Go Take A Hike, Part 5 – Long Lake, Soda Springs CA   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi

 

Nestled behind Royal Gorge Ski Area in Soda Springs is a series of lakes well hidden except for those who know how to find them. It’s about 4 miles of a bumpy ride to access them from Royal Gorge’s parking lot, but you will be well rewarded for your efforts.

I didn’t have to put my Suzuki ‘Tonka Toy’ into 4 wheel drive to get there, but a 4 x 4 is suggested- if for no other reason than its higher clearance. The road can be fairly rutted.

You will first pass Kidd Lake Campground, which is owned by PG & E and is also part of their hydroelectric system. Designed mostly for tent camping, there are spaces for RV’s in the parking area. If you would like to camp in the area while you explore,  make reservations by visiting their website: pge.com

 

Long Lake, Soda Springs CA

Long Lake, Soda Springs CA

 

If you’re just looking for a short day hike, continue on the road until it ends.  You will see a Royal Gorge warming hut which marks the head of the Palisade’s Creek Trail. Note the Cascade Lakes reservoir to your left, which is also part of the PG & E hydroelectric system.  Cross over the reservoir’s bridge. From there, it’s less than a mile to Long Lake. Hike along the granite shores, sunbathe on a rocky outcrop or go for a swim. In the distance are views of Granite Chief Wilderness west of Squaw Valley, Devil’s Peak and Castle Peak.

 

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Rope swing at Long Lake swimming hole

 

How to get there: From Donner Lake,  continue west up Donner Pass Road to the summit. Turn left on Soda Springs Road and right on Pahotsi. It turns into dirt road fairly quickly. Continue on the dirt road approximately 4 miles (supposedly it’s Kidd Lake Road,  it isn’t marked as such) past Kidd Lake to Cascade Lakes. The map isn’t quite accurate, as the road does continue to Cascade Lakes. Park the car and follow the Palisades Creek Trail to Long Lake.

 

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