Winter Hike Around Jenks Lake

Jenks Lake

1 Mile Roundtrip. Alpine Lake. Lush High-Elevation Landscape. Snow in Winter. Bubbling Creeks. Stocked for Fishing.

If you want to experience winter, beauty and solitude in SoCal look no further than Jenks Lake. Not too far from Big Bear Lake, but secluded enough to keep most away in the winter, Jenks Lake is a small but lovely alpine lake near HWY 38 in Angelus Oaks.

Driving to the lake is beautiful in itself as HWY 38 gives you some great mountain views. In winter chains may be required. You can take 38 all the way to Big Bear but you want to turn at Jenks Lake Road. The day-use area charges $5 for parking and claims to be open daily year-round but that doesn't seem to be the case in a snow storm. If the road to the lake is closed you can park in a turnout a few hundred feet down Jenks Lake Road and walk back to the entrance and be happy because you will most likely be the only one there.

Once you get to the lake there are stairs leading down and a 1-mile path that takes you all around the lake. In winter with snow present the path can be hard to see at times but it just circles the lake near the edge. Be careful near the lake though in snow because you could easily misstep and end up very wet and cold.

The lake seems to look different from every shore and with snow around, and especially when it is snowing, it's a perfectly peaceful sight to see and experience. The water is fairly still so reflections of the trees are visible and there were plenty of ducks making their way around. There are picnic tables and basic facilities. The lake is stocked with fish so in the summer it is a popular destination but in the winter expect to have a day full of solitude and beauty.

Pack List

  • Rain/Snow boots (Winter)
  • Sneakers
  • Camera (with protection in snow)
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Snow Chains (Winter)
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great for a quiet adventure

I went here with some friends early January 2017, the road to the lake was closed so we parked along the main road and hiked a mile down the road to the lake itself. We only encountered 2 other people, but other than that it was all ours. There was no snow where we were, just a bit of ice on one edge of the lake however, you could see snow on the mountains surrounding the lake. We took some pictures and were able to fly our drone to get some great shots. 10/10 I would recommend this adventure if you're in the big bear area. Its quick and such an incredible area. you can see the video I made here https://youtu.be/Ych_bb4RZhE


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