Both lower and upper Angora Lakes and the Angora Lake Resort are nestled 7,450 feet up in a glacial valley surrounded by granite cliffs on on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. The resort is a popular place to rent the cabins that ring the upper lake, but most people come up here for the day to enjoy the cold, clear water, some kayaking and lots of hiking.
You can rent kayaks from the Angora Lake Resort — Photo courtesy of Brian Sterling/Flickr
There are several ways to get to the lakes and the resort. You can drive from Fallen Leaf Lake or you can hike up the Clark Trail on the southeast edge of Fallen Leaf Lake. If you are driving, take Highway 89 north 3 miles to Fallen Leaf Lake Road and turn left at the first paved road. Continue to Forest Service Road 12N14, turn right and continue past Angora Lookout to the parking lot at road’s end. Angora Lakes Resort is open mid-June through mid-September and parking is limited during the summer and costs $7 per car.
If you want something more strenuous, the 3-mile round trip Clark trail is a steep route that takes you up a wooded hillside to Angora Lookout and the lakes. The trail has a gain of 560 feet in elevation, but is shady most of the way. Once you get to the lakes, you can jump off the various rocks into the water to cool off. Angora Lookout has a great view of the valley and towards Lake Tahoe. Along the way you will most likely see chipmunks, squirrels, Stellar's jays and maybe even a coyote or bear.
The Clark Trail is accessible from March through November. To get there, take Highway 89 north from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Parking is located at the Glen Alpine Trailhead. From the parking area, walk back down the road to the junction of Fallen Leaf Lake Road and look for the small church to your right. A little post behind the church marks the hard-to-find trailhead.
Angora Lakes from the Clark Trail — Photo courtesy of Angora Lakes Resort
After hiking and swimming, head to the resort for a snack or some of their acclaimed lemonade. You can rent a rowboat or kayak for $14 an hour. The resort has a small, sandy beach and a gift shop where you can purchase Forest Service t-shirts or guide books. On the back side of the lake, there is a steep granite face which goes nearly straight up to the top of Echo Summit.