I spent days renting paddleboats with friends, swimming, hiking around the lake and fishing. As a kid there was nothing better than having all the fun outdoor activities in one place. There was never a dull moment, never a time when I looked to mom and dad with boredom inquiring what to do next, there was always something new to try. We even spent one day out of the trip each year and hiked to Cleo’s Bathes. It’s a beautiful cascade of waterfalls hidden up on the ridge that we could swim in, and even slide down one of the falls. Mom and Dad had the pleasure of relaxing in camp while we explored or lounging lakeside at one of the 3 designated beach areas. A roped off swim area allowed us kids to play as we pleased without the worry of passing boats.
On special occasions we would rent a patio boat and spent the day on the water fishing and sunbathing, or a small aluminum boat for those early morning fishing trips. Since my birthday always fell during our stay I was taken to a nice dinner at the Steam Donkey, a restaurant next to the Pinecrest General Store and Outpost. Every bit of this fabulous park is full of local history about old logging companies like the Pickering Lumber Company and the “steam donkey” that was used to move the lumber.
At night after a great meal we sat around the fire, roasted mallows, reminisced about previous trips and of course called for Elmer. Who’s Elmer you ask? Well you’ll have to experience Pinecrest to find out. One of my favorite things to do at night was to walk down to the lake and look at the millions of stars strewn across a clear mountain sky. Or take in a movie at the outdoor amphitheater! The best movie I remember as a kid was Jurassic Park. As you sit on half log benches amongst the towering sugar pines you dreaded that at any moment a T-rex would come crashing through the forest!
If you’re not the type to camp in the dirt or with an RV, there is a nearby motel, cabins to rent and townhouses to stay in. Pinecrest is a great place for everyone young and old. Full of wildlife, family fun, and so much more. I give Pinecrest Campgrounds 5-Stars!
Make a reservation early, the campgrounds fill up fast!
For Reservations and a list of Amenities Click Here.
Some other great places to visit nearby are: