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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

Huntington Lake With Friends

Updated: Jul 18

trees and clouds reflected in the lake
Huntington Lake

Kayaker on the lake with the trees reflected in the lake
Kayaker on the lake

One of our most anticipated summer activities is our yearly excursion to Huntington Lake in the Sierra Nevada, accompanied by a group of friends. Nestled in the high Sierras, Huntington Lake is a breathtaking destination that attracts visitors all year round. Typically, we spend around 10 to 14 days at the lake and thoroughly relish in the kayaking and the company. With many popular hikes in the area, we make it a point to explore the stunning surroundings. Our mornings are spent kayaking on the smooth lake, and the drive out on Kaiser Pass Rd. into the backcountry is an incredible experience. Huntington Lake is truly a paradise that we eagerly look forward to returning to every summer.

We stayed at the Catavee Campground at Lakeshore and the campgrounds in the area are very popular and reservations are made through Some campgrounds in the area may be closed due to fire damage or tree removal so check which are available. These campouts are with a large group of friends and it is planned so you cook dinner for everyone one night and then you don’t have to cook dinner again as the chore is passed on to someone else. This seems to work great and everybody has a good time.

This was the 3rd stop on a 9 stop National Park Road Trip. For the beginning of this trip see "From the Sierras to the Rockies"

The region boasts a multitude of trails, with the Rancheria Falls hike leading to a stunning small waterfall being a favorite among visitors. Another trailhead at the China Peak Resort, the Indian Pools Trailhead, takes you on a picturesque journey alongside a stream, where you'll encounter numerous pools, some of which are spacious enough for a refreshing swim. We enjoy these hikes every time we do them. For an added adventure, China Peak offers a ski lift service that takes you up the mountain, allowing you to descend either on foot or on a mountain bike on one of the many designated trails. Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll or a thrilling descent, the trails around the China Peak Resort are sure to satisfy any nature lover's appetite.

Rancheria Falls cascading down boulders at Huntington lake
Rancheria Falls

kids playing on a boulder in a pool
Indian Pools hike

Aside from hiking and kayaking, there are other exciting activities to experience in the region. One such adventure is taking a scenic drive out to Florence Lake via Kaiser Pass Road, a 24-mile dirt road that is well-maintained for the most part. There are many parts of the road that are only wide enough for 1 vehicle so be advised you may need to do some backing up along the way. Along the way, you can stop and appreciate the stunning views at Ward Lake and Jackass Meadows before reaching your final destination. Additionally, the area boasts a plethora of popular hiking trails, offering ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors.

Ward Lake surrounded by rocky cliffs and pine trees
Ward Lake

water flowing over boulders with mountains in the background
Jackass Meadow

grassy meadow surrounded by trees
Jackass Meadow

McKinley Grove is another must-visit destination in the region, featuring an isolated grove of majestic giant sequoia trees. With approximately 150 to 200 of these towering trees, visitors can enjoy a peaceful hike along well-maintained trails while admiring the breathtaking scenery.

McKinley Grove Redwoods with dappled sunlight
McKinley Grove Redwoods

child playing around the base of a redwood
McKinley Grove Redwoods

In conclusion, Huntington Lake is a fantastic vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and more. With stunning natural beauty and a friendly community, it's a perfect place to relax and recharge away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you're looking for an action-packed adventure or a peaceful getaway, Huntington Lake is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

For the 4th leg of this 9-leg road trip see "Fantastic Views at Crater Lake NP"

Lorna’s Tips and Lessons

In many of the campgrounds we go to you cannot tie anything in the trees. Therefore we are unable to use a hammock. Here, however, we are able to read, nap, and just enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of our hammock. However, let’s be kind to the trees by investing in good-quality hammock straps. Thin rope digs into trees and damages the bark. With hammock straps you also don’t have to remember how to tie any special knots. Parachute hammocks and hammock straps are easy to pack and set up.


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