Visiting Sardine Lakes and the Sierra Buttes in Northern California
Updated: Jul 30
Nestled at the base of the Sierra Buttes in the Lakes Basin area of Tahoe National Forest are Upper and Lower Sardine Lake. Both lakes are perfectly framed by the dramatic Sierra Nevada mountain range, making for an impressive scene. Sardine Lakes are easily accessible and you can visit both lakes in one day trip to the area. The lakes are located off Gold Lake Highway near Sierra City in Northern California.
LOWER SARDINE LAKE
Lower Sardine Lake is the larger of the two lakes and is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Swimming is not encouraged on Lower Sardine Lake as not to disrupt the fisherman. Boat rentals are available at Sardine Lake Resort, which sits right on Lower Sardine Lake.
UPPER SARDINE LAKE
Upper Sardine Lake is about a 1/2 mile hike up a bumpy, rocky dirt road that starts to the right of Sardine Lake Resort. I recommend just walking up the road as I have seen (on more than one occasion) people with 4WD vehicles get stuck when attempting to drive it. It does not look fun.
Upper Sardine Lake is smaller than Lower Sardine Lake and has a more tucked-away feeling to it. Both lakes are equally scenic with the Sierra Buttes in the background. Swimming is permitted at Upper Sardine Lake.
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