pseudo trails - follow the cairns and you'll be just fine! With the right preparation and determination, I do think anyone could ultimately tackle this breathtaking trail. Please be safe and always pack out what you pack in. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is gorgeous, but the reviews and distance on here are a tad misleading. We started at the trailhead parking lot which is 1/4 mile from the general store. From the general store it is around 1.5 miles to the actual trailhead past the campground. From the trailhead it is around 7.5 miles to Kennedy Lake. Round trip to the lake from the trailhead parking lot was a little over 18 miles.
As far as terrain, around mile 2 there is some steep hiking (not too bad) but after that it levels out. It is mostly sand you’re walking on past that point due to the horses breaking down the trail. The last few miles are through meadows so there is some wetland you’re walking through. As you approach the old log cabin the trail forks; I recommend going left if you’re going to the lake and not the camp area. The trail is a little dryer and easier to follow to the lake. If you’re setting up camp then go right and you’ll see all the tents (you must cross the creek to get to camp, but you do not have to if you’re going to the lake). Also, there isn’t much shade next to the lake unless you walk around the the far side.
All in all a gorgeous hike, but it’s quite a long hike for just a day. Recommend bringing a filter for the water, it’s nice and cold and refreshing! Would be a beautiful place to camp and spend the weekend, can’t beat the views!

Great trail and very rewarding swimming hole at the end of the trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked the shortest version of this loop (Crabtree TH past Grouse Lake to Groundhog Meadow, turned north and connected with the upper part of the trail, and returned past Camp Lake) on June 25-27. Camped at the south crossing of Piute Creek on Monday night and were eaten by mosquitoes. Otherwise it was a lovely campsite and the bugs weren't too bad until about 6 pm, but in the early evening and early morning they were fierce. Everyone we met coming out on Monday told us that the deeper you go in the worse the mosquitoes get. So we canceled our plan to go to Gem and Jewelry Lakes and instead just went to Camp Lake, stayed there Tuesday night, and walked out Wednesday morning. Only mild mosquito activity at Camp Lake at the campsites far above the lake. Lily and Piute Creeks were way down relative to two weeks ago--no wading necessary to cross them. This loop is a nice day hike and a fairly easy one-night backpack trip. We made it two nights only because we really wanted to be out for two nights.

Really fun hike the last 15 min is climbing up rocks

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, very steep and some areas of the trail was under snow. No markings or signs of a trail head at the start. It appears on Topo as being in the Emigrant Wilderness but only a broken post remains a short way in. The trail is not always clear and a few alt routes to get around obstacles were present if observant. Lake was about 75% frozen 6/24/18. Enjoyable and remote despite its closeness to 108.

2 months ago

Traveled from the south direction and had lunch at grouse lake. (Great idea) Then camped at Gem lake, mosquitoes were absolutely terrible. Spent the day hiking out and was tormented by them anytime I was near water, other than camp lake. I will go again just at a latter date. But the scenery is beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this today, there were a couple very manageable stream crossings but we did have to take off our boots for one of them. After one of the stream crossings, there is a false trail leading off to the left that eventually falls away; we put rocks across the path and built a few cairns to mark the right trail. I'd suggest a topo map to help make sure you're on the right track.

backpacking
2 months ago

Completed this over the weekend of June 16-17, 2018 as a two day hike. Camped out Friday night at Crabtree, left early Saturday morning, and came back Sunday at 6pm. We hiked around 11-12 hours each day. There were about 8 wet river crossings we had to do with rather cold water anywhere from 1-3 feet in depth. Light to moderate current. Make sure to bring some good sandals to wear during the crossings. Also had about 5 river crossings we were able to do by walking across fallen trees. Every time we reached a river crossing we would spend 5-10 minutes scouting upstream and downstream for around 100m to see if there were dry crossing options or if the boots were coming off. This was a little annoying, though the ice cold water and the chance to air out and dry our feet every few hours probably helped prevent blisters.

Snow was still to be found near Emigrant Lake and the higher elevations, making it easy to lose the trail at times but never for more than around 50m. Once we got past Gem lake we saw a only few people and a couple of horses. I lost count of how many beautiful lakes we passed. Also had spectacular views of valleys, cliffs, and meadows. Bring DEET, as there are some areas quite dense with mosquitoes.

This is a good challenge to do in two days if you are in shape for it. Otherwise, three or more days would be quite a bit more relaxing.

Not going to lie.. thankful to the hikers that made the stone trail markers climb up was hard but doable.. you’ll feel proud after! Beautiful waterfalls and areas to soak your feet and relax

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