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Total round trip distance is about 5 miles. Beginning altitude 1,076’. 790’ climb back from river. Total time: about 3:45 with lunch at the river. The river is the only water source on the trail. I didn’t go far past the double bridge and then turned around. There is a use trail down to the river before the bridge.
This hike begins from the same parking area you would take to the San Joaquin River Gorge Bridge. However this is not the San Joaquin River Trail. You leave the parking area, cross the street and begin where the sign states “San Joaquin River Trail”. As you head south (downstream) you will not see the river for about 1.5 miles as you travel through grassland and areas where there are cattle grazing on BLM land by permit.
You will also pass a huge water tower that is a part of the electric company generating area below the trail that can’t be seen from the trail. The generating area can be seen from the Wellbarn trail that crosses the SJR Trail and leads to the Temperance Flat area.
I actually prefer this hike to the gorge trail that is more traveled with fewer views and no flat sections.