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TOP 7 LAKES IN THE GOLD LAKES BASIN
1) Eureka Lake -
This is the most common destination for newcomers to
the Plumas mountain country. A beautiful little lake, it is the centerpiece of
Plumas-Eureka State Park. A new bonus is that the access road to the lake, which
used to be closed from Friday through Sunday, is now open every day of the
2) Gold Lake -
You can drive right up, with a boat ramp provided and a
campground nearby. The lake is at an elevation of 6,400 feet in Plumas National
Forest, a beautiful setting. Several trails that start here are routed to nearby
wilderness lakes. Another bonus is the big Mackinaw trout, though they often
lurk deep. During midsummer, it can be quite windy here, particularly in the
3) Long Lake -
Of the three lakes in the immediate are (the others being
Snake Lake and Big Bear Lake), this is the best. Long Lake is deep and beautiful,
very clean, and requires only a half-mile hike in. It is something of a legend for
large (up to 18 inches) but elusive trout, along with lots of smaller fish.
4) Packer Lake -
This little lake is quiet and pretty, with great views of the
Sierra Buttes. It can be reached by car, but there is no piped water at the
primitive U.S. Forest Service campground nearby. The fishing is poor to fair, with
far fewer fish stocked than at nearby Lower Sardine Lake.
5) Lower Sardine Lake -
This is one of the prettiest drive-to-lakes in
California, a small pool in a rock bowl near the Sierra Buttes. It is also loaded with
trout, courtesy of plentiful stocks. A lodge, a restaurant, cabins, and boat rentals
make this a unique, although quite popular, destination.
6) Upper Sardine Lake -
If the crowds at Lower Sardine scare you off,
this nearby alternative may offer the solitude you desire. It's a great spot for
hiking and mountain biking, but fishing is poor, as the fish are very small.
7) Wade Lake -
You'll hike only two miles to reach Wade Lake, but it's a
rugged climb with some rock-hopping. The reward is plenty of brook trout that
take Panther Martin spinners during the evening bite.
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