Smith Lakes in California
Lakes Basin Recreation Area has two different spots named SMITH LAKE. This region is in the Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, near Downieville, at the north end of the California Gold Country @ Highway 49.
Smith Lake hiking trail can be accessed from the Gray Eagle Lodge area along Gold Lake Highway; or this hiking lake can also be accessed from a park on the north side. Plumas Eureka State Park, via the Jameson Creek trail.
Lakes Basin also has a small set of two lakes called “Smith Lakes” – located on Smith Creek. Way back behind the larger, most famous Gold Lake.
4×4 Road #11E71 will lead you to this remote destination, with the proper vehicle, of course. Creek crossings and large rocks; A quality topographic map and a 4 wheel drive rig is needed for this adventure.
Lakes Basin Recreation Area
North Sierra mountains, Sierra granite meets Cascade volcanic rock. Border of State Park & NFS lands
Forest Rd #6N06 – County Line Road, Fence Creek, Stanislaus National Forest
Central Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
N of Hwy 108; W of Sonora Pass
On the very edge of wilderness
County Line Road
Fence Creek Campground (NFS)
Graded dirt road near Clarks Fork junction @ SR 108. Dirt road travels up into forest, hiking trails and meadows; South side of the volcanic Dardanelles @ Tuolumne Co. & Alpine Co. boundary
County Line Trailhead
Wheats Meadow Trailhead
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Area
The Dardanelles (9524′ elev)
Clark Fork, Middle Stanislaus River
Topo Maps of this Region:
Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Map USDA
Carson, Emigrant, Mokelumne Map NatGeo
Sierra Nevada Topo Map
winter road closure, annually
Check with local rangers on road access and conditions.
Rd# 6N06, climbs to mountain scenery at upper elevations, well of the main highway. Route is a 2-lane wide road at times, narrower and private towards the end of roads; several dirt roads, overgrown 2 tracks w/ many camp sites to choose from. Dispersed primitive camping requires a camp fire permit.
OHV off-roaders will only find dead ends on dirt route 6N06. NO motorized access in nearby wilderness. Wheelers should try south of Highway 108 @ Niagra Campgrounds; Niagra Off Road #5N01 for all the noise-makers, gear heads, dirt bikes, and toy boxes. Niagra Creek, Niagra OHV, Niagra 4×4.
Mammoth Mountain Lakes / Eastern Sierra Fishing
Sure splendor for fishing, most of the time. Lake fishing, stream fishing, river fishing. Fishing the Eastern Sierra area, near Mammoth Lakes, California can be very rewarding. You may have read about places like these in the sports magazines, seen them on a television program, or imagined them in a fishing vacation day dream. Summers can be crowded, so pick a lake and camp carefully. Weather can change quickly, so come prepared. Autumn fishing w/ the golden aspens and less crowds is preferred.
Most of these Eastern Sierra lakes listed below are accessible by car, others by foot. Look at the photos, pick a destination and get a good map of the area, so you can explore everything around too.
Mammoth Lakes Area
Mammoth Area Lakes – Mammoth City
Mammoth Area Creeks –
Mammoth Area Rivers –
- Owens River
- San Joaquin River
June Lake Loop
June Area Lakes –
June Area Creeks –
Inyo National Forest Map
Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
Devils Postpile Map
Mammoth High Country Map
Mono Divide Trail Map
Mammoth Mono Map NatGeo
other Eastern Sierra maps –
Bishop Pass Trail Maps
Hoover Wilderness Trail Map
John Muir Wilderness Maps
Mono Lake Map
Palisades Trail Maps
East of Lake Isabella and west of Walker Pass, there is a small community called Canebrake along Highway 178 Canebrake Road, a graded dirt road climbs up into pinyon pine forests. Lamont Peak (aka Lamont Pinnacles) is a decent hike & rock climbers dig it too.
Chimney Creek Campground is along the main road and has RV access (28′ max), for the motorhomes who do not mind a little dirt road driving. Easy trail access to numerous area hikes. The PCT is routed close by.
Long Valley Campground is tucked way back in the boonies with trailhead leading into the granite Dome Lands; Fishing and river access to the South Fork of the Kern.
Long Valley Loop Road (2001)
Long Valley Loop Road circles the Chimney Peak Wilderness, which skirts the Domeland Wilderness. THE LOOP is washed out and ROAD is NOW CLOSED in one portion. See BLM web site for up to date info.
[ see the photos from 2001 ]
nearby towns –
maps of the region –
SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST MAP
DOMELAND WILDERNESS MAP
HIKING MAP PCT #3 (PACIFIC CREST TRAIL)