|Typically Open:||06/15 - 11/01|
(DIFFICULT - SEVERE)
|Highest Elevation:||9169 feet|
|Duration:||About 1 hour 40 minutes|
|Shape of Trail:||Out & Back|
|Best Direction to Travel:||East|
|Nearest Town:||Shaver Lake|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Shaver Lake|
|Official Road Name:||26E213|
|Management Agency:||Sierra National Forest|
|District:||High Sierra Ranger District|
A high mountain lake hidden at the end of the Red Lake 4x4 Trail is, literally, only the beginning. Coyote Lake Trail is a challenging, rock crawling 4x4 trail that runs from Red Lake to Coyote Lake. Rock crawling, swimming, fishing, camping and lake side relaxation in the high mountains of the Sierra National Forest make for one of the most rewarding 1.7 miles you can run. This is one of many 4x4 trails in the Red Mountain off-road trail network in the Sierra National Forest, northeast of Shaver Lake and Southeast of Huntington Lake. Rock obstacles, dense forest, and two lakes make Coyote Lake Trail a prime destination for the seasoned wheeler looking to get off the grid.
Rocky or undulated road surface. Rocks and less than 54" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 54" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 10' foot. Tire placement not good. Can be steep and off-camber.Read more about our rating system
From the end of Red Lake Trail, turn right / south to pass through this gate and start on Coyote Lake Trail.
Pick your line and head on up. You have a few choices here. To the right, you can go around the tree and deal with a tight turn, but fewer rocks, or you can take the line just left of the tree (probably the easiest). To the far left is the hard line. Careful tire placement and enough ground clearance should get you right up this, but this line is considered by some to be borderline extreme.
Continue on. As the trail curves right, the Pond and Meadow are to your left / north.
Squeeze your way through ( or over ) the rocks at the base and continue up this obstacle of tree roots.
Continue straight to make your way through this Rock Pile.
Keep going. The Rock Garden here is just more of what you've already been through.
Continue on. This Rock Garden is a long one.
Pick your line and continue over this obstacle. Center Rock, as the name suggests, sits in the center of the trail. Get your tires on the larger rocks on the side of the trail opposite the tree to gain some height and avoid hanging up here.
Continue straight or pick a spot and set up camp. This is your first peak at Coyote Lake and the first camp sites you come across. There is a vault toilet at this location.
Continue straight or pick a spot and set up camp. There are multiple camp sites on both side of the trail here.
Continue straight or pick a spot and set up camp. This is the best of the numerous camp sites at Coyote Lake. This one is close to the water, has plenty of space for a big group and includes some log picnic tables.
Coyote Lake Trail ends here where you can loop around this rock to turn around. A hiking trail continues on, but this is the end of the 4x4 trail. The only way to drive out is back the way you came in. Set up camp, take a swim, do some fishing, hiking, or head back to Red Lake.
Starting Point: Fresno, California
You will find dispersed camping at both ends of this trail; Red Lake at the west end and Coyote Lake at the east end. Both camping areas include vault toilets and camp sites with metal fire rings. Forest regulations do not allow camping within 100 feet of stream banks or lake shores.