Name your passion! Whether it’s kayaking, fishing, hiking, barbecuing, or relaxing in a hammock beneath tall ponderosa pines—Jenks Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains is the place for a perfect lakeside summer day.
Nestled in a valley between Old Greyback and Sugarloaf Mountain, Jenks is a man-made, 10-acre lake at 6,800 feet, fed by the Santa Ana River. It strikes the perfect balance between peaceful poolside relaxation and the great outdoors.
Did we mention fishing? Jenks Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and bluegill throughout the year. A pier juts out from the shore specifically so that anglers can cast into the lake’s deeper waters. Or get out there on your own by pushing off in a canoe or kayak from one of the many launching points. With no powerboats, the lake is generally calm and always tranquil. You might even find yourself paddling alongside a family of American black ducks!
A mile-long trail circles the lake and intersects with a portion of Jenks Lake Trail. The loop leads you from the shoreline into some small hills on the south side and back down again. Then kick back at one of the many picnic areas and fire up a barbecue to grill your catch of the day. The lake is surrounded by a dense forest of ponderosa pines, so rigging a hammock between trees is easy and is perfect for a nature nap. Ah, yes—summer in the mountains (z-z-z…)!
From Redlands, follow CA-38 into the mountains for 27 miles. Then turn right onto Jenks Lake Rd. and continue 2 miles to Jenks Lake Day Use Area. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. No camping or swimming. Parking is $5 per vehicle, and a California fishing license is required to fish. Dog-friendly!