Hike to Balsam Forebay



1 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type


Added by Zack Valle

Not only does Balsam Forebay provide the same feel and atmosphere of its bigger neighbor (Shaver Lake), it boasts numerous secluded picnic areas without the crowds. It also hosts numerous boulders throughout the hillside great for a day trip from the Central Valley

Access to the forebay starts at the trail head from the parking lot 6,700 ft up, also from the parking lot there is access to two different sets of boulder patches separate from the ones encountered along the hike in. 


Start the 1 mile out and back hike from the parking lot following the trail Northwest. The trail itself is well maintained and easily visible, follow the trail for about a 1/2 mile until you encounter the lake and picnic sites. 


There are 3 separate boulder patches within 1/2 mile of the parking lot. The first is encountered on the hike into the Balsam Forebay. Aside from that another can be reached by following the 168 highway north out of the balsam parking lot for about 80 ft until the dirt pullout to the left is visible. Follow the trail/dirt road up and the boulders are on the right hand side about 1/4 mile in. And the last set is located along the Ely Mtn Rd behind the balsam bathrooms, follow the road 1/2 mile boulders are on both sides of the hillside. Although a lot of problems are not documented or have even been climbed the potential for the area is there. Get out and go climb! 

Read More

Know for

Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Picnic Area



Leave a Review

šŸ„‡Top Contributor

7 months ago

Fine no big deal though

Fun family friendly hike, not bad.


about 3 years ago

Zero Effort To Little Oasis Of Relaxation

Didnā€™t know about this little forebay. Itā€™s only 15 minutes each way on the trail and flat mostly. Great little walking path.

47 total saves


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