This past weekend/early week, DH and I took our daughters on their first backpacking trip. How does this relate to the FGT? Well, we live 5 hours drive from the trailhead, and while DH has a millionaire's desires when it comes to travel accommodations, we do tend toward a much more frugal (realistic) budget. He'd wanted to drive toward the trailhead, then get a hotel room for the night so we could start our hike in the morning. I pointed out our Compact would provide free lodging right AT the trailhead. (We've done most of our trailering without him, so it just isn't in the forefront in his trip planning.) After letting him think on it for a couple of days, he finally determined the trailer would be a good option - cheap, easy, and directly at trailhead.
The road in to Dinkey Lake Trailhead is pretty rough for the last 15 miles or so - decomposing asphalt leaves some nasty potholes, and the dirt road, while smoother than THOSE potholes, is fairly rough at times. We took it slowly and had no problems. At the road's end, there are NO services, so bring your own everything. Still, it's a worthwhile stop IF you're into some fantastic day hiking! (Or, heck, pack it on and take sometime in the wilderness.) There's a pleasant 7-mile loop hike that passes three wonderful little lakes ideal for photos, splashing about, even fishing if you don't mind small catches. For more details, here's the trip report
on my blog.
To get there, take Highway 168 from Fresno up past Prather and on toward Shaver. JUST before reaching the town of Shaver, turn right toward Dinkey Creek, then turn left onto 9S10 just past the Swamp Lake trailhead.
If the rugged drive doesn't do it for you, consider any of a number of pullouts in the forest, or head down to the managed Dinkey Creeks Campground. The drive without trailer to the trailhead is an easy one.