Day Hike and Paddle on Island Lake with Joe Dondelinger
Day Hike and Paddle on Island Lake
The Grouse Lakes Basin Area of the northern Sierra Nevada contains a large number of small, but mostly natural and undammed lakes, which is what I enjoy most about the area. My favorite and one of the most unique is Island Lake, that gets is name from the various islands scattered throughout. It’s a perfect hike for packing in an inflatable board, a moderately easy 4 miles round trip and less than 300 feet of elevation gain and the Tahoe SUP Alpine Explorer is custom made for this type of adventure.
After finishing the long bumpy and rough dirt road to the trailhead parking lot at Carr Lake Campground I found to my surprise several Prius’s and other low clearance cars parked all around! Wow! Anyways soon after parking, my dog Sage and I had our packs on and headed up the trail to Feely Lake the first one along way and we stopped to rest and take in the majestic views and blooming Alpine Daisies and Lupine!
After Feely lake we passed by a few other smaller lakes and meadows with more superb views.
As we arrived to our destination and a little off trail scrambling we finally reached Island Lake. After a little shoreline exploration I found a nice suitable spot to set up. After inflating the board Sage and I took a much needed lunch break and then soon we were on the water! Sage Jumped right on as she usually does and without hesitation we were off paddling, exploring all over this amazing high sierra lake taking in all of its fresh alpine glory!
Nothing beats being able to hike your stand up paddleboard into such a remote alpine lake. This is to me, true freedom of the wilderness.