With virtually the same appeal as the nearby Yosemite minus the crowds, Stanislaus is perched up in the high Sierra landscape. Contact Us : Stanislaus River Campground. Don’t believe us? All the sites are secluded, shaded, and big, making your stay not interfere with your neighbors too much. We hiked this loop clockwise, and I found it extremely enjoyable with all the change in scenery and all the different valleys you go through. If fishing has been on your mind all week, then this spot is the one for you. Gorgeous, but be warned the map does deviate from the actual trail in a couple places. This is what camping was born to be about! Explore Stanislaus - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Located on scenic Pinecrest Lake, this is known as the Beverley Hills of the Sierras. Saw like 3 other people. The sound of clear water rushing by, birds of prey soaring overhead, and trout splashing around in perfect swimming holes. Most creeks were dry so we survived off of lake water + purification tablets. about a mile past the y for disaster Creek the trail gets a little washed out and stomped down by cows, but it was not too hard to find. Thousands of acres of fresh, clean water await you. Learn more, I would like to sign up to receive email updates from Hipcamp. Groveland District 24545 Highway 120 Groveland, CA 95321 . Saw three different rangers. Total with the extension was about 23.5 miles, 3500 ft of gain. The fresh smell of conifers, dusty roads, and fine mountain views will greet you when you arrive at Herring Creek Campground. Noted for a stand of beautiful aspen trees, Mill Creek Campground is located in a mixed conifer forest. It is absolutely epic. Head over to Pinecrest Lake and spend the day swimming, boating, or fishing, or take a leisurely 4-mile stroll around the lake. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done- if not challenging (especially if you add on the full loop and make it to Huckleberry). Find information about Piute Lake State Park, an Utah State Park With grills, fireplaces, and tables on site, what more could your heart desire? It's a four for me because the trail is not your normal trail and the horses do make it soft and sand at parts. Contact Us : Baker Campground. This place is close to all the fun, family oriented, RV friendly, and s’more ready. Explore the most popular trails in my list Stanislaus Natl Forest--CA with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Trailhead was a bit confusing about upper or lower loop towards Gem or Wood Lake, but ended up starting on the lower loop. Restrooms are but a short skip away, so you don’t have to worry about taxing your bladder when you rehydrate after your latest failed sa Read more... A small site along the banks of the Stanislaus River, Pigeon Flat Campground is the perfect camp for exploring the geological wonder that is the Columns of the Giants. Groveland District 24545 Highway 120 Groveland, CA 95321 . Take it easy and try to forget about Monday… you’re in the Sierras! Don't bank on water from the creeks. With campsites a’plenty—some even have views of the rushing Stanislaus River—Baker is a reliable spot to camp even in the hustle and bustle of the summer months. If that’s your thing, stay at Niagara OHV Campground. Completed this trail on Aug 8 - 9th weekend. With lake views that would trump your apartment view any day, Spicer Reservoir keeps it glassy. Camping at Lake Utica July 2011 - Duration: 1:58. This trail also seems to be moderately trafficked by horses and pack mules with groups on pack trips—you’ll be able to see (and smell) the abundance of “presents”, “trail markers”, or whatever you wanna call them on your path. Stay Connected. Stay Connected. I would probably do counterclockwise if there were a next time. This campground is situated in an alpine meadow and forest, next to the Mokelumne River, and near Mosquito Lakes. During our trip, we made Piute Lake our base camp while we trekked over Piute Pass and into the Humphreys Basin to fish lakes like Summit Lake and Lower Golden Trout Lake. Supervisor's Office 19777 Greenley Road Sonora, CA 95370. Not only do they have two different lakes, but also four different lake view campgrounds to choose from: Sandy Flat and Rocky Point on Utica and Union West and Union East on Union. You can really make this trail any length with so many options to keep extending it if you want to! All Hosts should review and adhere to these standards around providing a positive Hipcamp experience, being a thoughtful neighbor, and serving as a responsible citizen. The access road in places is steep and narrow. Tie on a few bikes, or dust off those Razor Scooters sitting in your garage, and make trips to and from the lake a little more time friendly (and enjoyable). At the end of each year, it's places like these you’ll remember! Our dogs did great! In the mood for something wild and scenic? The Quick and Dirty: Location – Stanislaus National Forest Distance – Varies, 10 miles to Gem Lake Terrain Type – Flat terrain, Switchbacks, Stairs. The grounds are surrounded by gorgeous conifer trees and each site has access to a fire pit and a grill (your panini maker will thank you). There was one little beach that had accessible water, but people were camping right in front of it. You can also snag some brook trout and a gaggle of other fish. You can chill on the shoreline with some beautiful cabins to your back, as long as you are respectful of the private property. Mosy on over to Black Oak Flat Campground, also known as TeleLi puLaya, a brand new spot that just opened in 2014. Supervisor's Office 19777 Greenley Road Sonora, CA 95370 . Stanislaus is busting with lakes and ponds, which means it’s fishing galore. The park is not well known and is a great place for a quiet getaway. Typical sites have water faucets, picnic tables and a campfire pit with grill. We slept at Crabtree trailhead on Friday night, then hiked up to Gem lake and slept there on Saturday night. Highland Lakes Campground is located next to the two Highland Lakes, 6 miles off Highway 4 near the summit of Ebbetts Pass. For some reason the AllTrails map doesn't show the trail continuing to Buck Lake though the USDA map has it. Need to dip out of the city for a weekend? 1. 2:40. Highland Lakes Campground. I knew this was going to be the case but it is a steep grade. Stanislaus is busting with lakes and ponds, which means it’s fishing galore. Piute campground was pleasant. Did this with 5 people and 2 dogs from Fri morning to Sun afternoon. Piute Meadow is right here at Piute Lake, and you can stay the night at Emigrant Wilderness - Rosasco Lake. Of course, you could easily drive to nearby Cold Springs and grab gas station joe, but why waste part of the day with that when there’s outdoor R&R and fishing in the Stanislaus River to be had Read more... Oh California, you never disappoint with your plethora of riverside campgrounds, and Fence Creek Campground is no exception. Few other hikers. Deer Lake was probably the highlight of the whole hike for us, and we took a snack break there and filtered some water from the lake. Group sites are also available, so bring Read more... Cascade Creek Campground is as classic a piece of the Sierras as you’ll ever see. (Seriously, look at it.) Good to share the trail I guess, but they kicked up lots of dust, especially near Crabtree Trailhead. It contains 78 lakes, and 811 miles (1,305.2 km) of rivers and streams. Ranger was walking around Gem lake, making sure people weren't camping too close to the lake. With sites for both tent campers and RV-ers, feel rejuvenated as you bask in the peaceful nature-filled surrounds of Stanislaus National Forest. You can also snag some brook trout and a gaggle of other fish. Steady ups and downs, a perfect trail for a backpacker who is looking for a chill time. Smack dab in the midst of Calaveras Ranger District, you will bask your adventure loving heart in mature forests of firs, pines, and scattered aspen. Taking Friday off would be your best bet for securing a spot at this prime campground—there are only a handful of sites available, and all are first-come, first-served. Area Status: Closed Pinecrest Campground … Day three of three!! Location. Although the sites are not fully stacked with amenities, they are half the cost of standard sites—perfect for the rugged and down to Mother Earth kind of camper. Beautiful trail with a variety of lush green meadows and rocky terrain. Few key points though : I went the clockwise version of this loop. Open to both tent and RV campers, there are no hook-ups or refuse stations, but it’s got everything you need to make a traditional or fancypants meal, including drinking water to wash it all down. Calaveras District 5519 Highway 4 PO Box 500 Hathaway Pines, CA 95233. Campsites are in a mixed conifer forest, and offer views of the Herring Reservoir. This is a difficult loop trail to No Camping in Stanislaus National Forest. The campsites are cozy, offer fantastic views, and are a great place to rest your head under the moonshine. Ranger Districts. Check out Meadowview Campground, where the sites are big enough for 3 tents and an EZ-up. The view of Lake Alpine is a dream, and you can boat in the waters, cast a line, or go for a soul refreshing hike. A few small towns (Sonora, Twain Harte, Cold Springs, Pinecrest, Strawberry) are located nearby to grab both gas and groceries. Setup your tent close to the banks of the creek and bliss out to the sounds of Mother Nature at this remote campground. Head to Lumsden Campground on the Tuolomne River. This site is typically ope Read more... You’ll be smarter than the average bear (or person) if you choose to kick it in the mixed conifer forest at Cherry Valley Campground. Feel right in the heart of the Sierras as you camp surrounded by cedars and firs—not to mention the epic mountains right above you! Grouse Lake via Emigrant Wilderness Loop is a 11.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Find yourself surrounded by a crowd of like-minded, nature-lovin’ peeps, but keep in mind there is crowds. Pick up supplies in several nearby communities including Cold Springs, the last chance for gas when traveling east. Gem is pretty small. Between easy access to hiking trails, plenty of forest to trek through, and fishing spots—grandma and even the kids will be able to find something fun to do! Try heading to Gem lake to camp if possible. This is a moderate loop trail to Jewelry Lake in Stanislaus National Forest. See 2 traveler reviews, 4 photos and blog posts. Got slightly lost on the way out past Piute Meadow towards Crabtree (maybe I’m just horrible at following trails) but regained. Tally-ho, it’s Dimond O Campground, the closest digs to Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Big Oak entrance). Camped at Gem lake and it was freezing! RV Parks. Fair camping sites, ample firewood, limited stock feed. Beer and marshmallows are highly encouraged; campfires will make them complete. The Granite Dome hike is definitely one of my favorites. There is a bit of shade but a lot of it is exposed. Alright, so we’re going to be straight up with you camper—Hermit Valley Campground isn’t your pamper-me-in-the-woods kind of site. First come, first served campites and reservable campsites. Amazing trail, easy to follow, and beautiful sights. It has 1,100 miles (1,770.3 km) of non-motorized trails, and 2,859 miles (4,601.1 km) of roads, 188 miles (302.6 km) of which are paved. For a first backpacking trip this was great and the top of Granite Done had amazing panoramic views of the Sierras. Very nice. Recommend camping at Deer Lake. No bugs, warm during the day, though pretty cold at night. They probably didn’t appreciate our excited dogs, but the riders were friendly. This trail goes by Camp Lake, Piute Lake Campground, Piute Lake, Grouse Lake, and Crabtree Camp. Ranger Districts. Very hot and dusty though, with not a lot of shade, especially on the way back if looping clockwise. When you feel like the traffic in your brain is worse than the traffic on your commute, it’s about time you #findyourselfoutside. A stay at Spicer Reservoir Campground won’t have you missin’ it, and that’s a promise! Arrived at trailhead around 12:30pm and parking lot was pretty packed. Total distance ~ 22 miles You can chill on the shoreline with some beautiful cabins to your back, as long as you are respectful of the private property. Gem lake was beautiful and great to swim in. This trail is great for a three or four day trip. We only went to Sheep Camp and did local scrambling just by Black Hawk Lake, but it was still spectacular. Recreate responsibly during COVID-19. Sound cool yet? We dare ya to prove us wrong on your visit to the Utica/Union Reservoirs Campground. Calaveras District 5519 Highway 4 PO Box 500 Hathaway Pines, CA 95233. The view at Buck lake was incredible. You don’t have to be a backpacker to really dig this spot, though it may help. 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