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Pinecrest Lake

A Bit of History About Pinecrest Lake




Let's go way back to the early 1830s when the Mi-wok Indian Tribe used the lake bed of the present Pinecrest Lake as a summer trading center between the Mono and Mi-Wok tribes. The weather was too severe for them to remain during the balance of the year.

Around 1858, three storage reservoirs were built to secure enough water for hydraulic mines in the foothills to obtain gold flakes being washed from higher elevations. The lowest of these reservoirs was Edna Lake, which is today's Pinecrest Lake.

Pinecrest Lake was built in 1916 and is owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. It's elevation is 5,621 feet. As water is needed for irrigation and power in the Central Valley, the lake level is lowered and by wintertime, a good portion of the lake is drained.

Throughout the spring and summer, Pinecrest Lake is well-stocked for the enthusiastic fishermen either fishing from shore or out on the lake in boats. Sailing is a most popular sport and throughout the Summer months, there are sailboat races beginning at 3:00 p.m. Water skiing and jet-boats are not allowed at this lake. Besides fishing and sailing, there are great hiking trails ...the 4-mile Pinecrest Lakeshore Loop Trail is very popular. From halfway around the lake, there are other trails that lead to Cleo's Bath, Waterhouse Lake, Cooper Meadow and ultimately a trail leading to Upper Relief Reservoir. There is also a not-too-well-traveled trail from Pinecrest Peak.

There are three beach areas all of which are extremely popular for sun-bathers throughout the summer months. The water usually does not warm up until August...but that does not deter water lovers earlier in the season.

The Amphitheater overlooks the lake and throughout the summer months there are campfire programs available several nights each week. Movies are available the other evenings for a nominal fee.

There are two campground areas ...Pinecrest Campground located right at the lake and Meadowview Campground ...located off of Dodge Ridge Road.

(Photos to come)

Reservations are required for Pinecrest.




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