Independence Lake Preserve

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

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Independence Lake Preserve


  • Entrance to Indpendence Lake.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • The Nature Conservancy holds and manages the property surrounding the lake.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • Remnants of the area's logging past.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • Hiking trails though the preserve are marked.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • - Independence Lake Preserve
  • Several picnic tables sit along the lakeside walking trails.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • Independence Lake Preserve.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • The preserve provides free kayaks on a first-come, first-served basis.- Independence Lake Preserve
  • Kayaking on the still waters of the lake.- Independence Lake Preserve
Overview + Weather
Solitude. Watercraft provided for free.
Limited kayaks and boats.
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Independence Lake sits about 15 miles north of Truckee in the shadow of the 9,148-foot Mount Lola. The lake is now managed by the Nevada chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which acquired the land around the lake in 2010. The Lahontan cutthroat trout calls these waters home, and Independence Lake is one of only two lakes in the world with a wild population of this fish.

The preserve itself has hiking trails, picnic tables, and allows fishing year round on a day use basis from sunrise to sunset.

In order to preserve the biodiversity of the lake and surrounding area, the preserve has a strict rule against any outside rafts, tubes, kayaks or watercraft being permitted into the lake. However, the preserve owns several kayaks and float tubes that are available to the public for free use during open hours from June to October. Three small motorboats are also available for free use, but they are only allowed in the water on alternating weeks during the June to October period.

Access to the preserve requires the final 5 miles to be driven over a rough dirt road. High-clearance vehicles are strongly recommended for those looking to make the visit.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(82 within a 30 mile radius)

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