Lewis Creek National Recreation TrailLewis Creek National Recreation Trail https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AllTrails_AliciaHebel-e1669738663852-1024x657.jpeg 1024 657 CalWild CalWild https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AllTrails_AliciaHebel-e1669738663852-1024x657.jpeg
Lewis Creek National Recreation Trail
Name of area/general location: Oakhurst, CA
Land Acknowledgement: This trail is on the traditional lands of the Me-wuk (Southern Sierra Miwok), Chukchansi, and others. To learn more about the original residents and stewards of the lands, visit native-land.ca
Trail rating: Moderate due to modest elevation gain and changes
Trail mileage: Approximately 3.7 miles round trip
Permissible trail uses (dogs, horses, mountain bikes, others): Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash. Although this is a multi-use trail, to avoid user conflicts, it would be best to limit activity to hiking on the trail.
Description of area, sights, wildlife and any key markers on the trail: The Lewis Creek National Recreation Trail (NRT) is a 3.7-mile trail located in the Sierra National Forest within the Bass Lake Ranger District. The trail is readily accessible off Highway 41, north of the town of Oakhurst and just outside of the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. The highlights of the hike include Corlieu Falls and Red Rock Falls.
The first of these two, the 80-foot cascade that is Corlieu Falls, is located roughly 0.25 mile from the start of the trail. To get to these first falls, you will need to go right at the first trail junction that you get to; the junction is only a few hundred feet from the parking lot. You may continue on the path that took you to Corlieu Falls for a few hundred feet more in order to get a better view of the falls. If you wish to continue beyond that, you can generally follow Lewis Creek (the namesake of the NRT) as it makes its way into the community of Cedar Valley, although this is not necessarily as scenic of a path as it was to the falls.
Following the usually traveled path in the direction of the trail junction, you will continue on the NRT towards Red Rock Falls. These falls are much shorter (being approximately 20 feet in height) but tend to run much more intensely and are wider, especially during the spring.
Given the presence of two waterfalls on this National Recreation Trail, it tends to be a popular hiking destination during the spring and summer months. This trail can also be done throughout the fall and into the early winter, although caution should be exercised, as there may be snow or ice on the trail as the conditions lead to freezing.
Directions: Coming south from Fresno, you will take Highway 41 all the way through the town of Oakhurst, CA. Leaving the main stop light in Oakhurst, you will see a sign pointing out the Lewis Creek Trail in approximately 7.3-miles, where you will also see the developed parking lot.
For more information: Sierra National Forest, Bass Lake Ranger District (559) 877-2218
AllTrails Hike Link: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/california/lewis-creek-national-scenic-trail-to-corlieu-falls-and-red-rock-falls
Caution: Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials
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- Public Lands
- Sierra Forests
Hayley ParonishAll stories by: Hayley Paronish
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