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Photo Credit Etsuko Stone


Bowman Lake, an Unspoiled Mountain Wonderland.

Bowman Lake is a one-in-a-million place to paddle. Located in an unspoiled mountain kayaking Bowman Lakewonderland, it is one of California’s premier flat water destinations, ideal for adventurous kayakers who enjoy paddling remote getaways. “Spellbinding” perfectly describes the radiant beauty of this out-of-the-way alpine lake, surrounded by a thick forest canopy and huge boulders along the shore.

Bowman Lake provides unparalleled paddling in a peaceful atmosphere around its 9 miles of shoreline. A steep, rocky shoreline around the lake’s perimeter doesn’t provide much in the way of pullout access locations, but there are two small islands to explore; one in the center and the other at the western end of this high-elevation lake.

Bowman Lake is located in a region of astonishing beauty, at 5,558 feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in the Tahoe National Forest. Bowman Lake is about 7 miles southwest of Jackson Meadows Reservoir. Lake Weaver and Lake McMurray, both of which are located slightly to the northwest, are dominated in size and beauty by Bowman Lake.

The ideal time to paddle this sparkling haven is at first light of day, when the water is as smooth as glass and the whole world is still. The photographic possibilities here are limitless. Mesmerizing views can be captured on film, just as the sun peeks up over the mountains, which create perfect reflections onto the glass-like water surface.

Startling changes in climate and foliage throughout the year offer spectacular views, ranging from snow-carpeted mountains during the wintertime to colorful wildflowers bCanoeing Bowman Lake , Californialooming in the spring, Perhaps most stunning of all is kayaking in the fall, when the changing colors of the leaves contrast dramatically against the dense evergreens, creating a breathtaking sight to behold. Also, planning a trip here in the months of September and October when the temperatures are still warm, you are likely to have the entire lake to yourself. Due to the elevation, the night and early morning air temperature can be quite nippy, even in the middle of summer. The kayaking season is usually from mid-June through October.

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