Independence Lake is the second lake in my series of 10 Lakes Near Lake Tahoe. The first lake was Sardine Lake.
A few days ago a friend sent me an email with an article about Independence Lake now open to the public. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share another blog with all of you. My wife Toni and I decided to take a drive out to the lake and do some exploring. Without knowing what the lake would have as far as activities, we packed up a kayak, mountain bikes, fly rods, back packs, lunch and a kite to take on our trip. As it turned out, if we had the time, we could have used everything we brought.
The drive to the lake turned out to be a little more than we were expecting. After the Sagehen Road turnoff from Hwy 89, the drive is about 10 miles on a dusty dirt road. The dusty drive turned out to be closer to 20 miles due to several wrong turns, which I blamed on the lack of directional signs to the lake. We came across several people that were having the same problem, some that had given up completely.
Eventually we did find the lake and the drive was well worth it. The parking area is limited to just a few cars, but it is close to the lake. The path down to the lake is just a few hundred feet with a gentle down slope. Once we arrived, we were amazed at how beautiful and clear it really is. We sat on a log that was lying on the beach and ate our lunch and enjoyed the view. There were only a few people at the lake, including a fly fisherman on a float tube, some kayakers and people fishing from the shore.
I noticed a trail that looked like it might go all the way around the lake, so we got on our bikes and headed towards the dam. Along the way we saw a few boarded up cabins that looked as though they had not been used for quite some time. After getting to the dam, the trail ended at a meadow, so we got off our bikes and took a walk.
We doubled back and were able to ride about half way around the lake. The trail has some good up hills but nothing too bad. There are several spots along the trail to access the lake. The lake is clear and inviting, but a little on the cool side. It looked like a great place to swim, but I’m not sure if it is allowed.
The next time I go to the lake I think I will give fly fishing a try and of course I will let you know how it goes.
All in all it was a great trip, but I would recommend it for the early season, when the roads are not so dusty. If you have been to Independence Lake or have questions about the lake, please comment below.
Here is the link to the first lake we explored: