Fresno County, Central California

Lake Thomas A. Edison

Lake Thomas A. Edison

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Places to Visit Near
Lake Edison

A number of great destinations are within easy reach from Lake Edison.

  • Ansel Adams Wilderness and John Muir Wilderness Trails from Lake Edison lead to scenic destinations such as the Devils Bathtub and Graveyard Lakes.
  • Pack into the Wilderness in Style with Mules and Horses from the nearby High Sierra Pack Station
  • 4-Wheeling - OHV:   Onion Springs, Bear Diversion, and Hooper Diversion OHV routes - OHV Routes
  • Discover nearby Mono Hot Springs.
  • Take a ride on the Vermilion Valley Ferry


Photo of Lake Thomas A. Edison

Lake Thomas A. Edison

Lake Thomas A. Edison is tucked away deep in the Sierra Nevada at the end of a long, narrow, winding road. It is about a three hour drive from Fresno. The rewards of reaching Edison are a pristine mountain lake without crowds and miles of surrounding wilderness. The entire lake is virtually yours. A genial, rustic lakeside resort provides a boat taxi to the far end of the lake. A nearby pack station can set you up on an overnight trip into the adjacent wilderness. Lake Thomas A. Edison is a great place for fishing, hiking, or just relaxing.

Lake Edison is operated by the Southern California Edison Company. The lake rests at an elevation of 7,600 feet and is flanked on two sides by the John Muir Wilderness.


Lake Edison has a free public launch ramp at the south end of the lake. There is a 15 MPH speed limit on the lake. Most of the people who use the lake are in fishing boats, canoes or kayaks. Sailors usually find the wind too inconsistent for good sailing. Heavy gusts can come up quickly and pose a hazard to unwary boaters.


Lake Edison has no full service marinas, but you can rent fishing boats and kayaks from the friendly people at the Vermilion Valley Resort.


Lake Edison offers good fishing for German brown, rainbow, and brook trout. The beautiful scenery and lack of crowds add to the enjoyment of fishing at Edison. Fly fishing is excellent in the surrounding streams. Fly Fishing Clinics are offered by Vermilion Valley Resort.


There are several campgrounds near the lake. Vermilion Campground is located close to the lake and the Vermilion Resort.   Mono Creek and several other campgrounds are situated nearby.


The Vermilion Resort provides the only lodging available right at Lake Edison. It caters to anglers and backpackers and is known for its friendly, casual atmosphere. A few miles away is the Mono Hot Springs Resort.


Lake Thomas A. Edison ranks among the most beautiful of California's recreation lakes. Northeast of the lake the summits of the Silver Divide rise above 11,000 feet in the clear Sierra sky. Mature pine forests stand along the shores of the lake while fresh mountain streams cascade from the surrounding slopes.


Lake Thomas A. Edison
Lake Size: 1,853 surface acres
Maximum Depth: 120 feet
Length: 4.7 miles
Shoreline: 11 miles
Dam Construction: 1954
Reservoir Owner: Southern California Edison
Maximum Lake Elevation: 7,643 feet
Average Air Temperatures
  spring: 55 degrees
  summer: 74 degrees
  fall: 65 degrees
  winter: 46 degrees
Summer Water Temperature: 60 degrees

Nearby Communities

The closest communities of any size are back at Huntington Lake and Shaver Lake, an hour to an hour and a half away. Fresno is a 3 hour drive to the west.

Supplies can be purchased at the little stores at the Vermilion Resort, Mono Hot Springs, and Florence Lake. The High Sierra Ranger Station is located 7 miles back on the Kaiser Pass Road.

California's Greatest Lakes

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