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Want a way to beat the heat on a hot Sierra day? Head to Independence Lake. Paddle in a kayak and perhaps search for Buddy, the elusive wolverine spotted by wildlife cameras! To protect the lake from aquatic invasive species, no outside boats are allowed; kayaks, float tubes, and fishing boats available for your use, at no charge. (Motor boats are available every other week.)

This pristine alpine lake is similar in size to Donner Lake, minus the development and the noise. Home to one of only two wild, self-sustaining populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout in the world, The Nature Conservancy science team works to help our native Sierran trout flourish.

Independence Lake also offers great hiking. Trails along each side of the lake are lovely and shaded for hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.

Check out a map.

Greyson Howard