When looking for a respite from the summer heat in the 209, it’s hard to find a better option than Lake Alpine.
Lake Alpine is located in the Stanislaus National Forest off Highway 4 in Alpine County at an elevation of 7,350 feet. It spans 180 surface acres and is filled from the melting snow, keeping the water chilly even in summer.
Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, biking, and interpretive programs. In winter, the lake becomes part of the Lake Alpine Sno-Park. Visitors can enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
For those looking to try their luck with rod and reel, Lake Alpine is regularly stocked with trout.
Guests can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle board, fishing boats and bikes at the Lake Alpine Resort or Bear Valley Cross Country and Adventure Company.
There are several hiking options in the area, including the four-mile trail around the lake. The southwest end has a two-mile hike to Duck Lake with views of log cabins, an aspen grove and meadows of wildflowers in the late spring and early summer.
Those who want a bit more of a challenge can go for the hike to Inspiration Point, which offers a rewarding panorama of the lake and the surrounding timberland.
All Lake Alpine Recreation Area campgrounds, including Silver Tip, West Shore, Pine Marten, Silver Valley and Backpackers campgrounds are reservation only. Campsites are $30 per night. Recreation facility use fee is $5 per group. Make reservations through Recreation.gov, 1-877-444-6777, International, 518-885-3639, or via their website, www.recreation.gov.