Crystal Basin Recreation Area

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Trail Distance: 100 miles
Time Estimate: 20 min +
Elevation Gain: 1 foot
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

You and your pup definitely deserve a hiking adventure in the Sierras, and what better place to find some pup-friendly hiking trails than the Crystal Basin Recreation Area in Pollack Pines, California.

Pick up the trailhead locations at the Ice House Road Information Station. Here you will find trail maps, and amenities list for the entire recreation area. There are over 100 miles of natural-surface trails here and each offer either an easy or moderate-rated hike, so most pup-abilities are perfectly suited for their outdoor adventure. 

You can try the 2.0-mile Shadow Lake Trail to Shadow Lake, the 7-mile Lake Loon Trail to Loon Lake, or the Rubicon Trail which is 3.8-mile hike running alongside Loon Lake. There is also a paved bike trail which runs for 4.5 miles throughout some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. Perfect for hikers of all fitness levels and best for elderly pups, this trail follows the Union Valley Reservoir and offers spectacular views of the water from here. 

Be sure to bring a camera no matter which hiking trail you choose.  Crystal Basin spans 85,000 acres and your adventure will take you through forests, past 5 lakes and reservoirs and 25 campgrounds hiding out inconspicuously in the tall trees. Wildlife abound here so keep to the trails for sure. 

If you feel like taking a long hike, some of the trails connect into the Desolation Wilderness Area. This would be quite the hike and should be planned well in advance as this is considered a rugged environment, although Crystal Basin’s trails will offer more than enough outdoor time for most pup’s! 

Some out-of-the-way places along the 24 miles of shoreline here at either the lakes or reservoirs can be found where Fido can enjoy sticking his paws in the water and splashing around. Restrooms and drinking fountains can be found at the main entrance to the park, so fill up your water bottles here generously before you begin your hike.

Crystal Basin Recreation is a pawtastic place to hike in California. How about visiting today?

Trail Features
Forest, Mountains, Diverse Landscape, Easy Incline, Lake
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Wildlife is prevalent here, so please refrain from wandering off the trails.
Address
Ice House Rd
Pollock Pines, CA 95726
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
Ice House Rd
Pollock Pines, CA 95726
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset