The Best Hiking Trails In And Around Fresno

Dawn over the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California
Dawn over the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California | © Tim Fleming / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alice Johnston
Food Editor7 August 2020

Located in Central California, Fresno has easy access to the natural beauty of this state. With mountains, rivers, lakes and wilderness practically on Fresno’s doorstep, hiking fans have ample choice of trails to choose from. Put your best foot forward on these walking trails.

China Creek Park Nature Trail

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View

With more than 120 acres of untouched wilderness, China Creek Park is the kind of hidden gem all your friends will want to know about. Amenities are non-existent, but the overflowing abundance of nature and beauty makes up for that. A trail runs right through the park and whether you’re looking for stunning wildlife, varieties of native plants or birdwatching opportunities, you’ll find it here. Just remember to leave no trace so this hike can stay unspoiled for all.

Cedar Grove Trails

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View
Cedar Grove at Kings Canyon National Park California USA
Cedar Grove at Kings Canyon National Park California USA | © Werner Dieterich / Alamy Stock Photo
You’d never believe that there’s a national park just one hour east of Fresno. The jaw dropping Kings Canyon National Park provides views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the lush green landscape and the picture-perfect alpine lakes – all waiting to be discovered by you. There are 10 hiking routes winding their way through this park, most of which are suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. We recommend the Roaring River Falls Trail, which will give you unrestricted views of a waterfall rushing over granite rocks.

Sequoia National Park

Forest, Park
Map View
Sequoia National Park, United States | © Vitto Sommella / Unsplash
It takes an hour and a half to get here from Fresno, but once you’ve made it you won’t believe your eyes at the natural beauty that surrounds you. Every trail in Sequoia National Park leads through sequoia forest where enormous trees dominate the landscape. Make sure to hike the General Sherman Trail while you’re here, which leads you to General Sherman itself, the largest single stemmed tree in the world. Don’t forget your camera for this hike, you’ll want to take photos to brag to your friends with.

Lewis S. Eaton Trail

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View
This popular trail can get quite busy, so prepare yourself for sharing the trail. Just 10 miles above Fresno on Route 41, it’s frequently used by joggers, hikers and bikers. Intended to run for an impressive 22 miles when completed, currently it’s five miles long. The views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the San Joaquin River are second to none, and the easy, paved path makes it suitable for children and the non-outdoors types. Bring your friends and family, they’ll all have a good time here.

Lost Lake Recreation Area

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View

You can’t miss one of Fresno County’s most famous outdoor offerings. 19 miles northeast of the city, the 38 acres of nature and water make it popular with everyone from seasoned hikers and students to families. There are frequent events held here, so check online before you go. There are two disabled-compliant campsites at the Lost Lake if you want to make a trip of it. Parking and other facilities make hiking here a breeze. Bring your bathing suits, because you’ll definitely want to jump into the lake when you see how beautiful it is.

Woodward Park

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail, Park
Map View

Sometimes you just need a hike that’s near your own back door, this park ticks that box. The oldest of Fresno’s three city parks, it has everything you could want from a hike in the city centre, making it easy for those weekends when you don’t want to drive far. With a zoo, a Japanese garden, an amphitheater, a fenced dog park and a two-mile trail you can horseback ride on, there’s something here for all the family. Fancy seeing a tiger mid-hike? You can do that here. And there’s plenty of shady trees to boot, for those hot summer days.

These recommendations were updated on August 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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