Sunday, July 15, 2018

ROADTRIP: Angel Lake

Angel Lake is located near Wells, Nevada, and is a beautiful spot for fishing, camping and swimming.

One of the great things about visiting all the Nevada State Parks is getting to hear where all the parks staff likes to go in the areas we visit. On our recent trip to Wild Horse State Recreation Area, we had the pleasure of talking with Andrew about other places we should visit in the Elko area, and he mentioned Angel Lake.

Angel Lake is located just south of Wells in the Humboldt Range of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Andrew warned us that Angel Lake fills up fast and it's easy to see why. The road up to the lake is a beautiful paved drive that climbs to 8,000 feet, which deadends right at the lake ($6 to park). The week we visited, temperatures were climbing past 100 in Fernley, so the cold, clear water of the glacial mountain lake were more than welcome.

The area is a strange mix of jurisdictions, with most of the area being USFS, and the two campgrounds subcontracted to private companies. When we were there, they were only marginally maintained, and not as well as when these facilities are more professionally staffed as with the state parks. We stayed at Angel Lake Campground, the facility located directly adjacent to the lake, which was obviously more heavily used that Angel Creek Campground, located farther down the hill, and paid half price ($8.50) for a site because there was no water available (no explanation was given).

Angel Lake Campground
Angel Lake Campground. See more photos.
So for the price, this was a great site, and the view was spectacular. My complaint with campgrounds holds with this one: They are too close together and you can hear everything. The people closest to us had a loud talker and I have a loud snorer, so we cancelled each other out, but it's annoying. There are no trees for cover either, so you can really see everything as well. The bathrooms were clean and neat, but there were bags of trash piled at pretty regular intervals along the road; I'm not saying the flies were hella crazy only because of this, but it certainly didn't help. Also, the host's area was really... not welcoming, and you are instructed to "see host" before you take a site, so that's not so fun.

Angel Lake Campground
Angel Lake Campground. See more photos.
But all in all, so beautiful and a wonderful mid-week escape from the desert heat. The lake is stocked with trout, but it's really small, so I don't think they probably get to any great size. Boats are allowed without a motor, but again, you aren't going to get a lot of people out there without running into each other. The morning I went out, I was all alone (except for about 50 ground squirrels lined up on the bank drinking), the melting glacier water running down the mountain side and tiny trout babies biting my toes. Heaven.

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