What a beautiful day I had hiking the Lakeview Trail despite that skunk. It was a lovely winter day with blue sky and green grass framing the snow-covered mountains to the east. I was hoping to spot some eagles but it was not in the cards.
Where: Eastman Lake, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Distance: 7.94 Miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, depending on how far you go
Elevation Range: 585′ to 709′
Elevation Gain: 750′
Date: January 3, 2022
CALTOPO: Eastman Lake’s Lakeview Trail Hike
Dog Hike: Maybe
To get to my adventure, I drove down Raymond Road past Raymond and turned right on Road 607, following the signs to Eastman Lake. The drive was extra pretty because herds of horses and cows were enjoying themselves on those grassy hills, bringing a smile to my face. I passed by the self-service Entrance Station, a self service kiosk where you insert your money and get a stub to display in your window. You can purchase a One-Day Pass for $5 or an Annual Pass $40. I had my Pass with me, which also includes the Corps of Engineers locations such as Eastman Lake. If you have a American the Beautiful or Lifetime Senior Pass, that will get you in without additional fees.
Across the road from the Entrance Station is a Historical Marker related to the town of Buchanan. Back in the 1860’s and 1870’s, this was a thriving town of over 1,000 people. They had a post office, stores and bars. Why was this town here? To support the thriving copper mines in the area. After the Civil War, the demand for copper wasn’t there and by the 1880’s, most of the businesses had closed and folks had moved on. In 1904, the post office closed.
You can start this hike from either end of the 4 mile Lakeview Trail, from where I started at the lower trailhead or from the upper end of the trail at the Raymond Bridge off of Road 613 where it crosses the Chowchilla River. To reach the trailhead that I started, I took the paved road that skirts the south side of Eastman Lake Recreation Area and followed the signs to the Lakeview Trail.
There is a small parking area next to this Trailhead and as soon as I got out of the car, I took …….