Lower Lola Montez Lake is a small,
picturesque lake in the granite-studded landscape west of
Donner Summit and Andesite Peak in the Sierra Nevada.
This lake and its sister lake, Upper Lola Montez Lake,
belong to the
Tahoe National Forest, while much
of the Lola Montez Lakes Trail,
which starts east of the fire station at the I-80 Soda
Springs exit, passes private property. This hiking and mountain
biking trail consists of single-track and gravel-road sections .
Lower Lola Montez Lake rimmed by forest and granite
Lower Lola Montez Lake is a popular destination for both day-trip
visitors and overnight-campers. The shallows next to the wooded
shores entice anglers into close-by fishing of rainbow trout .
The lakes are named for the Irish-born actress and seductive
dancer Lola Montez. She had been the mistress of King Ludwig,
who made her Countess of Landsfeld. Wherever she went, scandals
flourished. Eventually Lola made it to California to join
the gold-rush spectacle, touring the mining camps in the
Sierra foothills and performing on stage [3-5]. She is famous for
her dances during which she enabled vistas underneath her
multi-colored petticoats. But did she ever lift up the folds of
her skirt to step into the blue-green water of one the lakes
that are named after her?
Getting to Lola Montez Lakes Trailhead
The trailhead is located just north of Interstate 80 at the
Soda Springs exit. After exiting the freeway, stay on
(when coming from Truckee) or get to (when coming from Sacramento)
the north side of I-80. There, turn right and follow the paved
road passing the fire station. This road ends at a gate.
Shortly before arriving at the gate, you'll see the shown trailhead
sign saying “Lola Montez Lakes Trail.”
Follow the well-marked route to the Lola Montez Lakes.
You'll reach the lower lake first, just a few steps west of
the junction of the Lola Montez Lakes and
Hole in the Ground Trail.
References and more to explore
Afoot & Afield,
Reno-Tahoe, A comprehensive hiking guide.
1st Edition August 2006, 2nd printing
2008, pp. 82-83.
Dave's Sierra Fishing:
Lower Lola Montez Lake Fishing, Nevada County
The Spider dancer
Sunderland Echo: Racy life of our Lola
WikiSource: The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Montez, Lola