Less than an hour north of the hustle and bustle of Lake Tahoe, the serene Webber Lake Campground is open to the public for the first time in many years. Quietly sitting unnoticed for a century, spectacular forests, meadows and wildlife thrive, and surrounding peaks and ridges give the small lake a secluded feel. Home to threatened and endangered species, bird migration corridors, and a lake stocked with fish, the 3,000-acre property has only been visited by a select few because it was a private campground for generations. The 45-site campground, now owned and operated by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, offers access to hiking, fishing, paddling and cycling to those looking for a unique escape.
Calls from sandhill cranes, coyotes and other animals echo over the lake at dusk as sunset paints the surrounding peaks orange and purple. At dawn, mist rises from the lake’s crystal-clear water. It’s the perfect base camp to explore nearby Perazzo Meadows, Mount Lola, Independence Lake, the Pacific Crest Trail, Webber Falls, and Sierra Valley to the north. And while few today are familiar with the campground, lake, and adjoining Lacey Meadow, it was once a mainstay on the overland route to California during the Gold Rush. The last hotel along the historic Henness Pass wagon train route still stands on the property.
In 2012 The Truckee Donner Land Trust and its partner, the Trust for Public Land, with support from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Natural Resources Agency, and the Northern Sierra Partnership, purchased the property for $8 million from the Johnson family, which had owned the property since 1870.