Another Fishy Lake, A Not so Long Lake, and An Unexpected Waterfall

Lakes Basin Campground is an awesome campground in a great location. 

We stayed at site 15 and to my surprise, it was right next to a trailhead! Unfortunately I was planning on finding hikes in the area once we got to our destination only to find I had no service… So I had no idea what the trail was called, how long it was, nothing. There was a geographical map at the start but I am not good at reading maps…

But we still explored! After some research, I found that the hike is called Long Lake Trail Loop! This was an awesome hike. It was hard to believe it was right behind our campsite. You pass several lakes and come across various terrain. There is so much to see, the greenery is beautiful, wild flowers, even a waterfall! (this was nice since Frazier Falls was non existent when we made the hike to see it) 

Since there were so many lakes, I thought we had made it to the Long Lake… Only to find out we still had a ways to go (after spending 30 minutes to find a trail that looped back) Once we got to the real Long Lake, it was comical how I thought the previous pond was the showstopper. 

This lake is BIG! Way up in the mountains, neither one of us was expecting it. We weren’t even able to see across the lake due to the smoke. The way back down was a lot easier, you do have the option to hike on the opposite side of the lake from where you come up or you can follow the side you are on. We stayed on the closer side since we had wasted a good half hour and had no food…

Overall, this is a super cool and unique hike. I will definitely be doing it again next summer and now I will know the direction to take 🙂

Later that same day, we decided to check out Salmon Lake. It is less than ten minutes from the campground and it was by far my favorite! There were more people at this one. People were swimming, paddle boarding, fishing, it was nice to see so many people out enjoying the outdoors. 

We kayaked around the lake and then tied our kayaks up to this dock in the middle of the lake and hung out there. We shared it with this really nice family and their puppy. We jumped off, swam, and just had fun. There is also a little island in the middle, I saw a couple people jumping off the rocks there too. 

This day was so much fun and it’s partially because it was all so unexpected. That hike was nothing I had envisioned in my mind and we almost didn’t even go to Salmon Lake. So many surprises! It was a great last before having to pack up and go home. 

I recommend everyone check out this area! There is so much to see and explore and do! 

I made this short vlog with a few clips from the camping trip! Let me know what you think. 

The End of Summer

Colin and I had planned on going to San Diego this year (cancelled twice). Evidently that just wasn’t in the cards for us so we planned a last minute camping trip before I had to go back to school (I’m already stressed).

I knew it was important to stay close to home so after doing some research, I found some open campsites in the Tahoe National Forest. We reserved two campsites, one at Sardine Lake for one night and one at Lakes Basin for two. This post will be about our time at Sardine Lake.

I want to give a huge shout out to my Aunt Sharon for letting us borrow her kayaks. The trip would have been fun regardless but the kayaks allowed us to explore this area in a different way. 

We got to Sardine Lake campground around noon on Thursday. We set up our campsite and drove just a little less than a mile up the road to the Lower Sardine Lake. We unloaded the kayaks and got on the water. 

The lake is beautiful. It was so calm and peaceful with a amazing views of mountains all around. It is a great lake for fishing. We saw a bald eagle while kayaking which was super cool because that was my first time ever seeing one in person! We also got a glimpse of the waterfall.

First time out on Lower Sardine Lake

Once we made a lap around the lake, we headed back to our campsite and went on a hike to the upper lake. From the campsite it is about a mile and half trek. You walk along the ridge with a view of the lower lake. The trail itself is very rocky but a gradual incline. Near the top, you come across a little creek and the beginning of  the waterfall. 

Quick stop to enjoy the creek before reaching the Upper Lake

Once you reach the Upper Lake, it is just as remarkable with an even better view of the mountain range on the other side. You can further hike up the rocks where you have the lower lake to your left and the upper lake to your right. We hiked to the highest point, just the two of us up there. 

Highest Point with View of Lower Sardine Lake

That night we had dinner and of course s’mores, played cards, and went to sleep pretty early. The next morning we woke up and decided to do the same hike as the day before but catch the sun rise. I’m so glad we woke up in time. It was breathtaking. And again, we were the only ones up there. I love how we now have that memory together. We explored a little more up there. When we got back, we had breakfast, I journaled (I’ll include a little excerpt here), packed up our campsite, kayaked the lake one last time, and then headed over to our next campsite. 

Thursday August 20, 2020 8:43am I am currently at Sardine Lake Campground, and surprising to the name, this place is beautiful. We decided to do the hike again to catch the sunrise. We were hustlin, we got there so quickly and the sunrise was INCREDIBLE! MAGNIFICENT! Watching the sunrise with my love. These are the moments that mean the most to me. Can’t put them into words. 

beautiful smoky sunrise

Sardine Lake is only an hour and a half away. It is a great new place to explore that isn’t far at all. It’s important to note swimming is not a primary activity at these lakes since it is a pristine fishing lake and there really aren’t any beaches. But other lakes around would be great for swimming. It could easily be just a day trip. And is not crowded especially compared to Tahoe. Another thing I want to add is that there is no service once you get to the lake. It is a perfect place to unplug. This is exactly what I needed and I think it made the trip more fun.

Stayed tuned for my next post on getting Colin and I lost :)! hehe

thanks for being my adventure buddy .