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Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend

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Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 20, 2012 11:27PM
I was chillin' in Murphys this weekend with the wife and we decided to head up Rt 4 and have a picnic at Lake Alpine. There was no snow in the area, except a few little globs in the trees near the parking lot. No mosquitoes to speak of. About a half-dozen people bank fishing with moderate success.

I couldn't resist making my way to the back of the spillway to check it out. On the south-west tip of the lake, there's a shuttered old lodge set up replete with boat-house. I wonder who owns this, and how they got it eased into national forest land? Fascinating. I counted literally 30 Private Property / No Tresspassing / etc signs around this lodge, so I suspect looky-loos are a problem. Not me - I just pretended I was a Jeep and followed the OHV road around it, then hiked up the drainage til I got to the spillway. I gotta get a rear locker & new set of AT tires on my Tacoma and and take it wheelin' up in these parts, it looks like awesome fun.

There were a few places where I could tell that folks had camp fires along this stream just below the spillway, and it looks like an excellent place to camp. Not that I'd ever do or condone that, of course -- I think you'd get tried for treason, much like accidentally passing a menacing glance at the Hetch Hetchy spillway, because it's a federal water supply or somesuch craziness.
avatar Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 10:59AM
Are there any official Forest Service restrictions about not camping below or near the dam or spillway?
Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 11:34AM
Are there any official Forest Service restrictions about not camping below or near the dam or spillway?

Not sure. I think it's one of those things where the Ranger's Office will tell you one thing, the locals will tell you another, and if the private property owners happen to be home, they will sic their dogs on you regardless. And if this is a water supply, I'm sure whatever water company will have a totally different set of rules. Exactly like my experiences with Cherry Creek Dam ... I once spent about a week trying to figure out whether bikes are legal on the road up to the Shingle Springs trailhead.

There was an offical-looking, ambiguously-worded sign right at the spillway that said something to the effect of "This area is subject to federal law." Does that mean you're not supposed to be up there? Or does that mean, if you put some LSD in the water, you will incur the wrath of the Feds? No sure. Additionally, if you look at Lake Alpine on a topo, you'll see the south-west tip has a gray area that I understand to be private property. There are literally 30-50 "No Trespassing" type signs all around this area. I found an interesting post here that indicated this property changed hands around 2006 and the new owners aren't too thrilled about the Slick Rock OHV road that goes through "their" property.

So I don't know what to tell you. I think it would make for awesome camping, personally. You can pop up, fish at the lake, swim, and then retreat back below the spillway and vegetate; bag Inspiration Point, fart around in Carson Iceberg, etc. You don't have to deal with other people because nobody else can figure out the legality of being back there. And it's beautiful, and easily accessible by car. Sooo, if you're looking for what is essentially a hike-in rural camping area, survey says ... camp there!
avatar Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 02:37PM
Pretty much you can definitely bike on the road to Shingle. The problem is you are suppose
to follow the same rules of the road as a car. So my guess is that if a road is closed to
vehicles after a certain date that it is closed to bicycles too.
Regardless, you shouldn't have that issue anymore due to the fact that the road doesn't
close until Dec. 15th now. Or next time... hide the bikes.

(and I certainly can't figure out why they did what the did to you really)
(I mean, cmon, just write a note... at least you didn't bike on the trail!)

Have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 22, 2012 12:02PM
... the road doesn't close until Dec. 15th now

Really? Did I miss that thread? Damn. I always planned my annual Kibbie Ridge -> Cherry Creek trip for the first weekend after the gate closed after Labor Day and before hunting season, to minimize other people. Oh well. I think this year, I might just park at Shingle and bushwack toward one of the awesome swimming holes a little upstream of the rivermouth, or head further upstream if it's crowded.

Glad others liked that picture! I didn't see any nudists around, though honestly if there's nobody else around, I don't see any reason why I should get my clothes wet if I want to swim. There is still a gate right in front of the lodge on the OHV road, but the gate is only to prevent people from getting into the lodge. The OHV road is not obscured by it, and indeed there were quite a few jeeps coming and going while I was poking around.
avatar Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 22, 2012 12:24PM
I rarely have seen anyone out there after Labor Day. Still...
I didn't post about it... but all it takes is a bit of ... hmm... when did you do that...
and you can figure it out...
Or ... I posted a picture of the Chick-on mobile getting stuck behind a downed tree...

Some gunk:



My "Border Patrol" trip is here with map (had to park at Eleanor due to tree):
(Dec 3)

But yes, it's open til Dec. 15. But snow can close it. It was actually open over Xmas
last year but you weren't allowed to drive it. So we walked instead. That was this:

I don't think I did a "trip report" on Inferno. At least I can't find it.
Everything just gets pushed down so quick here it's sometimes hard to find.

Anyway, have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 01:43PM
I love Lake Alpine. It is one of my favorite car camping spots. I've walked across that spillway and fished from the dam a bunch of times. It's been 20 years or more since I've been up that way. I remember the boathouse, but not the lodge...hmmm.

The trout fishing at this lake has always been a lot of fun and the day hikes around the area are fantastic.

Thanks for the picture. It brought back some great memories. I'm gonna have to get back there with the kids some time.

"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2012 01:45PM by Jayabrams.
Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 06:35PM
I used to camp there a lot 25 years ago. It was one of my favorite weekend getaways from the bay area. Great swimming holes in the creek, We used to pitch our tent 5 feet from the creek and have bonfires every night. After about 30 total nights of camping we were visited once by a ranger who simply asked to see our fire permit. Never saw many people other than the nudists who frequented the creek and the nearby union and utica lakes. Is the gate at the start of the ohv trail still there? That first short stretch was always private but the rest was all national forest with no restrictions. I'm sure that has all changed I remember the road was quite rough which discouraged a lot of people.
avatar Re: Random Lake Alpine picture from this weekend
May 21, 2012 06:54PM
The granite at the upper end of the lake makes for a very nice swimming location.

I've generally seen that reservoir full, is it mostly used for power production rather than water?
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