Last week I had some time off so Cristy and I decided to head up to Pinecrest Lake. We wanted to get out of the house for a day and wanted to go on a hike so it seemed the perfect place to go. Pinecrest is located just off Highway 108 in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We didn’t think it would be too crowded mid-week… we were wrong. But it wasn’t so crowded that we couldn’t find a parking space next to the lake. With some patience that is.
We had stopped at Schnoog’s in Sonora to pick up some lunch. We ate our lunch sitting on some rocks watching all the moms and kids cooling off in the lake. After lunch we decided to hike to Cleo’s Bath since we were feeling energetic and had never been there before. So we struck off past the marina and headed towards the dam along the west side of the lake. Those that have ALREADY made the hike to Cleo’s Bath already know what we did wrong.
It was a beautiful day for a hike with weather in the upper 70’s at this point. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery looking down at the lake from the trail on our way to the dam. I found the helipad to be kind of amusing as it was so small and on the edge of the dam!
We finally made it to the dam and then saw a sign pointing towards Cleo’s Bath. We dutifully followed it along the north shoreline of the lake. The trail started going upwards so we thought we were making progress, then the trail went back down towards the lake. Hmmmm….. But then the trail started going upwards again! Then downwards again. After about an hour and a half of up and down and losing the trail once we finally made it to the east side of the lake and had gone almost 3/4 of the way around the lake when we finally came upon a sign that read… Cleo’s Bath! By this time we were pretty beat and were not looking forward to an uphill hike with no water.
We decided to continue on around the lake and declare victory. And it really was a victory for us as we’ve never been quite in the shape needed to do even moderate hikes. The trail around Pinecrest lake is no slouch. It has all the earmarks of a challenging trail but it is mercifully short. We’ve decided we will go to Cleo’s Bath in a couple of weeks but this time we will start off in the RIGHT direction!