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Accommodation in Pinecrest cost from $153 per night.
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In the heart of the Stanislaus National Forest is where you’ll find Pinecrest, California. You’ll be surrounded by pine trees, breathtaking mountains, and some beautiful bodies of water. Pinecrest Lake is a big attraction here, as is Dodge Ridge Ski Resort. If you’re looking for an outdoor, mountain town, Pinecrest is it! Pack your camping gear, bring your hiking boots, and don’t forget your fishing pole because you’ll be relaxing in the fresh mountain air before you know it.
Things to do in Pinecrest
If this is your first time in Pinecrest, you’ll want to start off with a hike around Pinecrest Lake. Take the Pinecrest Lake Loop Trail and explore the surrounding area. This four-mile loop is a moderate hike, and only has an elevation gain of 100 feet. At the far end of the lake you’ll find large rocks that you can venture out on for a sweeping view of the lake. Take the kids on an educational walk and hike the Shadow of the Mi-Wok Trail. The trail starts across the street from the Summit Ranger Station and is a short, half-mile walk. On the trail you’ll come across examples of shelters and grinding stones that serve as examples of what actual Mi-Wok Indians used when they lived here. Hike through the Stanislaus National Forest on the Sugar Pine Railway – Fraser to Lyons Reservoir Trail or the Arnot Creek Trail. The forest is home to Lodgepole and Jeffrey Pine trees and White Fir trees, and their location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains make it a gorgeous natural setting. Make sure to do a few hikes during your stay in Pinecrest! Pinecrest Lake is a major attraction for those visiting the area. The lake is open year-round and, in the warmer months, water activities provide great fun for the whole family. Kayaking, boating, and fishing are all permitted in Pinecrest Lake. The lake features catfish, Kokanee Salmon, and brown trout, and is stocked every week in the summer with rainbow trout. Check out the Pinecrest Lake Resort Marina and rent a paddle boat, sailboat, or even a party boat. The marina also features a restaurant called The Steam Donkey in case you get hungry out on the water. In the winter, Dodge Ridge Ski Resort is the place to go. You’ll get to enjoy 12 ski lifts leading to 59 different runs ranging from beginner to advanced, plus five freestyle terrain parks and a half pipe. The resort offers a vertical drop of 1,600 feet with a summit elevation of 6,600 feet across 815 acres. Sign your kids up for ski or snowboard lessons and enjoy the slopes yourself.
Day Trips from Pinecrest
From Pinecrest, it’s just a 40-minute drive to Sonora, a city named after the miners from Sonora, Mexico who settled the city in 1848. The city’s rich history can be seen through its old brick and stone buildings. Take a trip to the Tuolumne County Museum, which is located in the old jail house from the 1800s, and learn about Sonora’s role in California’s Gold Rush. You’ll get a chance to see some rare gold and artifacts from more than a century ago. Sonora is also home to the Sierra Repertory Theater which puts on plays and musicals throughout the week. Stroll down Washington Street, the town’s main thoroughfare, and stop at the shops and restaurants along the way.
Find the perfect cabin or vacation rental on Tripping.com. There are options in nearby Strawberry, in Pinecrest itself, and in surrounding areas in the Stanislaus National Forest. Choose the location that best suits the activities you’ll be enjoying. Stay on the eastern side of Pinecrest Lake to be as close to Dodge Ridge Ski Resort as possible, or on the western side of the lake to be closer to the highway for easier access to Sonora.
Transportation in Pinecrest
Getting to Pinecrest will require a car, so if you’re flying into California, use Sacramento International Airport and pick up a rental car. Pinecrest is located right off of Highway 108, which can be reached by taking I-5 South to Highway 99 South and Highway 4 West. Use your rental car for a day trip to Sonora or getting to Dodge Ridge Ski Resort.