Florence Lake

Elevation 7200'


Vista of beautiful deep blue lakeThis beautiful high sierra lake provides wonderful opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing and horseback riding. Florence Lake also serves as a starting point for wilderness hikers traveling to the John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.


Take Hwy 168 east from Clovis to Huntington Lake. At Huntington Lake turn right on the Kaiser Pass Road (not recommended for large RV's or trailers) and travel to the intersection of the Florence and Edison Lake Roads. Continue straight for 7 miles to the lake. Travel time from Clovis is 2 ½ hours. The Kaiser Pass Road is open for vehicular traffic late May through November. 


Free public boat launching facilities are located at Florence Lake. Sailing is not recommended due to inconsistent winds. Canoeing and kayaking are best done close to shorelines. There is a 15-mile per hour speed limit on the lake.


Camping is available at Jackass Meadow just below Florence Lake on the South Fork of the San Joaquin River. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance of arrival by contacting www.recreation.gov or at 1-877-444-6777. There are active bears in the area so please use the food storage boxes provided in the campgrounds.


The deep crystal blue water of  Florence lake makes it a destination for avid anglers looking to hook-up a rainbow, brown, or eastern brook trout. The limit is five per day, 10 in possession. State fishing regulations apply.  Note special angling restrictions along Boggy and Mono Creeks to protect spawning trout from Lake Edison.

Hiking and Equestrian Trails

Four miles east of the lake hikers and equestrian users can connect to the popular Pacific Crest Trail in the John Muir Wilderness. Permits are required for overnight stay. Ferry service is available for hikers who wish to cross the lake by boat.

Horseback riding and guided pack services are available nearby.

OHV Trails

From the Jackass Meadow Campground you can catch the Hooper Diversion Trail. This route is 2 miles long and is classified as Easiest. It takes 1 hour to drive. This is a popular starting point for people who want to enter the John Muir Wilderness.
Services Visitors will find backpacking supplies, food and re-supply package service at the Florence Lake Store. Boats area also available for rent as well as Ferry service across the lake. Horseback riding and guided services are available from D&F Pack Station and High Sierra Pack Station.

History of Florence Lake

In the early 1900's water and hydroelectric development were dominant forces shaping the landscape across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Construction of Florence Lake across the South Fork of the San Joaquin River was a part of the enormous Big Creek Hydroelectric Project envisioned by John S. Eastwood in 1886. Florence Lake was named after Florence Starr, sister of renowned mountain climber Walter Starr. Today, water flows from Florence Lake through the Ward Tunnel to the Portal Power House at Huntington Lake where it generates electricity.

Also, towering above the Lake is the 11,013’ Mt. Shinn. The peak was name after Charles Shinn who was the first Forest Supervisor of the Sierra National Forest in the early 1900’s. Shinn was a visionary leader who helped shape American forestry at the turn of the century.
More Information Contact the High Sierra Ranger Station at 559.855.5355 or during the summer you can contact the High Sierra Visitor Information Station at 559.877.7173.