Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Fun

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
8 days 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.

it was awesome! 4 hard spots especially with my dog

hiking
17 days 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
19 days 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
23 days 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.

hiking
24 days ago

Really fun hike the last 15 min is climbing up rocks

hiking
26 days 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.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail with lots of varied terrain, incredible views, pristine lakes and tons of fish. I wound up making a side trip around Huckleberry Lake and a second side trip up to Twin Lakes on Yosemite’s northern border. There was still a fair amount of snow at the higher elevations and the creek crossings were a little dicey. The worst crossing (IMHO) was the East Fork of Cherry Creek coming back from Twin Lakes - there was a 2.5 foot in diameter tree spanning the river which was great. Unfortunately it rested high above a pretty torrential set of rapids so if you slipped you’re a goner. Nothing like the fear of death to sharpen your mind :)

1 month ago

Went yesterday. I would give it at least a week. These are the first hot days on the pass and the watershed made the creeks dangerous at best and snow bridges are a no go. We passed 2 groups that had turned around bc they werent able to find a safe crossing. Still lots of ice/summer snow covering the trail so wear waterproof boots. By the time we hiked up to a point that we would have been able to wade across(.75mi further) we ran out of time. Bummer because we were really looking forward to the destination. We'll be giving it another go after the snow and rivers work things out a little.

Really cool hike it's a little hard to follow the path. But they have blue arrows directing you for the most part! Really pretty views along the trail

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is gorgeous! I’ve hiked around Pinecrest several times and always wanted to hike back in. The water was really moving today, and we could hear the waterfall from pretty far away. Be prepared to scale some large boulders. We saw one small ran snake, but I’m sure there were others hidden in the rocks and plants so watch your toes! The trail can be hard to find at times. Keep an eye out for blue spray painted arrows, piled rocks, and occasionally arrows that look like they were done with crayon! If all else fails, follow the water up! A lot of dogs were on the way back, but once we scrambled up the rocks a lot stopped at the bottom. It’d be very difficult for them and young kids/elderly.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful hike but more than moderate in difficulty in places, especially in the uphill portion to Cleo's Bath. The trail is not well mark in place that resulted in a number of side tours for us and other hiking at the time. The last stretch to the top of the falls can be outright dangerous if you take the almost vertical route.

Went there yesterday. There is a wide and pretty deep Creek you have to cross at the beginning of the trail.no bridge I could see. and there is tons of snow on the trail as well currently

Moderate scrambling, but fun for the whole family ! The pools are awesome and if you don’t mind cold water take a swim!

beautiful - hike by Pinecrest Lake, Stanislaus River, forested area, waterfalls and Cleo's Bath at top. the rock scrambling is rigorous in one spot.

Great hike. Loved that there was actual climbing required to get there. Not too hard to do, I saw dogs and children as young as 7 doing it. The best part is having a nice cold bath waiting for you at the end, with some great views of Pinecrest Lake.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Love this hike! Have done it multiple times. Definitely some good climbing. Did this with my 7 and 4 year old. It was tough but they made it up and down

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike, but lots of hikers on the main trail around the lake. A word of caution: the end of this trail requires bouldering several hundred feet up...a challenge for humans and an even bigger challenge for dogs!

hiking
6 months ago

Make sure you take the other way back around the side of the lake that you didn’t head out on. The side with the dam is amazing and offers more of a challenge than the side with the majority of houses. Just completed this hike in Dec and the weather was fantastic, minimal snow pack.

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