Shaver Lake Trail
Hiking the Shaver Lake Trail makes for an incredible day-hike in the Sierra National Forest. Boasting awe-inspiring scenery, countless outdoor adventure pursuits, and the possibility of seeing wildlife—this trek packs a punch. So the next time you find yourself in Fresno County, a trip to Shaver Lake is well worth the detour.
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Route Description for Shaver Lake Trail
The Shaver Lake is an epic excursion along the shoreline cliffs down to the waters of the shimmering reservoir. Family-friendly, incredibly scenic, and conveniently located, the lake is a popular weekend escape—so don’t be surprised if you have to share the beach—but the trail should be quiet! If you are seeking a more secluded adventure, we suggest heading out in the early morning or the off-season! Note this route travels through bear country—some choose to wear a bear bell to deter unwelcomed encounters. Note the path lacks proper sign postage in areas, so we suggest using the trail GPS.
We’ll never turn down a shoreline hike, so you can imagine how much we love this trek! Wander through mixed woodlands of evergreens and red firs, mossy patches, and wildflower meadows as you make your way to the piece de resistance—the lake. This wonderful adventure is easy-going and easy to navigate—ideal for families and those seeking a relaxing nature walk. Immerse yourself in the Sierra National Forest and bask in the beauty of the lush vegetation and rolling mountains, then take a dip in the refreshing waters!
Once your shoes are laced, and water bottles are filled, begin your hike along the Shaver Lake Trail from the trailhead off Chawanakee Road. From here, track the middle route northeast to an intersection—veer left here. Gradually descending through the forestlands, the path will intersect with several snowmelt streams. Enjoy the shade of the towering pines, and in the spring, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the blooming wildflowers. Keeping left at the next junction, the scenic path will direct you northwest, down the shoreline cliffs.
You will be granted views of the surrounding mountains through the tree breaks as you wander. Hike down the winding terrain, and you will eventually be delivered to the shoreline of Shaver Lake. Explore the shoreline of Chipmunk Cove and try your hand at some trout if you have a valid fishing permit! Enjoy the lake and the picture-perfect view of the water mirroring the forestlands and bounding summits. When you are through sunning on the shoreline, retrace your footing along the path all the way back to the trailhead—marking the end of your adventure.
Shaver Lake is an artificial lake on Stevenson Creek, located in the Sierra National Forest. Dammed in 1927, the reservoir flows into Big Creek, where it powers several hydroelectric plants, and into Stevenson Creek—ideal for fishing and other recreational activities. Sitting at an elevation of 1,676 m, this scenic lake has also been the chosen local for several reality TV shows; who knew?! Offering countless outdoor adventure activities, this is a great spot to spend the day exploring.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Shaver Lake Open?
Shaver Lake is open year round, but in the winter months, you may need snowshoes to explore the surrounding trails.
Can you swim in Shaver Lake?
Yes, Shaver Lake is a great swimming hole!
Can you fish in Shaver Lake?
Yes, assuming you have a valid license, anglers can enjoy the waters of Shaver Lake.
Insider Hints for Shaver Lake Trail
- Pack your swimsuit and enjoy the refreshing waters
- Assuming you have a fishing permit, bring your gear and try your hand at some trout!
- Wear sun protection in the summer months to avoid overexposure
- Bring lunch and have a picnic on the shore
Getting to the Shaver Lake Trail Trailhead
Access the Shaver Lake Trail from the trailhead off Chawanakee Road.
Shaver Lake Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Shaver Lake Trail Reviews
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