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Central California Life Magazine

3 Hiking Trails in the Fresno-Area to Explore

Apr 11, 2017 02:29PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Courtesy of Yelp's Korina Y. View of Millerton Lake.

Now that Spring is finally here, getting outdoors is becoming more and more appealing. Luckily, we live in an area that is so close to a wide variety of outdoor trails and hikes.

We put together a few of our favorites for you to try out this Spring! 

1. Bridge Trail (San Joaquin River Gorge)

Courtesy Walter Kuenzli
San Joaquin River Gorge Trail is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Clovis, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Directions: Take 168 North until it ends and becomes Auberry Road. Remain on Auberry Road for about 18 miles until you can make a left on Powerhouse Road. From Powerhouse, you’ll make another left onto Smalley at the San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreational Management Area entrance. Remain on Smalley until you see a parking lot on your right for camping or day use and signs for the Wuh-ki’o/Pa’san Ridge Trails.

2. Wildflower Trail (Clovis Foothills)

Courtesy of Yelp's Cecelia E.

The Wildflower Trail begins in Clovis by the Magnolia Trees. This trail is a gorgeous 50-mile stretch that can be driven or hiked. Create your own trail, and enjoy the foothills of Clovis! The Wildflower Trail is a part of the National Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway, which travels primarily on California State Highway 168, and ties the Sierra Nevada with eight foothill and mountain communities. The scenic byway rises 9,000 feet in elevation from the San Joaquin Valley to within viewing distance of the Kaiser, Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness Areas.

The Wildflower Trail is a lovely foothill drive along a 50-mile section of the scenic byway, and can be driven any time during the year due to its lower elevation. It is a fabulous trail for everyone, but especially for photographers. The trail can be done in a leisurely stop-for-photos four-hour drive.

The Scenic Byway starts in Old Town Clovis and follows California Highway 168 up to Prather, continues on to Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and up to the White Bark Vista turnoff, Kaiser Pass Road.

Directions: The Wildflower Trail starts in Old Town Clovis, heads south on Clovis Avenue and then east on Ashlan Avenue. Ashlan curves into the Watts Valley Road. Turn onto Lodge Road, going right onto Highway 168. Drive up the four lane road, turn left at Pine Ridge onto the Auberry Road. At Prather, take the right leg of the "Y" and continue on the Auberry Road down into the valley.

3. Pincushion Mountain (Friant Mountains)

Courtesy of Yelp's Korina Y. View of Millerton Lake.
Pincushion Peak is a 5 mile out and back trail located near Friant, California that features a lake. It's part of the larger, 18-mile San Joaquin River Trail. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult and primarily used for hiking & mountain biking. 

Though this trail is tougher, it boasts gorgeous views of Millerton Lake, as well as the lovely surrounding mountains. Learn more here

Directions: From Hwy 41 and CA 145, go east on CA 145 for 3.3 mi. Turn right onto CA 206. Go east for 2.2 mi and turn left onto Millerton Rd. Continue 4.2 mi on Millerton rd. Turn left onto Sky Harbor Rd (street just before Table Mountain Casino). Follow Sky Harbor Rd for 5.8 miles to the end of the road. Parking is available along the road. 

What's your favorite hike in the Fresno area? Let us know in the comments! 
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Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot