Lake Skinner Loop Trail

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6.0 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
34 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Lake Skinner Loop Trail is a great family-friendly adventure in Southern California that features beautiful lakeside views. While out on the trail, you will loop around the perimeter of Lake Skinner County Park, before finishing with a scenic walk along the water’s edge with views that extend out across the surface of the water. Hikers should take note that there is a $6 fee to enter the park.

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Route Description for Lake Skinner Loop Trail

Hiking the Lake Skinner Loop Trail is a pretty laid back activity; however, the area can become quite busy during the summer months with those looking to camp or utilize the lake as a recreation space. Be sure to arrive early to secure parking and enjoy a bit of solitude when visiting the lake. Additionally, there is little shade for much of this walk, so where appropriate clothing and/or plenty of sunscreen.

Even though you will likely be sharing this trail with other outdoor enthusiasts, it is still a fun SoCal adventure for anyone who enjoys waterside views. Pair this quick and easy hiking adventure with a few days of camping nearby for a full weekend of outdoor fun!

Setting out from the parking lot next to the marina, you will follow the Loop Trail as it leads east alongside the road. Eventually, you will cross over to the other side of the road near the Vellegante’s Italian Cafe and continue along the Loop Trail as it skirts the perimeter of the park.

As the trail turns south, you will be walking along the edge of several campsites, which are a great option if you are looking to spend a few days exploring the area. After passing the campsites, the trail will turn back to the west, eventually arriving at the edge of Lake Skinner.

This stretch of the hike has quite a few intersecting trails that lead down to the water, so just remember to keep the edge of the water on your left to avoid getting lost. Take your time here and enjoy the beautifully scenic views that stretch out across the calm surface of the water. You will likely see plenty of people participating in recreational activities like fishing, swimming, and sailing.

After exploring the entire waterline, the trail will bend back to the southeast towards the marina, eventually bringing you back to the starting point of your adventure. Depending on if you are camping overnight or simply want to spend some more time having fun at the Lake Skinner County Park, you can head back to the water to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Trail Highlights

Skinner Reservoir

Also known as Lake Skinner, the Skinner Reservoir was created in 1973 and can be found within Riverside County, California. The reservoir is home to several endangered bird species, most notably Least Bell’s vireo and the Southwestern willow flycatcher. It is a popular destination for recreational activities, including fishing, swimming, hiking, sailing, and horseback riding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there fish in Lake Skinner?

A variety of fish species can be found in the waters of Lake Skinner, including largemouth bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish, stripers, and panfish.

Can I bring my dog to Lake Skinner?

Dogs are welcome on the trails at Lake Skinner, as long as they remain on a leash.

Insider Hints for Lake Skinner Loop Trail

  • There is a $6 entry fee in order to access the Lake Skinner County Park.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes for this adventure.
  • Plan for an early start to avoid the heat!

Getting to the Lake Skinner Loop Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for this hike can be found at the parking lot in the Lake Skinner County Park.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Lake Skinner County Park

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Lake Skinner Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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Lake Skinner Loop Trail Reviews

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