Lobdell Lake By 4WD!

Lobdell Lake By 4WD!

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Lobdell Lake, situated in Mono County NW of Bridgeport CA in the Sweetwater Mountains, offers some great Day-Trips for 4X4 enthusiasts traveling up to the 9,200 ft. high lake. This trip begins just off highway 338 that runs between Wellington Nevada and Bridgeport California.


From highway 338, you turn West on Risue Rd. and start the journey. If you plan to ride ATVs, there are plenty of places to park your rigs right off the highway on Risue Rd.


This trip route is suitable for most stock 4-wheel drive vehicles and covers 21 miles (one-way) to Lobdell Lake. The scenery is breathtaking and elevations range from 6,500 to 9,200 feet with side trips that take you well over 10,000 feet.


After leaving Highway 395, you will travel an easy 7.3 miles on Risue to US forestry Rd. 067 and turn left and travel South up Jackass Creek. This stretch is rocky and can be pretty rough in spots, the scenery being mostly sagebrush and pinion pines.



At the top of Jackass Creek, shortly after crossing the Stateline, keep to the left on what appears to be the main trail to Jackass Springs, a green grassy area where the landscape opens up mostly void of trees for a few miles.


Keep on the main trail through Jackass Flats as the road follows some high ridges now headed more to the East toward upper Desert Creek.


The Trail will descend down toward a grassy area just above Desert Creek where the road forks 7.7 miles from the Risue-067 turnoff. Take the fork to the right to continue to Lobdell Lake, or you can go left into a beautiful Cow Camp just a short distance below to fish, take photos or just have a rest break.


From the fork in the road, you will travel up a steep grade along a high ridge top, after about 3.7 miles there is another minor fork, keep right to the Lake, or you can turn left to climb toward Mount Patterson and view some beautiful high country scenery as a short but challenging 4X4 side trip. Lobdell Lake is only 1.4 miles from this fork where several roads converge at the Lake.


The Lake is actually a reservoir fed by creeks and acts as the head waters of Desert Creek. The reservoir is controlled by some Nevada ranchers who also set the water flow out of the Lake into Desert Creek. You will also see a remote cabin below the lake in the trees.

I try to travel to the lake at least once a year, mostly by ATV. Not much has changed over the years other than a few forest fires and the fact that the lake no longer holds any fish.


Fishing used to be excellent at the lake for Rainbows, Browns, trophy Brookies, Kamloops Trout and Arctic Grayling. I guess the lake has gone dry too many times and they stopped planting it. Hopefully, it will come back someday.


You will find some nice camping spots near the Lake and a lot of beautiful scenery and side-trips to take in. There are several options for the return leg of the trip.


You can return the way you came, or continue south for an easy 10.7 mile ride to Burcham Flats and meet Highway 395 located between


Sonora Pass and Bridgeport. I have made this journey many times and still keep coming back to Lobdell Lake.

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