Florence Lake rests deep in the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 7,300 feet. Fewer stars on the rating chart may be just what many people are looking for -- no ski boats, no towering shoreline condos, no congested marinas, no crowds -- just a beautiful, serene mountain lake.
Notice for 2017 Southern California Edison was planning to lower the lake level this summer for dam work, but the heavy snowfall has put off their work at least until August.
Snow blocks the road into the lake through the winter and spring. Florence Lake is popular with anglers and boaters who don't want to spend their day dodging other craft. A 15 MPH speed limit ensures a peaceful day on the lake. The scenic beauty of Florence Lake and the surrounding country make it a popular place for camping, hiking, and backpacking.
Like its sister lakes, Edison and Huntington, Florence Lake is owned by the Southern California Edison Company. To reach the lake, drive east from Fresno on Highway 168 and then at Huntington Lake pick up the Kaiser Pass Road. The trip is slow, but once you reach the magnificent lake you will be glad you came.
Florence Lake is a good boating lake for fishermen and anyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of the lake from the water. The pace is slow (15 MPH tops), but it is hard to beat the picturesque beauty of the lake. A ferry runs from one end of the lake to the other a couple of times a day for anyone who wants to enjoy the water without launching their own boat.
Florence Lake has no full service marinas, but the Florence Lake Store rents fishing boats as well as operating the lake ferry. Because of its distance from the large population areas, resources at the lake are limited. Bring everything you will need for your boat with you.
Florence Lake has brown and rainbow trout. Fishing from shore is almost as good as from a boat. A trail leads along the western side of the lake providing good access to many excellent fishing spots. An alternative is to take the ferry to the south end of the lake and fish around the San Joaquin River inlet.
There are no vehicle accessible campgrounds right on the lake, but several are situated nearby. Jackass Meadow Campground is only a few minutes from the lake. Other National Forest campgrounds are scattered about the area, and Dispersed Camping is allowed most places in the Sierra National Forest.
Florence Lake has no lodging of its own, but several resorts are nearby. Back along the road to Lake Thomas A. Edison is the Mono Hot Springs Resort. Across Florence Lake and a few miles upstream via bumpy dirt road is the popular Muir Trail Ranch.
Florence Lake is a beautiful mountain reservoir, flanked by forested mountains and occasional granite outcroppings. Ward Mountain and several other nearby peaks rise to over 12,000 feet. The air is fresh and clear, and often the only sounds you will hear are the wind rustling through the treetops and the lapping of tiny waves against the shore.
|Lake Size:||962 acres|
|Maximum Depth:||142 feet|
|Reservoir Owner:||Southern California Edison|
|Maximum Lake Elevation:||7,327 feet|
|Average Air Temperatures|
|Summer Water Temperature:||60 degrees|
Any real settlements are an hour's drive or more back along the Kaiser Pass Road at Huntington Lake and Shaver Lake. The closest gas station is at Huntington Lake.
Fresno is between two and a half and three hours away. Basic supplies can be purchased at the Florence Lake Store, the Mono Hot Springs Store, and the Vermilion Resort at Lake Edison.
A number of interesting destinations are within easy reach from Lake Edison.