Teardrop-shaped Silver Lake is one of the surprise snowshoe secrets in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area. Intimately tracing the curving shoreline, this route offers unexpected privacy and a lot of chances to see wildlife such as Steller’s jays, red-tailed hawks, and great horned owls. Bustling with tourists in the warm season, the trek around all or part of snow-clad Silver Lake in the privacy of midwinter is a delightful alternative to Carson Pass, which most snowshoers explore instead. Loaded with views of Martin Point, Thunder Mountain, and other Sierra Nevada peaks, the counterclockwise journey around Silver Lake is occasionally shared by cross-country skiers or even hikers who’ve hopefully waterproofed their boots. The easy, pick-and-choose route is forgiving on days of inclement weather. Unless there are major snow accumulations, be safe and avoid venturing out on the lake. When the snow level is low, granite slabs, big boulders, and miniature rocky beaches are exposed, adding a nice twist to your outing. Silver Lake is also known for its exciting ice fishing.
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