Duck, Duck, Goose!

Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada

Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin

Well, are you feeling lucky? Okay, not the best question to ask in 2020. But if you’re willing to roll the dice and try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds, make a Plan A, and have a Plan B, C, and D. And try to get Goose Lake, where there are just 14 sites. Almost all of them are on the lake.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Some sites are located closer to the highway, but it’s a small price to pay ($20 a site, to be exact) and the traffic is usually tame at night. No motorized boats are allowed on the lake, so lounging is quite peaceful. There are three entranceways to Goose Lake Campground, and they come up quickly one after the next.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

If you get a site, set up camp and some hammocks and chairs and relax or take a dip in the lake. We didn’t see a single goose at Goose Lake, but we saw several ducks. If Goose Lake Campground is full, try Snag Lake or Gold Lake or Lakes Basin Campground. There’s also Sardine Lake Campground. FYI, there’s no cell reception in this area (for that, you’ll have to hike to some peaks, and even then it’s spotty at best). Good luck!

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Secret Sierra” Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss camping at Goose Lake and their explorations of the Lakes Basin.

Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin

TIP: Checkout for campsites is noon, but people vacate many of the campsites by 10 a.m. Arrive early for best chances.

Goose Lake camping is $20 per night. Pay at the information kiosk at the northern entrance. There is dispersed camping in the area, but no campfires are allowed and you need a permit for gas stoves. Also, be prepared for campfires in designated campgrounds not to be allowed during periods of high fire danger. Bring your own water, there is not water at this campground.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam It All

    The hills have gone green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and this 7.5-mile lollipop loop hike passes through some of Mount Tam’s lushest spots, with bridges, creeks, a waterfall, and big views.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Wildflower Hiking Guide

    California’s wildflowers will be lovely this spring! So how do you find the best in bloom? Check out POST’s complimentary Wildflower Guide to find the best hiking trails with wildflowers.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Ohlone Time

    Keep this epic East Bay hike on your radar for wildflowers and a waterfall that only comes to life after rain. Get wayyy back in the Ohlone Wilderness among big hills and scenery, and Murietta Falls.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Truly Grand Day Hike

    One of the best spring day hikes in the Grand Canyon? See layer upon layer of the park’s grandeur—including the river—on this 3-mile (one-way) journey to Skeleton Point via the South Kaibab Trail.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Eucalyptus Loop

    Forest bathing among Australian trees and biting into tasty Australian meat pies—head to the 3.25-mile Eucalyptus Loop in Chino Hills and end with Aussie meat pies at a great local bakery.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Stairstruck in Hollywood

    Beachwood Canyon in Hollywoodland has an action-packed adventure with A-list workouts, big-budget views, and a stair-studded cast. Running time is 1.25 miles with five staircases

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.

    View