California

13 Stunning Hikes Near Fresno CA

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Are you looking for the best Fresno hikes? I’ve got you covered.

Fresno may not come to mind as a hiking mecca as we are located in the flat Central Valley of California. However, our proximity to the Sierra Nevadas puts a ton of great hiking at our fingertips.

As a Fresno resident, hiking is one of my favorite weekend activities.

While we all know that there are some stunning hikes in the four nearby National Parks, sometimes we don’t want to go all the way to a National Park to get some hiking in.

Many of the hikes I’ve listed hikes are less than an hour drive from downtown! If you are looking for some new outdoor places to explore that are nearby, then read on.

Here are 13 of my favorite hikes near Fresno, plus the best walking trails in Fresno.

(ps. If you want even more hikes beyond Fresno, check out my Fresno day trips map featuring over 200 pins.)

#1 resource

Fresno Places & Hidden Gems Map

Discover the hidden gems of Fresno with my hand-picked collection of over 200 must-see spots. I’ve compiled my years exploring Fresno and its surrounding day trips all in one place with an easy-to-use legend sorted by activity and proximity.

Download the map and get ready to discover the magic of Fresno, one pin at a time!

13 Hikes Near Fresno

1. Pincushion

35 minutes from Fresno | Moderate

view of millerton lake from the top of pincushion, the popular fresno hike
The view from Pincushion

Are you from Fresno if you haven’t hiked Pincushion? Nestled amidst rolling hills and oak trees, this trail offers a perfect blend of challenge and beauty. As you trek along the well-maintained paths, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Millerton Lake sparkling in the sunlight and the rugged terrain of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 2.8-mile loop
  • 900-foot elevation gain
  • 2-hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • No Dogs
  • Park at Pincushion Peak Trailhead pullout on Sky Harbour Road

2. Lewis Creek Trail (Corlieu Falls)

1 hour from Fresno | Moderate

girl sitting in front of corlieu falls
Corlieu Falls at low volume

You will see the pullout for the Lewis Creek Trail on your way to Yosemite. The nice thing about this trail is the parking and trailhead are easy to find. It can be steep getting back up to the parking lot, especially if it is muddy. See Corlieu and Red Rock Falls.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 3.8 miles out and back
  • 500-foot elevation gain
  • 1.5 hour hike
  • Lots of shade
  • Mud and river crossing
  • Dog friendly
  • Park at Lewis Creek Trailhead parking lot off Highway 41

3. Big Table Mountain via Wellbarn Road

40 minutes from Fresno | Moderate-Difficult

view from big table mountain hike via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Diem N via AllTrails

Big Table Mountain is near Millerton and Pincushion. Follow a somewhat steep cow trail, but the hike flattens out at the top of the plateau, leading to great views of Millerton and the surrounding foothills.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 7.9 miles out and back
  • 1700-foot elevation gain
  • 4.5 hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Park on Wellbarn Road

4. Willow Creek (Angel Falls)

1 hour from Fresno | Moderate

angel falls hike near bass lake via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Sanson via AllTrails

Angel Falls is near Bass Lake. Cross a bridge that leads to the trail that will take you to Devil’s Slide and Angel Falls. You’ll be right next to the restaurants and shops at Bass if you want a snack or meal after your hike.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 3-mile loop
  • 600-foot elevation gain
  • 2-hour hike
  • Decent shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Paid parking in a turnout off Road 274

5. Pa’San Ridge

50 minutes from Fresno | Easy-Moderate

pa'san ridge trail sna joaquin river bridge via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Gavyn Tapp via AllTrails

The Pa’San Ridge Trail is north of Millerton Lake. It is best known for the San Joaquin River footbridge that you will cross towards the beginning of the hike. It is also a nice walk to the bridge and back before the loop begins if you want a shorter hike.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 7.6-mile loop
  • 1200-foot elevation gain
  • 4 hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Paid parking on Smalley Road

6. Stevenson Falls

1 hour from Fresno | Easy

cassie standing in front of stevenson falls hiking trail near fresno
Stevenson Falls in spring

Stevenson Falls is a paved fire road that leads to a waterfall right on the road. Because it is paved, it is a good hike for families and is one of the easiest waterfalls to get to near Fresno. At times of high flow, the water will come over the road and make the nearby asphalt slippery, but it is easy to avoid and see from a distance.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 7-mile out and back
  • 700-foot elevation gain
  • 2.5 hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Park at Stevenson Falls trailhead
Preview the full hiking trail.

7. Buzzard’s Roost

35 minutes from Fresno | Moderate

buzzards rost hike view of millerton lake via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Mark Hernandez via AllTrails

Buzzard’s Roost is very similar to Pincushion, however it is on the opposite side of Millerton Lake. It is a short, steep scramble that leads to nice views of Millerton and the foothills. You can also see Pincushion Peak from here.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 1 mile out and back
  • 400-foot elevation gain
  • 1.5 hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • No Dogs
  • Park on the shoulder along Road 145

8. Manzanita Lake

1 hour from Fresno | Easy

manzanita hike flume via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Alisa Montes via AllTrails

Manzanita Lake is an easy trail best known for the flume that you walk on for part of the trail. It is relatively flat and can be fun for kids because of the flume.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 2-mile out and back
  • 100-foot elevation gain
  • 1 hour hike
  • Decent shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Park on the pullout along Road 22

9. Rancheria Falls

1.5 hours from Fresno | Easy

girls sitting in front of rancheria falls at low water
Rancheria Falls in winter at low volume

Rancheria Falls trailhead is just past China Peak Ski Resort. It is an easy hike with an easy-to-follow path that leads right to the waterfall. As with most waterfalls near Fresno, is best to go in the spring or early summer if you want to see the high water flow.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 1.5 miles out and back
  • 200-foot elevation gain
  • 45-minute hike
  • Decent shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Parking in the designated lot at the trailhead

10. Hensley Lake

50 minutes from Fresno | EasyModerate

view of hensley lake hike via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Cedric Pearce via AllTrails

Hensley Lake is a pretty flat trail with great views of Hensley Lake throughout, however, there can be some steep sections. This is a great place to see wildflowers in the spring.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 4.8-mile loop
  • 500-foot elevation gain
  • 2-hour hike
  • No shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Paid Parking or America the Beautiful Parks Pass

11. Tenaya Falls

1.25 hours from Fresno | Easy-Moderate

tenaya falls flowing into a pool

Tenaya Falls is hidden in the trails behind Tenaya Lodge. If you want, you can ask the front desk staff and they can give you pointers for where to go. You will drive past the hotel and past the horse stable until you see a pullout on the dirt road. Walk along Road 5S18 until you see a trail veer down the hill. It is a steep climb down the hill until you see the pools and waterfalls.

  • Google Maps (This trail is not on AllTrails)
  • 1-mile out and back
  • 200-foot elevation gain
  • 1 hour hike
  • Minimal shade
  • No dogs
  • Park on Big Sandy Road past Yosemite Trails Horseback riding

12. Edison Point

50 minutes from Fresno | Easy-Moderate

trimmer lake view from edison point via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Michael Bacallao via AllTrails

Edison Point is a relatively flat trail with great views of Trimmer Lake. It will be very green with lots of wildflowers, making it one of the best Fresno hiking trails if you visit in the spring.

  • AllTrails Map
  • 2-mile loop
  • 300-foot elevation gain
  • 1 hour hike
  • No shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Park in the pullout on Trimmer Springs Road

13. Tollhouse Rock

40 minutes from Fresno | Moderate

tollhouse rock view near shaver via AllTrails
Photo Credit: Joe Choperena via AllTrails

Tollhouse Rock is near Shaver Lake. Hike uphill to a view of flat granite cliffs and domes and the surrounding Sierras. Stop by Shaver and grab some monkey bread on the way home!

  • AllTrails Map
  • 3.6 miles out and back
  • 1200-foot elevation gain
  • 2.5 hour hike
  • Decent shade
  • Dog friendly
  • Park on the small pullout on Tollhouse Road

The Best Walking Trails in Fresno

While I wouldn’t consider these hikes, Fresno itself is home to several great walking trails that are excellent for families, bikes, and dogs. For the most part, they are protected from the roadway and are wide and well-maintained. Plus, you don’t have to leave Fresno to enjoy them.

1. Old Town Trail (Clovis Rail Trail)

old town clovis red brick parking sign

Aptly named, the Old Town Trail runs alongside Old Town Clovis. It connects to the Dry Creek, Sugar Pine, and Woodward Park Trails. Grab a Kuppa Joy coffee and enjoy a pleasant walk.

2. Dry Creek Trail

The Dry Creek Trail connects to the Old Town, Sugar Pine, and Woodward Park Trails. It runs next to the Clovis Botanical Garden, which is free to enter.

3. Sugar Pine Trail (Railroad Park Trail)

Old Town Clovis Trail with greenery

The Sugar Pine Trail connects to the Dry Creek, Sugar Pine, and Woodward Park Trails. It is also known as the Railroad Park Trail as it runs through that park.

4. Woodward Park (Lewis S Eaton Trail)

Woodward Park is a popular walking and exercise area in North Fresno. You will also find the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Gardens here.

5. Lost Lakes

Lost Lakes is on the way to Millerton Lake. It has recreation areas for cooking and camping and is another spot for kayaking and fishing.

6. Sycamore Island

girls kayaking sycamore island

Sycamore Island is a hidden gem in Fresno. It has walking trails, rentable canoes, and swimming spots.

Fresno Hiking Trails

(Want over 30 more hikes within three hours of Fresno? Check out my Fresno day trips map featuring over 200 pins.)

Tips for Hiking Near Fresno

We all know that Fresno is known for the heat, especially in the summer when temperatures regularly reach over 100 degrees. Always come prepared with water, as not many trails have potable water sources.

You will also want sun protection as many trails are out in the open without much shade.

Additionally, areas near water, like Millerton or Trimmer, are known for rattlesnakes in the summer. Be aware of your surroundings and be mindful if you have pets and children with you.

Likewise, wear appropriate footwear. My favorite hiking boots are these ones from Forsake.

Hikes in Fresno FAQ

Are there mountains in Fresno?

The City of Fresno does not have mountains. However, Fresno County includes part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The outskirts of Fresno are in the foothills of the Sierras.

What is the most popular hike near Fresno?

Pincushion is one of the most popular Fresno hikes because it is nearby, easy to access, and has stunning views of Lake Millerton.

Are there waterfall hikes near Fresno?

Stevenson Falls, Corlieu Falls, Angel Falls, Rancheria Falls, and Tenaya Falls are all waterfall hikes less than two hours from Fresno.

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