“Enjoy a beautiful loop in the trees in the Pollock Pines area of the Sierra.”
— Matt Ferrell
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Large pine trees and foliage fill the landscape along this 7.5 mile track. The path is clear and well worn, making a great loop for a morning or afternoon in the beauty of the Sierra.
Need to Know
The start of the trail is a little confusing. Look west across the road and you'll see a running trail heading into the forest. Do not take the jeep road behind the gate heading south, it will lead you to the trail, but you'll be doing the run in reverse.
Begin the trail by heading west out of the parking lot. The trail is just across the road and quickly moves into the forest. As you come up over the first small hill, the trail splits in two. Both paths lead to the same spot and rejoin the unified trail. This is one of the only confusing spots on the trail. From this point forward, you can follow the signs indicating trail "8" without issue.
You'll track down to a seasonal creek that runs under the trail in the spring. The trail then levels out and climbs some 500 feet to the highest point on the trail. Coming down this hill, you'll join a gravel road for a short distance and once again enter the forest. The trail winds gently up and down passing two challenging side trails (clearly marked) as it works its way back to the trailhead past lush areas of oak and berries mixed with towering pines and small streams.
At each turn, there is a sign clearly indicating the direction until you reach the last 0.4 miles. Here the trail crosses a jeep road, but go straight and finish the trail in the trees. Both the trail and the road bring you back to the trailhead, one is just more pleasant than the other. This trail gets consistent use, but not overuse, by groups including equestrians and mountain bikers. This is not a problem, however, as much of the trail is wide enough to accommodate two abreast.
Flora & Fauna
In the morning, you'll often encounter deer on and around the trail.