This is a great trip from the SF Bay Area. During the summer months, if you head out after work, you can arrive at Pinecrest lake and set your tent up before the sun goes down.
Here is the full route:
This trip is a great family trip. No heavy off-roading, great car camping sites and plenty of options. If you do want to take your rig off road, there are plenty of trails at the Crandell OHV park and other sites. The Stanislaus National Forest web site has great maps of the more popular OHV trails throughout the area.
We arrived Friday night and stopped at the Pinecrest camping site first. The campground was all full and they directed us to the Meadow View site just a quarter mile away. There were plenty of great camp sites and we found one away from other campers.
Each year there is a “Fish Faire” on Fathers Day. I loaded up the kids and headed out for their first real fishing trip. Plenty of fun, fire trucks, and they stock the lake the evening before with spoiled rainbow trout which are angry and hungry! I still recommend asking around to see where they are biting. We stopped at the Pinecrest General Store to stock up on bait, bobbers and other essentials. The General Store has everything you might have left at home in your hurry to head out. It’s a great safety net!
Sun, a lake full of fish, and nowhere else to be. Enough said?
Before packing it in and heading back to camp, we took the Cruiser up to the Crandall OHV park to do some exploring. It was just off HWY 108 with easy access. There are few signs, so map it out beforehand.
After winding through the forest, adding some “desert pin stripping” to the rig and splashing around in a little mud, we headed back to camp for a relaxing evening with smores and a campfire.
On Sunday, we packed the rig and prepared to head back home. Before doing so, we took a right on 108 and headed up to the pass to play in the snow. It’s amazing that there was still plenty of snow to play in! It was a blast!
After an hour of snow, we headed home. We left at 1:00 and got home with plenty of daylight and enough time to prepare for the week before crashing.
This is an easy trip to throw together last minute. If you are coming from out of the area, you will find plenty of overflow campgrounds in case it is very busy.
Until next time!