Leavitt Lake lies at about 9500 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains just south of Highway 108. Leavitt Peak (11535) Lies to the north west and the Pacific Crest Trail runs the ridge above the lake.
The road to access Leavitt Lake is dirt, rough and requires 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive. You can see from the video the hardest parts of the trail which includes water crossings and some rocks and ruts.
Camping at Leavitt Lake is beautiful high alpine dispersed camping with no services or facilities of any kind. As such, there is a lot of impact from users driving off road, cutting down live trees for fire wood, and crossing obvious barricades to camp too close to the water.
Generally, I’m all for telling people how to get to places where they can access awesome places to camp and have fun, but the impacts at Leavitt Lake kind of bummed me out. Let’s go ahead and go over a couple guidelines for responsible backcountry travel.
Pack it Out
Pack out anything and everything you brought with you. Thankfully, there was not a lot of trash at Leavitt Lake.
Stay on designated roads
Blazing a trail in areas like this is generally not the best way to go. The fewer tracks there are out there, the more reason we’ll all have to go up there to camp out.
Don’t cut down trees unless you have a permit
You generally need a permit if you’re going to be harvesting wood with a chainsaw. Several times this summer we’ve seen campers harvesting vast amounts of wood for campfires with chain saws. Not only is that a huge buzz kill for the your neighbors who are looking for a little serenity in the mountains, but it’s probably going to get you a citation should a ranger stop by.
Don’t camp within 200 feet of water
The impact on wildlife and plant life in the shore zone is great if you set up camp down there. Plus, it spoils the view for your fellow campers.
There is a nice trail up to Ski Lake that continues on to the ridge-line where you can access the Pacific Crest Trail. There are backpacker camping sites at Ski Lake and it would make a nice spot to stop over with new backpackers.
There are fish in the lake. We didn’t catch any, but others were.
Not much opportunity in the area. The roads you can see on the map that go around the lake are now blocked off. Please respect the closures. It’s a short hike!
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Thanks for following our little adventure–Happy Trails!