Lost Lake Nature Trail

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Trail Distance: 1.3 miles
Time Estimate: 1 hr+ round-trip
Elevation Gain: 62 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: $5
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

The furrific Nature Trail at the Lost Lake Recreation Area is tucked away 19 miles northeast of Fresno, near the Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. As one of Fresno County's most pawpular walking paths, though, Lost Lake isn't as "lost" as the name implies. 

While the park and trail are open until 10 pm from April through September, note that they close at 7 pm in winter. That's still plenty of time to enjoy the smooth boardwalk surface of the trail and its views of the water. Bring the whole family! The trail is accessible to strollers and some wheelchairs (though motorized wheelchairs might be difficult on parts of the terrain). The $5 daily admission fee is worth it, but invest in an annual pass if your pack lives nearby: it's "paid for" in 8 visits.

Surrounded by nature, your pups can get in touch with their inner wild child. The recreation area is relatively undeveloped apart from a campground, field, and day-use restrooms. The nature trail first makes an easy loop around interpretive signs (a great way to bone up on your local flora and fauna) and then continues along the river for over a mile. 

If you have a nose for history, look closely for Native American grinding holes left behind by the Wakichi Band of Yokuts who once resided here; there are over 300 in the Lost Lake area. To untrained eyes, these 8- to 10-inch holes are just divots in the rock, but take a closer look: the smooth holes were carved out as mortars over centuries of grinding grain and seed pods. Fido and Fifi might not care about the history, but they'll be happy to have you down on hands and knees seeing the world from their level.

The trail is set up above the water, giving you a lovely perspective over the lake and dam. You might want to pack a towel or two, especially if you have enthusiastic dog-paddlers in your pack. The trail itself doesn't reach the shore, but swimming is allowed at Lost Lake if your buddies want to cool off after their walk. 

Trail Features
River, Lake
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers
Cautions & Considerations
There are few serious risks to worry about at Lost Lake Nature Trail, but common sense rules apply. Keep your pups close and give wildlife a wide berth. Snakes may cross your path; most are harmless, but Fresno is home to plenty of rattlers. The leash and poop-scoop ordinances are enforced by rangers, so make sure you're setting a good example for your fur-babies. Most importantly, the running water at the day-use restroom is sometimes unavailable, especially in the off-season. Fill a few bottles at home in case your thirsty pups can't get a refill from the tap.
Address
16385 N. Friant Rd
Friant, CA 93626
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tue 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wed 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thu 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sat 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sun 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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Address
16385 N. Friant Rd
Friant, CA 93626
Hours
Mon 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tue 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wed 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thu 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sat 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sun 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM