I really love finding new lakes to kayak when I travel. A few weeks ago, I was up at my best friend’s cabin in Truckee and I wanted to take out my kayak. While Donner Lake is the closest body of water to the cabin, I wanted to find one that was quieter. Looking for lakes where you can kayak, but no motorboats are allowed can be tricky, but there are surprisingly quite a few of these in California.
View from my Oru. Photo credit: Lisette
Lake Valley Reservoir is one of these lovely, serene and isolated mountain lakes. Owned by PG&E, it’s located between Auburn and Truckee off Highway 80 just a few miles south of Yuba Gap. The Silvertip Picnic Area has a launch ramp for boats and requires a $5 per car fee (and $5 per boat launch fee). Bring cash – and exact change! There is a campground here, Lodgepole – also operated by PG&E. According to PG&E’s site, the campground will close early this year in mid-September and remain closed through the 2019 season for dam repairs, but will resume a normal schedule in 2020. There also appears to be a summer camp on the far end of the lake filled with energetic campers. They have a large lodge by the water, in addition to a private area of the lake with a climbing rock in the water and plenty of kayaks/boats.
Enjoying the water. Photo credit: Mom
Lake Valley is a lovely place to kayak, it’s just big enough to provide a satisfying distance around the perimeter. I will caution visitors that the lake is full of submerged trees, so be wary (particularly around the edge) of hidden dangers. My Oru kayak is not terribly hearty, so I took extra care to avoid hazards.
Dead trees are plentiful here. Photo credit: Lisette
The reservoir also was a popular spot for fishing, attracting a fair amount of anglers to the shores near the Silvertip picnic area.