Thanks to the Trout Underground, I was taken on a trip down memory lane this morning.
In 1997 three friends and I spent a few days at Independence lake north of lake Tahoe. I remember distinctly thinking to my self, I will try come back here every year of my life, it is just THAT kind of place. There is an overpowering sense of awe and inspiration that I often find in places like that. I realize, pop culture has turned the “pristine alpine lake scene” into a granola-bar-ad cliche, but when you see it in person and really experience it, its hard to ignore.
At the far end of the lake, barely visible in the photo above, is a cliff about 20 feet above the water. Standing on that cliff shirtless, screaming like idiots and pounding our chests to get psyched up, we jumped in one by one. I can’t remember who went first, but I will never forget the split second free fall and the crush of the freezing water that took my breath away. I also never forget the sound of the marble sized hail and snow pounding my tent later that night. Unforgettable moments.
Hopefully, someday, I will go back and take my family to share this place. I hope to be able to camp overnight then. But according to the FAQ over here, it won’t be this year, because they are refusing overnight camping. But alas maybe some day.
On May 11, 2010, The Nature Conservancy announced that Independence Lake, one of the most pristine alpine lakes west of the Rockies, and the majestic wilderness that surrounds it will remain protected from development following the sale of the lake and the land to The Nature Conservancy by longtime owner NV Energy.
Will I be able to camp at Independence Lake?
In 2010, camping will not be one of the many ways to enjoy the beauty of Independence Lake. We will be evaluating the option of walk-in camping in future years. In the meantime we ask that campers take advantage of the many other camping opportunities nearby, and enjoy Independence Lake for day use only.