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  • Towser Lake-Towser Lake - Hoover Wilderness

    Towser Lake - Hoover Wilderness

  • Towser Lake-The view from my tent at Towser Lake

    The view from my tent at Towser Lake

  • Towser Lake-Filling up my water bottle at Towser Lake

    Filling up my water bottle at Towser Lake

  • Towser Lake-Our campsite at Towser Lake

    Our campsite at Towser Lake

  • Towser Lake-Towser Lake

    Towser Lake

barbarbar   3/10
barbar   2/10
barbarbarbarbarbarbar   7/10
barbarbarbarbarbar   6/10
barbar   1.6 mi 1-way
Map of Towser Lake in Mono County
Elevation Profile:
Elevation Profile of Towser Lake hike
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    • towser-lake-mc
    • towser-lake-mc
    • towser-lake-mc
    • towser-lake-mc

Towser Lake - (Mono County)
Hoover Wilderness
Pre 2010

Getting There

To reach Towser Lake, get to Highway 120 at the east end of the park, either from Yosemite or from Lee Vining, California. Take Saddlebag Road, which is signed, and follow it uphill over a road that is partly paved and partly improved dirt road. Once you arrive at Saddlebag Lake, you have the luxury of a store, bait shop, restaurant, and keeper of the t-shirt that becomes yours if you get the Sierra slam in the 20 Lakes Loop.

The Hike

To reach Towser Lake, follow the trail from the drop-off point of the Saddlebag Lake ferry northward until you reach Steelhead Lake. Take a sharp left just before Steelhead Lake and follow the terrain, without a distinguished trail, over to the outlet of Cascade Lake. Cross the creek outlet and travel further north a short distance until you reach Towser Lake. Follow the Towser Lake shoreline until you find a good camp site. It will be the lake that is not part of the Cascade Lake drainage. Towser Lake sits alone without inlet or outlet and may be subject to occasional blinking out due to lack of spawning areas. The best camping sites can be found on the north side between Towser and Steelhead Lakes.

The Fishing

Towser Lake is a perfect vantage point for both Stealhead Lake or Cascade lake and is a healthy and plentiful fishery for good-looking Goldens. Drifting a hares ear on the surface (put a little floatant on the leader) and giving it a tiny bit of motion should get some fish to rise. I had to wade out a bit to get to the fish as they seemed to be bunched up towards the middle of the lake. In my opinion, this is some of the coldest water I have waded into.

In the evening when the fish were more aggressive, I skipped a black ant across the surface and pulled in some beautiful little fish. Most of the fish were about 10" long. We had no luck stripping birds nests (of various colors) under the surface. We had no luck using the Panther Martin or a fly with a casting bubble even though I was certain it would work.

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