Destination: Lindsey Lakes
Mileage: Trails 4.8 miles, Aspen 8.4 miles
Trailhead: Junction of Bowman Lake Road and Lindsey Lakes Road, off Highway 20
Elevation: 5,848 to 6,508 feet
Aspen and I agree, for hiking trails – off-leash is preferred. I don’t spend the entire hike trying to stop her from pulling on the leash and she gets more energy out exploring all of the sniffs the wild has to offer. When we hike, Aspen doesn’t just run down the trail, she has a pattern. Run a bit ahead, dive off into the woods, circle back, pop out of the woods, run back to her people, repeat.
For this hike, we set out to explore the Grouse Lakes area on the Tahoe National Forest. Turns out California did get some snow, making trailheads less accessible, so we looked at the map to see what lake was the shortest hike from the main road and chose Lindsey Lakes.
Aspen and I both made it to Mid Lindsey Lake, but we took two different routes. I stuck to the road and the tire tracks. Aspen was absolutely pumped on life and determined to cover as much snow as possible, 3.6 more miles than me to be exact.
We parked along Bowman Lake Road and then followed Lindsey Lakes Road in, keeping right at the first fork and then staying straight at the second intersection. This brought us to Lower Lindsey Lake’s campground, looking fresh, coated in snow. After a snack, we continued up the road to see how far we could get before our designated turn-around time.
Just beyond the campground, a gate put a stop to the tire tracks I was following and post-holing commenced. It wasn’t that deep, just deep enough to go over the top of my boots every few steps. We made it far enough to look down on the small unnamed lake beyond Mid Lindsey.
On the return trip, Aspen stuck a bit closer to me using my foot steps to ease her travel. I wonder how much farther she would have hiked if there wasn’t snow on the ground. We may have to do another experiment in the summer.
During a quick stop at Lower Lindsey to admire the frozen lake, a chuffing sound broke the silence. My initial thought was, well, we’re getting eaten by a mountain lion. Then I found the indignant source – a lake resident poking out of the ice. An otter chuffed at us a few times and then disappeared under the ice, popping up again a few seconds later. There were holes in the ice all along the shore about 15 feet out. It was the highlight of our snowy hike; I doubt this fellow is so brazen when visitors fill the campground.
How many more miles does your adventure pup hike than you on the trail?