|Length||1.8 miles round trip|
|+400, -400 feet round trip|
|Navigation||Road and marked trail|
|Season||December through mid-April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Pinecrest|
|Start||Gooseberry Trailhead located at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort parking loop. Follow Dodge Ridge Road to the one-way loop of the ski area parking lot. Follow the loop to the ski area lodge and turn around as though leaving. From the lodge it is 0.3 mile to the Gooseberry Trailhead. The trailhead will be on the north (right) side of the road.|
The marked trail ends a short distance before a clearing and the road ends at the clearing. If you end the tour here, all that can be said is that it is a short and easy to follow tour.
But add the final hundred yards of this tour and the reason for choosing it is obvious — it leads to a vantage point from which the rock cliffs that drop down to the South Fork of the Stanislaus River can be viewed. However, the view is tempered by the dense woods making the views mere glimpses.
Note: The Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol has marked many backcountry ski trails in this area. Where applicable, the numbers and name of the trails are given in brackets. Visit their website to download a map showing all the marked trails or obtain a map at the Summit Ranger District office at #1 Pinecrest Lake Road near the junction with Highway 108.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: +150 feet
From the trailhead (1) ski on snow-covered Gooseberry Road as it makes a curve east and then north for a total of 0.3 mile until you reach a 180-degree turn in the road (2). The turn in the road is the intersection with the Stanislaus trail. [#6 Gooseberry trail]
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.3 - 0.6
Elevation change: +100 feet
Leave Gooseberry Road and follow a lessor road in a counter-clockwise loop for 0.3 mile until you reach a sharp turn in the road and a broad ridge that crosses the road (3). [#13 Stanislaus]
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 0.6 - 0.9
Elevation change: +50, -50 feet
Continue on the road to the northeast for 0.3 mile until you reach a clearing (4). The last trail marker and end of the Stanislaus trail is a hundred yards or so before reaching the clearing. [#13 Stanislaus]
Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 0.9 - 0.9
Elevation change: -50 feet
Ski into the trees toward blue sky if you see it for 100 yards until you reach the abrupt drop down into the South Fork of the Stanislaus River (5) and a glimpse of the granite cliffs on the far side of the canyon.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 0.9 - 1.8
Elevation change: +100, -300 feet
Retrace the route for 0.9 mile back to the trailhead (1).