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Destinations | Mountains | Tahoe National Forest | California Lake List

lake.smith


Photo Credit © Kim Kevan

Ya gotta know where you're going to get to this little lake.

If you have a high clearance vehicle & 4x4 this lonely lake paradise can be yours for the weekend ( well except for an occassional wandering hiker, jeep, motorcycle or fisherman). Tucked way in the northern end of the Tahoe National Forest, back behind the Sierra Buttes, Smith Lakes is not easy to reach, but with determination, your reward will be wonderful. Plenty of seclusion, snowmelt, creeks, trees & a prime little campspot. Perfect your kayak & fishing skills! But remember the bug repellant.

Bring your fire permit & everything you'll need, cuz there ain't nothin' for miles & miles. No gas, No stores, No phones. The access is a 6 mile dirt road (marked for OHV & 4WD) which becomes progressively worse as you near the lake. Large rocks & boulders must be carefully manuevered down some steep section, along witrh several creek crossings. This place is probably only reachable by vehicle from late Spring to Fall, as the snow could make navigating very difficult.

A detailed map of the region is a neccessity! The standard Tahoe National Forest is not nearly detailed enough.
The map recommended for this is the NatGeo Sierra Buttes Map

There once was a travel site based on the East Coast somewhere, who tried to cover everything in California - even the small lakes. DanaMite emailed to inform them that their Smith Lake link was pointing to another Smith Lake in a totally different county. (often there is more than one lake with the same name). Sadly she found many geographic mistakes in their huge nationwide database.

The creators of that site had never been to these lakes, nor any California National Forests for that matter. If you are looking to find the remote, secluded areas of the golden state, steer clear of big commercial travel web sites that try to cover too much information. Stick with this little, independent, decade old web site, Total Escape for everything outdoors in California.

Support this life-long effort by buying a map from Total Escape, so you will not get lost on these back roads! For a $20 map and a tank of gas, you can have your own, unique road trip in Cali - this weekend!



View Smith Lake in a larger map

California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors Boondock Dirt Roads

RUNNING


against the wind


Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors, Boondock Camps California is Vast and it has more variety, culture, terrain, and micro-climates than most vacation options. This summer sees significant wildfires at Klamath River, so avoid that region, Yreka to Willow Creek. Budget for high gasoline price, pack lots of food an water; and always have a plan B and C for any adventurous road tripping. Campfires are banned on the back roads, which is typical every summer, so find a developed campground if you must have a fire.

Wildflowers are also still blooming into late summer, at higher elevations. The higher the altitude, the later the blooms. DanaMite has also been documenting recent fires on out public lands. See the areas affected by wildfires.

California Escapes

#totalescape

Rural California Directory: Now that you've found this independent California resource, you can discover more local destinations online. Find your own rural place, a home way up in the hills, or just a good camp spot for the night. Discover that perfect desert spot for winter camping, petroglyphs, or the best small town museums. We list it here, all outdoors, all local. Travel the back roads of the west, on the cheap. Camp year round, without the fees, from Baja to Shasta. Find secluded spots. Historic, independent inns to remote yurt resorts, yoga weekends to primitive hot springs, RV resorts, or dispersed camp sites. Hiking trails, kayaking lakes, fishing streams, gold mines and ghost towns, and all the topographic maps to go with.



California Hiking Maps



all local: updated monthly

ancient: 25 years online!

We're still here, thousands of pages and decades later. Way outside the city limits, beyond the county line. No wifi, no smart meters, no gaming addictions, no traffic lights, no city noise. Rural living in California still exist. Hike on the weekends, bike to work, boating mid-week, we have you covered for destinations. Find a new boulder garden, a big waterfall, trailhead or an ancient lava cave. Total Escape - Two whole decades online. Not quite obsolete.

Craving the Wild? Before the tweets, the constant memes and paralysis of our current culture, DanaMite started this travel web site way back in 1996. Catchy phrases like, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did not yet exist.


Total Escape features abundant real photos of real places. Secluded destinations, camping and lodging, examining the best back roads, side routes, the topo maps (to get you out there). Locals-only travel tips, gear reviews, festivals and events. This unique travel site is updated every month, for the past 25 years!

Juicy content specific only to California. Focusing on outdoor destinations, small towns and budget-minded travel since 1996, we've recreated the weekend getaway - without the crowds. Escape the matrix, the city life, the traffic jams and learn how to avoid the tourist traps. Drive on past the factory outlet malls and the water slides, we've got much more to show you. Way out there, on the back roads, and in the backcountry.

Wilderness in California - more nature, less people.

hike. bike. camp. picnic.


Site Founder

camp diva DanaMite

Who is DanaMite?
About

archives, online history

Archives
Local Road Trips

guided camping tours

Guided Trips
California A-Z

small towns, rural calif

Small Towns

Explore the Site


California Hotels
Lodging

historic inns, lodges, indie motels

California Camping
Recreation

outdoor activities, leisure, tours

California Scenic Drives
Journey

travel tips, scenic drives, weather links

Rural California
Destinations

back roads, small towns, wilderness


California Gear
Gear Shop

outdoor equipment, tools, survival gear

Outdoor Maps California
Map Store

state atlas, camping maps topographic

Social Media Pages
Social Links

find us on social media, on occasion

California Wilderness
Outside

blog articles, outdoors in california





Customized Search


© Copyright 1996–2022 Total Escape. All rights reserved.

California Travels



California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors Boondock Dirt Roads

RUNNING


against the wind


Total Escape is California, off the beaten path

California Back Roads, Vacation Outdoors, Boondock Camps California is Vast and it has more variety, culture, terrain, and micro-climates than most vacation options. This summer sees significant wildfires at Klamath River, so avoid that region, Yreka to Willow Creek. Budget for high gasoline price, pack lots of food an water; and always have a plan B and C for any adventurous road tripping. Campfires are banned on the back roads, which is typical every summer, so find a developed campground if you must have a fire.

Wildflowers are also still blooming into late summer, at higher elevations. The higher the altitude, the later the blooms. DanaMite has also been documenting recent fires on out public lands. See the areas affected by wildfires.

California Escapes

#totalescape

Rural California Directory: Now that you've found this independent California resource, you can discover more local destinations online. Find your own rural place, a home way up in the hills, or just a good camp spot for the night. Discover that perfect desert spot for winter camping, petroglyphs, or the best small town museums. We list it here, all outdoors, all local. Travel the back roads of the west, on the cheap. Camp year round, without the fees, from Baja to Shasta. Find secluded spots. Historic, independent inns to remote yurt resorts, yoga weekends to primitive hot springs, RV resorts, or dispersed camp sites. Hiking trails, kayaking lakes, fishing streams, gold mines and ghost towns, and all the topographic maps to go with.



California Hiking Maps



all local: updated monthly

ancient: 25 years online!

We're still here, thousands of pages and decades later. Way outside the city limits, beyond the county line. No wifi, no smart meters, no gaming addictions, no traffic lights, no city noise. Rural living in California still exist. Hike on the weekends, bike to work, boating mid-week, we have you covered for destinations. Find a new boulder garden, a big waterfall, trailhead or an ancient lava cave. Total Escape - Two whole decades online. Not quite obsolete.

Craving the Wild? Before the tweets, the constant memes and paralysis of our current culture, DanaMite started this travel web site way back in 1996. Catchy phrases like, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did not yet exist.


Total Escape features abundant real photos of real places. Secluded destinations, camping and lodging, examining the best back roads, side routes, the topo maps (to get you out there). Locals-only travel tips, gear reviews, festivals and events. This unique travel site is updated every month, for the past 25 years!

Juicy content specific only to California. Focusing on outdoor destinations, small towns and budget-minded travel since 1996, we've recreated the weekend getaway - without the crowds. Escape the matrix, the city life, the traffic jams and learn how to avoid the tourist traps. Drive on past the factory outlet malls and the water slides, we've got much more to show you. Way out there, on the back roads, and in the backcountry.

Wilderness in California - more nature, less people.

hike. bike. camp. picnic.


Site Founder

camp diva DanaMite

Who is DanaMite?
About

archives, online history

Archives
Local Road Trips

guided camping tours

Guided Trips
California A-Z

small towns, rural calif

Small Towns

Explore the Site


California Hotels
Lodging

historic inns, lodges, indie motels

California Camping
Recreation

outdoor activities, leisure, tours

California Scenic Drives
Journey

travel tips, scenic drives, weather links

Rural California
Destinations

back roads, small towns, wilderness


California Gear
Gear Shop

outdoor equipment, tools, survival gear

Outdoor Maps California
Map Store

state atlas, camping maps topographic

Social Media Pages
Social Links

find us on social media, on occasion

California Wilderness
Outside

blog articles, outdoors in california





Customized Search


© Copyright 1996–2022 Total Escape. All rights reserved.

California Travels

Total Escape California Camping

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