Jenkinson Lake Loop

Eldorado National Forest, California

Elevation Gain1,726ft
Trailhead Elevation3,475ft
Elevation Min/Max3464/3571ft
Elevation Start/End3475/3475ft

Jenkinson Lake Loop

Jenkinson Lake Loop is a hiking trail in El Dorado County, California. It is within Eldorado National Forest. It is 4.7 miles long and begins at 3,475 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,726 feet.

Jenkinson Lake Loop Professional Reviews and Guides

"A pleasant hike along the shoreline of a foothills reservoir leads to a short but pretty fall and pool. The waterfall on Park Creek, which feeds into sprawling Jenkinson Lake, is the primary draw of this route but just one of many pleasant diversions along the long trail that loops around the reservoir.

The north shore of the lake, where about half of the route is located, is dotted with campgrounds and boat launches and picnic areas—a little flashy and a load of fun. The south shore—the waterfall is on this side—is more rugged and remote, very pretty, and just as much fun."

"This easy loop is enjoyable any time of year. You hike through Douglas-fir and incensecedar forest, where you can seek solitude and visit crystal-clear pools. Continuing along the north shore and past the campgrounds requires a determination to exercise and see new flora. Your trail begins at the second dam, on the south side of the lake. Park in the wide dirt patch on the right. The official “tale of the tape”: 8 miles around the lake, 3 miles to Park Creek, and 4 miles to Hazel Creek. Your mileage may vary."

"Circumambulating Jenkinson Lake, in the Sierra foothills east of Placerville, you’ll meander through a restored meadowland at the mouth of Hazel Creek, visit a waterfall near the outlet of Park Creek, and enjoy long roller-coaster stretches of easy woodland walking with great lake views.

In a very nice way, Jenkinson Lake is two-faced. The north shore, you might say, is the prom queen: all gussied up with campgrounds and boat launches and picnic areas—a little flashy, a little loud, and a load of fun. The south shore is the tomboy: rugged and challenging, dressed down but beautiful, and just as much fun."

Jenkinson Lake Loop Reviews

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars

Jenkinson Lake Loop Photos

Trail Information

Eldorado National Forest
Nearby City
Eldorado National Forest
Skill Level
Waterfalls, Wildflowers
Sly Park Recreation Area / Jenkinson Lake, 4771 Sly Park Rd., Pollock Pines 95726; (530) 295-6810;
Local Contacts
USGS Sly Park CA; available at the park entrance station and online at
Local Maps