Independence Lake Trail

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Tahoe National Forest

Independence Lake Trail is a 11.3 mile out and back trail located near Sierraville, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for fishing, mountain biking, and ohv/off road driving. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,033 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

mountain biking

ohv / off road driving

lake

views

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Late April 2020 (snowpack at 80% of average) Parked right before the stream crossing and had about .5 miles of easy going along a forest road. Continued another 2 miles in almost complete snow before calling it at about 7000 ft. It was firm and passable, but overall not super pleasant hiking. The grade of this is super accessible, and the fact that it was a forest road made for easy social distancing. However, I don’t think I’ll return when the snow melts. Based on the number of vehicles I encountered during these conditions, I imagine it will be even heavier trafficked once the road is passable. Would recommend either coming up in your own vehicle as far as possible, or taking a different route to the lake if you’re looking for a proper hike.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

ohv/off road driving
9 months ago

Took my dog out to this trail and did some hiking. Easy access, although you park below the lake. It shows the trail goes around the lake but there are no motorized vehicles beyond the parking lot. Easy drive up as well. Any stock high clearance suv will be fine.

mountain biking
10 months ago

Two stars only because I like to ride single track and this is a dirt road.. Still a great workout (if that’s what you’re looking for) as the climb at the beginning is about 2 miles and steep the entire distance. Riding back down was pretty fun. After that it’s some nice rolling hills. If it’s nature and beauty you are looking for, this place is amazing. All rides are good rides.

ohv/off road driving
11 months ago

Attempted top drive this route last week and the trail is permanently close now at Independence lake.

Mon Jun 12 2017

Need a four wheel with high clearance to get past the first stream and then other water crossings. Lake is beautiful and even had some snow this weekend (June 11) Looks like nice beach and trails. I look forward to another trip in summer!

mountain biking
Sat Oct 22 2011

The roads are also great for mountain biking. There are loops possible, with out and backs on roads along the lake. a good place to start is north of Sage Hen creek, it is possible to go out one road and back another, get a map and explore.

ohv/off road driving
Wed Jul 20 2011

This is a fine dirt road to drive, but the technical is a 1 or 2. The most difficult part was fording a creek that I would estimate a Honda Civic could do (even with the heavy snow run off this year). The land and lake were recently purchased by the Nature Concervancy and there will be more traffic to come, as they implement boat rentals and more activities on the lake. www.Nature.org has more info on this. If your destination is the lake for fishing, I'd give it an estimated 4-5 stars (didn't actually fish it). If your destination is the journey of the off-road driving, id give it 1.5 stars.

mountain biking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

ohv/off road driving
10 months ago

running
11 months ago

hiking
Sat Mar 30 2019

hiking
Fri Nov 16 2018

hiking
Thu Jun 29 2017