What & Where is the San Joaquin River Trail?

The San Joaquin River Trail is a combination of existing trails, old trails to be reconstructed and new trails to be constructed. The Trail will run from Friant Dam to join the Pacific Crest Trail in the High Sierras near Devils Postpile National Monument, a distance of approximately 73 miles and an elevation gain of 10,000 feet.

The Trail will run across lands administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Reclamation, County of Fresno, Bureau of Land Management and the Sierra National Forest. Each agency’s rules apply within their boundaries.

The Trail follows the San Joaquin River and parallels or follows various historic trails. Notably the Mono Indians used the approximate route to cross the High Sierras to trade and gather obsidian. The French Trail, which started near the Hogue Apple Ranch north of North Fork, followed the natural terrain the Mono Indians used and blazed a pack trail to carry supplies to the gold miners in the Mammoth Lakes area.

The Trail is being constructed and connected by the San Joaquin River Trail Council for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use.

What is the San Joaquin River Trail Council?

The San Joaquin River Trail Council is a group of organizations with an interest in the Trail. Each member organization donates some operating funds and sends one delegate, who is allowed one vote on issues before the Council.

The Council’s objective is the construction and maintenance of the Trail. It does this by promoting Trail recognition by the managing agencies and general public, seeking construction and maintenance funds, and organizing the volunteer labor for construction and maintenance of the Trail.

Some contracting for construction may be necessary in special instances. Some material purchases, equipment rental, etc., may also be necessary. Money will be solicited by the Council through grants, donations and fund raisers.

What Can Volunteers Do?

UPDATE: PLEASE CHECK THE 2012 UPDATED SCHEDULE FOR THE TRAIL WORK DAYS!! Much of the Trail construction will be done by donated or volunteer labor organized by the Council. Volunteers are the backbone of the Council for construction and maintenance, and are eagerly sought for trail work and other activities.

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