Pinecrest Lake has been a family vacation destination for more than a century. This beautiful alpine lake is proof that even a small lake can be one of California's best. Pinecrest is popular for slow-speed boating, fishing, swimming, camping and hiking. The 4-mile trek around the lake is almost a required initiation for first-timers. A great marina offers boat rentals, nearby stores have supplies, and lodges offer a variety of accommodations.
Pinecrest Lake is located a half-hour's drive east of Sonora in the Stanislaus National Forest.
Pinecrest Lake sees mostly anglers on its clear waters. Fishing boats, pontoon boats, and float tubes dot the lake. Pedal boats, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes also launch into the lake.
Pinecrest Lake has a single marina that offers a good supply of rental boats. The single launch ramp can be busy of summer weekends.
Fishing at Pinecrest Lake is mostly for rainbow trout. Anglers do well from boats and shore. A fishing pier, a safe place for children to cast their lines into the water, is located near the beach.
Pinecrest Campground is at the western end of the lake, with campsites close enough that campers can walk to the beach, marina, or fishing pier. Other campgrounds are located nearby, including a group campground along Dodge Ridge Road above the lake.
Pinecrest Lake Resort is the main lodging choice right at the lake, along with scarce cabin rentals. Nearby, however, are a number of lodges with a variety of facilities from cabins to lodge rooms.
Pinecrest Lake is another mountain beauty with Sierra peaks rising in the background and thick pine and cedar forests along the shores. A rocky point juts into the lake near the dam.
The community of Pinecrest Lake has a grocery store, sporting goods store, and restaurant. Only a couple of miles away in Strawberry are another restaurant and store. More services can be found back down the mountain in small communities like Twain Harte or a half hour away in Sonora.