Added by Josh Currie
Ice House Reservoir is one of the many mountain lakes in desolation wilderness with easy access but maintains a sense of exclusivity.
Desolation Wilderness is just west of Lake Tahoe, a part of Eldorado National Forest. It's a very popular backpacking destination as the PCT and Tahoe Rim Trail both run through the area. There are what seems to be endless amounts of mountain lakes, creeks, and rivers that run through this area which make it one of the more beautiful regions in California.
Camping at Ice House Reservoir is a perfect mix of simplicity and exclusivity. There are three car camping spots a long the lake and even has a launch ramp if you're looking to tow your boat up. Though on the weekends there will be a decent amount of people enjoying the lake, you also get the sense that you're out in the middle of nowhere and have the place to yourself.
The campsites are 10 dollars a night and are all first come first serve. It's about 3 hours from SF, so if you're looking to weekend warrior it up there I would suggest leaving after work Friday or getting there before 8am on Saturday. The fishing is great and there are countless sandy beaches a long the waters edge to hang out at during the day. There is also a cliff jumping spot on the south side of the lake.
If you need to stock up supplies there is a general store only a few miles back down the road to pick up food, wood, and fishing gear. I definitely recommend this spot for people who love the lake scene and mountain air. Enjoy!
- Fishing Gear
- Floating Devices
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Camping, Canoeing, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Swimming
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Diggins Loop Trail
Lake Tahoe / Diggins Loop Trail
Check in and pay for your parking or present California State Parks Pass at the museum building in North Bloomfield.
Snowmobile at Hope Valley Sno-Park
Lake Tahoe / Hope Valley Sno-Park
Book a snowmobile trip through a local adventure center (we love Lake Tahoe Adventures) or bring your own gear. Don't forget to grab permits ahead of time if you come on your own (more info here.