Loon Lake is an outdoor paradise of sparkling, crystal clear blue water, awe-inspiring vistas, scenic hiking trails and first-class fishing. With an abundance of coves and ten miles of shoreline to explore, the lake is ideal for all types of outdoor enjoyment. Recreational opportunities at Loon Lake seem to have almost no end. You can mountain bike, hike, snorkel, camp, fish, and much more!
Outdoor lovers will have an endless array of pleasurable activities to keep them entertained. Other popular activities include horseback riding and exploring off-road 4-wheel trails.
Loon Lake is located in El Dorado National Forrest, approximately twenty-three miles east of Placerville, on Highway 50. It is situated in a mixed coniferous forest with granite formations dotting the landscape. A stunning display of majestic pines and a boulder-lined shoreline provide many unforgettable sights and a one-of-a-kind paddling experience for all levels of paddlers.
This inspiring lake with its rocky shoreline provides a delightful paddle throughout the entire perimeter and secluded inlets. One of Loon Lake’s highlights is its peaceful atmosphere and lush unspoiled setting.
Outdoor enthusiasts often flock to Loon Lake because of the abundance of wildlife in the area. Several bald eagles nest nearby the lake's rocky shores. If you keep a careful lookout, you might catch a glimpse of bears, deer and raccoons sharing the habitat.
Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and 4-wheeling are popular on the many picturesque trails surrounding the lake. Loon Lake marks the gateway to the 18-mile Rubicon Jeep Trail, so be ready for noise at all hours from 4 wheelers in the distance.
Both the excellent fishing and the outstanding scenery attract kayakers to this popular lake. With exceptional fishing and diverse recreational opportunities, Loon Lake is a favorite vacation spot in the summertime. Because it can get crowded in the summer months, your best bet is to get on the water early, before everyone else does. Fishing is more rewarding at the break of day and in the evening, but during the day you may come up empty handed.
Widely regarded as one of the best fishing lakes in the state, Loon Lake is home to trophy quality rainbow and brown trout. The lake is planted yearly with 20,000 rainbow trout in the 10 to 12 inch class. If you try your hand at kayak fishing, you will delight in hooking rainbow and brown trout in the two to four pound class. Kayak anglers usually opt to troll for fish or fly fish.
Kayakers desiring an encounter with the outdoors will enjoy camping in the Loon Lake Campground, located in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. The campground is situated on the south shore of Loon Lake, and attracts many visitors with its breathtaking setting. The campground sits just west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Picnic tables, grills and campfire rings are provided at the campground. Because bears frequent the area, all food must be kept in approved bear-proof food storage lockers. The day use and five picnic areas in the campground provide gorgeous lake views. From the ten primitive boat-in campsites located at the northern end of the lake, you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and surrounding terrain.
The boat-in or walk-in campground located in the middle of the eastern shoreline has limited camping facilities. Overnight shoreline camping is allowed in self-contained boats, which rules out kayaks and canoes. Firewood is sold at the campground, but depending on weather conditions, there may be fire restrictions.
Camping reservations are available from mid-June through Labor Day weekend. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance for the single family sites, and up to one year in advance for the group sites.