Frog Lake, Red Mountain and Carpenter Ridge | Northern Sierra

Frog Lake, Red Mountain and Carpenter Ridge | Northern Sierra featured image

In 2020, with the acquisitions of Frog Lake, Red Mountain and Carpenter Ridge we were able link the high country of Castle Peak to the wildlands surrounding Carpenter Valley and Independence Lake—creating new opportunities for the public to explore and enjoy the stunning backcountry of the Northern Sierra. This acquisition marks a significant achievement in a series of important acquisitions by The Trust of Public Land over the last several decades including Royal Gorge, Perazzo Meadow, Mt Lola/Cold Stream and Webber Lake.   

Our story in the Northern Sierra is a story of what can be achieved through imagination and collaboration. The acquisition of Frog Lake, Red Mountain and Carpenter Ridge adds 2,914 acres to a network of over 150,000 acres of contiguous protected land in the Northern Sierra, including 38,000 acres in the Truckee River Watershed. Our success has been amplified through a unique collaboration of organizations within the Northern Sierra Partnership.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4BKFPsJqB8

Backcountry adventures  

In the years ahead, the partners plan to build a 15-mile+ long trail from the existing Warren Lake Trail, to connect Castle Peak, Frog Lake, Red Mountain, Lower Carpenter Valley and Independence Lake. By creating new trails and linking existing routes, we open up new landscapes and opportunities for everyone looking to escape the hustle of city life for exceptional outdoor experiences.  

As part of the vision for year-round recreation, there will be a small network of mountain huts so visitors can enjoy the backcountry of the Northern Sierra in all seasons. The historic stone cabin and outbuildings at Frog Lake will serve as the hub of that hut network, which will also include a yurt in Carpenter Valley.

Alpine forested watersheds 

Forested watersheds in the Sierra Nevada are vital resources for communities across California and western Nevada, providing more than half of the water needed for human uses. How those watersheds are managed directly impacts downstream communities. The lands of Frog Lake, Red Mountain and Carpenter Ridge contain a spectacular subalpine lake, mixed conifer forest, aspen groves, and extensive creeks, as well as open slopes with windswept thickets of mountain mahogany, wax currant and wild gooseberry. 

Land conservation protects land from development and disturbance, reducing erosion and sediment impacts on streams. Repairing or removing poorly designed dirt roads has similar beneficial effects, including reducing water treatment costs for downstream utilities. 

Read more about our work in Northern Sierra

Support for this project was provided by Wildlife Conservation Board, the California Resources Agency, U.S. Forest Service – Land and Water Conservation Fund and by numerous donors and foundations.