Independence Lake Campground and Picnic Area is a non-fee campground and picnic area where reservations are not required. There are 5 single sites. This area is accessible for a season that varies usually between July through October. Sites are handicapped accessible. Campground amenities include 9 tables and grills, toilets, and livestock facilities. No drinking water or trash service is available. Nearby Independence Lakes Trail (#35) is 3.1 miles to the Lake. Only non-motorized travel is authorized. The first mile is rocky, however the remainder is a reasonable grade with switchbacks to the first of four lakes in the alpine cirque basin.
Fish Your National Forests: This site can be accessed by Passenger Car; Fish available include: Trout; Types of fishing available include: Wade, Shore, Non-motorized boat, Float tube, Fly, Spin, Bait;
Road is a little rough to get here. We set up camp in the early evening. Hot and the flies were pretty thick. Evening came and it was perfect! Only two other tents that we could barely even see from our campsite. Felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Loved hearing the creek as we tucked in for the night. The hike the next morning to the lake was a great challenge! There is an unmarked fork at about a mile and half in… go right! We hiked to the second lake. My son fished with hopes of catching a grayling. He took the winning photo of the lake!
Although reluctant to share, I absolutely enjoy visiting this area. June through August are it's most popular season for visitors. There's a bathroom and base camp available at the start of the trailhead. What goods you pack in with you must go out with you. There is no access to dumping trash. It's a 2.5 mile hike to the first lake. It inclines all the way up. You are treated with beautiful back country views, met with several switch backs before reaching the first lake. There are 3 lakes and past the 3rd lake you are able to hike up to the top towards the cliff rocks where you can see the view down the lakes where ot loops back down to the 2nd lake. I have not hiked up that part, but I hear it's challenging, so be sure to have good hiking shoes. Based off my experience, the hike up to the lakes is dog friendly and baby carrying friendly. Fishing is also available as they refill the lakes every year.
First and foremost this campground needs a high clearance vehicle to reach and is best visited in late summer fall as it is very marshy there earlier in the year.
The campground has permanent fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets. The campgrounds are pretty close together but we were the only ones there so it didn't really matter. Nearby is a stream to cool off in and a hike to the top of Independence Peak can give you an amazing 360 of the surrounding area!