Northeast of Fresno and Merced, the Sierra National Forest has over 180 miles of snowmobile routes. These routes are located near Shaver and Huntington Lakes on SR168. Of the 180 miles, about 155 miles are groomed and maintained throughout the winter season.
These snowmobiling routes are access via 4 trailheads: Huntington Lake Trailhead, Kaiser Pass Trailhead, Tamarack Ridge Trailhead and the Wiskey Trail. A SNO-PARK permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site from November 1 through May 30 of each year.
To reach the Huntington Lake Trailhead from Fresno, head east on SR168 for 78 miles to Huntington Lake. The SNO-PARK is located on the west side of Huntington Lake Road. The trailhead is located adjacent to Lakeshore Resort at Huntington Lake Boat Ramp. The Trailhead provides additional parking for the Huntington Lake area. Restrooms and trail information are available at the site.
Note: Grooming of routes and trails are provided by The Sierra Snowmobile Association and the USDA Forest Service, and are sponsored through the California State Off-Highway Vehicle Program.
Huntington Lake Trail - (easiest) 10 miles
The trail may be entered from the Kaiser Pass Trailhead or the Huntington Lake Trailhead. From Kaiser Pass Trailhead the trail heads west above Highway 168 below the Rancheria Cabin Tract. It crosses the Huntington Lake Road adjacent to Rancheria Garage and Marina and proceeds through College Campground to the Huntington Lake Trailhead. From this trailhead it proceeds across the Deer Creek Bridge into Deer Creek Campground onto the Huntington Lake Road, which is not plowed in the winter.
The trail follows the road toward the town of Big Creek and ends at the Stump Springs road intersection. From this trail you may access the Willow Hill Trail, Grouse Creek Trail, Mushroom Rock Trail, and the Stump Springs Trail. The trails provide many scenic views of Huntington Lake, Bear Butte, China Peak and surrounding country.
Willow Hill Trail - (easiest) 3.0 miles
The trail intersects the Huntington Lake Trail west of the Upper Line Creek cabin tract. The trail stays to the north of the Huntington Lake Road for approximately two miles, passing through Cold Storage Meadow, intersecting the Huntington Lake Road at Billy Creek Campground. This route provides access to the West end of the lake during the spring and an alternate route from the main trail.
Mushroom Rock Trail - (easiest) 7.0 miles
The trail intersects the Huntington Lake Trail approximately1/2 mile below Dam 3 on the Huntington Lake Trail. It proceeds for about four miles to the Mushroom Rock Vista area. The vista provides views of the San Joaquin River and the San Joaquin Valley. On clear days you can see the Coastal Range. A nice spot for a picnic.
Grouse Creek Trail - (more difficult) 18 miles
The trail intersects the Huntington Lake Trail below Dam 3 on Huntington Lake. The trail follows the road on the South Shore of the lake passing the Lakeview Cabin Tract. It proceeds to Dam 2 where it follows a logging road below the dam and continues across the Big Creek Bridge, up to Highway 168 crossing.
It proceeds from the crossing to the intersection of the Coyote Lake Trail and follows a logging road to the Tamarack Creek Bridge. The trail then proceeds to the intersection of the Tamarack Trail and on to the South Fork of Tamarack Creek Bridge then onto the Tamarack Ridge Snowmobile trailhead. This trail and the Huntington Lake Trail provide access to the Tamarack Ridge, Huntington Lake and Kaiser Pass Areas. Along the route is a vista point where views of Kaiser Ridge, Kaiser Peak (elevation 10,4000') and the Kaiser Wilderness can be enjoyed.
Rancheria Trail - (more difficult) 8.0 miles
The trail intersects the Kaiser Pass Trail approximately 1/2 miles from Kaiser Pass Trailhead and proceeds across Rancheria Creek Bridge around the Kokanee work center. Past the work center the trail follows a road past Bear Butte, where it continues along a ridge until it loses elevation, crossing Rancheria Creek at Badger Flat Campground. The trail proceeds through the campground to the intersection of the Kaiser Pass Trail.
China Peak Trail - (more difficult) 3.0 miles
The trail intersects the Rancheria Trail approximately 1/8 mile past the Kokanee work center; it crosses Highway 168 and proceeds to the Huntington Heliport. From here you have an excellent view of Huntington Lake. The trail proceeds to the lower Sierra Summit parking lot adjacent to Big Creek and Camp Gold Arrow.
Overall, Huntington Lake Trailhead is the 27th most popular snowmobile trail of all 31 snowmobiling rides in California. Several of the better snowmobile trails are nearby Huntington Lake Trailhead including Jonesville Snowmobile Area, Hume Lake, Hot Springs Area, Bucks Lake , Greenhorn Summit and Kaiser Pass Trailhead.
Local Contacts: SNF (559) 855-5360; California Tourism (916) 444-4429; CA SNO-PARK Info (916) 324 -1222.
Reference Source: click here http://www.fs.usda.gov/sierra/
Date Published: 12/25/2015
Date Updated: 7/23/2016
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For snowmobiling the Huntington Lake Trailhead in California, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.