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Lower Blue Lake Kayaking and Sidetrip to Lost Lake

Description and Directions >>

Lower and Upper Blue Lakes are located in the Northern Sierra mountains near the Carson Pass. Lower Blue Lake is one of many beautiful alpine lakes available for paddling in this area. Lost Lake is a smaller lake located approximately 2 miles past Blue Lakes via a dirt Forest Service Road.

kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, picnicking, sightseeing

From Sacramento: take Highway 50 east toward South Lake Tahoe for approximately 50 miles. Exit onto Sly Park Road and continue for approx. 5 miles to Mormon Emigrant Trail. Continue for approx. 25 miles to Highway 88. Turn left onto Highway 88 for approx. 19 miles to Blue Lakes Road. Turn right onto Blue Lakes Road and continue for 12 miles (7 miles are paved) to the lakes.

From South Lake Tahoe: take Highway 50 west to Highway 89. Continue south on Highway 89 for approx. 11 miles to Highway 88. Turn onto Highway 88 and continue west for approx. 6 miles to Blue Lakes Road. Turn left onto Blue Lakes Road and continue for 12 miles (7 miles are paved) to the lakes.

Story Date 9/4/2006
Publish Date 2/6/2007

Story Perspectives >>

According to Mikala: We had previously visited Silver Lake near the Carson Pass National Scenic Byway, and we knew there were many more beautiful alpine lakes located within this area.

We decided to kayak one of the Blue Lakes, and to also take a side trip to a smaller lake for photos. The drive to the Carson Pass area is worth the distance. The area is filled with magnificent views of pine trees and glittery granite rock.

We first decided to drive past the Blue Lakes toward Lost Lake. To reach this lake, you have to drive on a steep dirt road...4WD is recommended, although you could probably drive slowly without it. We reached Lost Lake, but didn't get to "enjoy" the view right away, since my husband noticed that our brake light had come on, and the brake fluid was extremely low. Needless to say, we were a little worried about heading back down this dirt road. After talking with a passerby, we thought that we could make it down in low gear and low 4WD. Although we had this in the back of our mind, we were able to explore the area around Lost Lake. There was still a little bit of snow on the far peaks, even though it was September. The lake is very small, but very peaceful.

After our exploration and picture taking, we headed back down to Lower Blue Lake without incident. I still wanted to kayak the lake, even though I knew we had to get to a store to purchase brake fluid.

Lower Blue Lake is very pretty. The shoreline is lined with tall pine trees and granite boulders. We landed our kayaks to take more pictures, and I think that I saw some bear tracks in the sand. I have to say that I am pretty scared of bears, even though I've never seen one personally.

There are a few granite islands to explore at the far end of the lake. We landed on one to take pictures and take it easy (I felt safer from the unseen bears here). We only saw about two other people during the whole time we were there. I always enjoy the quiet and solitude of these types of buzzing watercraft to contend with.

After our kayaking, we headed into South Lake Tahoe for some brake fluid. Fortunately, we were able to make it down to Sacramento with no problems, although we later discovered that we had a leak problem. Oh well, we'll have to be more prepared next time...although it didn't stop us from enjoying the beauty of Lower Blue Lake.

Pictures >>

Please click on a picture for a larger image.

Looking toward the edge of Lost Lake.

Lost Lake.

Looking at the volcanic peak known as the Nipple.

Peaceful shore of Lost Lake.

Wildflowers and snow at Lost Lake.

Mountain views on Lower Blue Lake.

Shoreline of Lower Blue Lake.

Granite boulders lining shore of lake.

Looks like bear prints to me!

Nice etching in the granite rocks.

Small granite islands to kayak around.

Nice shot of the kayak.

From our landing on one of the granite islands.

From the top of the granite island.

Glittery granite in the sun.

More peaceful shoreline.

View of the moon over the treetops.

Featured Reading from

Adventure Kayaking from the Russian River to Monterey: Includes Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, & Pyramid Lake (Adventure Kayaking)

Guide to Sea Kayaking Central & Northern California

Up the Lake With a Paddle: Canoe and Kayak Guide : Tahoe Region, Crystal Basin, and Foothill Reservoirs

Sea Kayaking Northern California

Northern California Kayaking: The Complete Guide to More Than 150 Excursions on Rivers, Lakes, and the Sea

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