If you’re seeking a truly authentic and hidden gem experience in South Lake Tahoe, look no further than Angora Lakes. Nestled amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountains and near Fallen Leaf Lake, this hidden gem offers a serene and enchanting retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to Angora Lakes in South Lake Tahoe, California.
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When to Visit Angora Lakes
To fully appreciate the beauty of Angora Lakes, it’s important to plan your visit at the right time. Here’s what you need to know:
- Summer Season (June to September): This is the prime time to visit Angora Lakes. The weather is pleasant, and the lakes are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. The surrounding hiking trails are accessible, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and wildflowers in bloom.
- Fall Season (October to November): As the summer crowds dissipate, fall brings a different kind of beauty to Angora Lakes. The foliage transforms into vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, creating a picturesque landscape. Hiking during this time provides a peaceful and tranquil experience. The lakes are too cold to swim but the surrounding areas are nice for picnics.
Exploring the Hiking Trails
Angora Lakes is renowned for its stunning hiking trails, each offering its own unique beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to embark on an adventure. Here are some notable trails to explore:
Angora Lakes Trail
This moderate trail, approximately 2.4 miles round trip, leads you to the breathtaking Angora Lakes. It can be a strenuous hike for those not used to Lake Tahoe air. The majority of the hike is uphill but there trail has shady spots (we even spotted snow) and it is maintained.
The Angora Lakes Trail will lead you to two different lakes, The Upper Angora Lake and the Lower Angora Lake. The Upper Angora lake has a snack shack and beachline whereas the lower does not.
Amenities and Tips for Visitors
To ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Angora Lakes, here are some essential amenities and tips to keep in mind:
Limited parking is available near the trailhead, so we advise you to arrive early to secure a spot. Parking is $10 per car.
Once the parking lot is full, you will have to backtrack 3/4 of a mile, park in a fire lane, and hike down to the parking lot to pay. We’ve done this and it wasn’t too bad but if you are going on a holiday or summer weekend get there early.
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Angora Lakes in South Lake Tahoe features several picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal amidst nature’s beauty. Pack a delicious spread and bask in the serene surroundings.
The Angora Lake snack shack has freshly made sandwiches that start at $7 and they also sell ice cream and their famous lemonade. Lemonade is $6 a cup or $24 for a pitcher.
Portable restrooms are available near Upper Angora Lake for visitors’ convenience. While the floors are clean, the toilets smell really bad. There is a sink with soap outside the restroom area.
Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the natural environment.
The lakes are ideal for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. However, please note that there are no equipment rentals at Lower Angora Lake, so bring your own gear. The Upper Angora Lake has a rental shack that rents kayaks, paddleboards, and row boats.
Boat rentals are $26 per hour, credit card required and all items must be returned by 5pm.
When exploring Angora Lakes, it’s crucial to bring essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent (you will get eaten alive by mosquitos and huge ants), plenty of water, snacks, and proper hiking gear.
Cliff Jumping at Upper Angora Lake
We saw several people cliff jumping at the Northern part of the lake. Cliffs are 20ft, 40 ft, and 50 ft, and while the workers don’t actively encourage jumping they won’t stop you either. Use common sense and be safe.
FAQs about Visiting Angora Lakes
- Q: Are dogs allowed at Angora Lakes?
- A: Yes, dogs are allowed on the trails and at the lakes but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. Please be respectful and clean up after your pets.
- Q: Are there any fees to visit Angora Lakes?
- A: There are no entrance fees to visit Angora Lakes; however, parking is a $10 fee. It’s recommended to carry some cash for parking and for the snack shack at Upper Angora Lake.
- Q: Can I camp overnight at Angora Lakes?
- A: Overnight camping is not permitted at Angora Lakes. It is a day-use area, and visitors are required to leave before dusk.
- Q: Are there any dining options near Angora Lakes?
- A: There are no dining options directly at Angora Lakes. It’s advisable to bring your own food and snacks for a picnic or explore nearby South Lake Tahoe for dining options.
- Q: Is Angora Lakes family-friendly?
- A: Yes, Angora Lakes is a family-friendly destination. The hiking trails cater to various skill levels, and children can enjoy swimming and playing in the lakes under adult supervision.
- Q: Can I fish at Angora Lakes?
- A: Fishing is allowed at Angora Lakes; however, a valid California fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and above. Visitors are required to follow fishing regulations and practice catch-and-release whenever possible.