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Loon Lake Chalet

Eldorado National Forest

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Loon Lake Chalet provides year-round access to excellent backcountry skiing and hiking near Loon Lake, set at an elevation of 6,348 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with great views of the lake and the Sierras. The chalet offers a semi-rustic experience, with 3 levels of accommodation, electricity, hot and cold water, picnic tables, and gas fireplace. Popular activities include fishing, off-road driving, and backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness.


Loon Lake Chalet is situated next to Loon Lake in a granite bowl, and offers year-round, drive-to access for excellent backcountry skiing and hiking. The three-story chalet boasts excellent views of the Sierras and the lake. Though the chalet looks fancy, guests should not not expect hotel luxuries, but rather a semi-rustic experience.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District built the chalet in 1989, originally intended as a day-use winter facility. Due to public demand, the second floor warming room was made available for overnight rental, and a third floor was soon added. 


Popular summer activities include hiking, backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding and off-road driving on the 22-mile Rubicon 4WD Trail. Anglers delight in rainbow and brown trout, while boaters head out for thrilling water skiing on Loon Lake. In winter, the chalet is the focal point of the Loon Lake Winter Recreation Area, which offers many miles of non-groomed backcountry skiing trails.


The chalet has three levels and can accommodate up to 20 guests. It features a large deck off the second floor with a wide stairway accessing the parking area. Vault toilets are attached to the building but are accessed from outside. The bottom floor is the ski patrol room(no public use), the second floor is the common liviing room and the third floor is the sleeping loft. The sleeping loft is equipped with 12 twin size sleeping pads to be placed on the floor when used and stacked up neatly upon check out.

Electricity plus hot and cold water are provided. Garbage service is offered in summer months. The warming room has electric heat and is equipped with picnic tables, benches, a queen-sized futon couch, two wood couches, a gas fireplace and small dryer. The kitchen contains a double sink, hot and cold water, a range top stove, microwave oven and a small under-the-counter refrigerator. Miscellaneous pots and pans are provided but guests are encouraged to bring their own. Additional tables and benches are outside on the deck.

No showers are available. Guests should bring food, sleeping bags, plates, drinking glasses and utensils, garbage bags, flashlights, maps and a compass, first aid supplies and tire chains. Electrical outlets may be used for crock pots, microwaves, coffeemakers, electric frying pans and similar small appliances. Click here for more information about the chalet.

Natural Features

The chalet is nestled in the forest on the western edge of Loon Lake at an elevation of 6,348 feet. The lake spans 76,200 acres. Sub-alpine red fir and lodgepole forests, granite bowls and a spectacular view of the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains characterize the area.

Nearby Attractions

The nearest general store is an hour away at Ice House Reservoir. In winter, the nearest town with a general store is about two hours away in Pollock Pines.
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Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Eldorado National Forest.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
Loon Lake
Eldorado National Forest
0.6mi 84%
Red Fir
Eldorado National Forest
1.6mi 74%
Van Vleck Bunkhouse
Eldorado National Forest
3.5mi 75%
Gerle Creek
Eldorado National Forest
3.9mi 87%
Robbs Hut
Eldorado National Forest
6.0mi 68%
Wench Creek
Eldorado National Forest
6.9mi 81%
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