Skier’s Summer Delight: A Backpacking Adventure to Find the Sierra’s Fountain of Youth

Skiers and snowboarders hit a bit of a stage of depression in the late weeks of June. Although some ski resorts can stay open as late as July, the snow can be slushy and hidden rocks can scrape up your gear. But when the timing’s right, typically in the month of July, the winter riders can head deep into the Sierra to find a pond skimming delight – The Fountain of Youth.

The Fountain of Youth is a small pond consisting of strictly snowmelt that appears near the top of the Sierra Nevada just west of South Lake Tahoe every summer. Sitting next to a large hill above, it’s the perfect place for a natural pond skimming adventure.

While the exact location isn’t muttered for fear of a tourist explosion, the pond sits in the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Aloha, and anyone who wants to see it will have to work for it. The 3-mile hike to Aloha from Echo Lake is a trek in itself before venturing a few more miles up the mountain above the lake to locate the pond. It was originally discovered and named by Chris Gallardo, founder of, who said “If I go every year I know it’ll keep me young.”

Here’s a video that shows you the entire journey and experience of the Fountain of Youth:

When stoke seekers make it to the bright blue pond, they can achieve the perfect backcountry pond skim session, with some people even building a jump at the end for ultimate stoke. Here’s some recent photo/videos of the Fountain of Youth:


Not everyone makes it across the pond haha including myself. Skiers (@c0nnery @jtholmesjr and myself crashing at the end) ##UltraSmoothMoves ##fyp ##ski

♬ Low Rider – War

I bet you can’t ski across that mountain lake, and do a backflip with one ski and land it! ##holdmybeer ##bigair ##skiing ##waterskiing ##backflip ##foryou

♬ Pompeii – Bastille

If you want to go to the Fountain of Youth, you’ll have to research it on your own to find the location. We won’t be posting it here. You’ll also have one heck of a time hiking to it. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you may live forever in the lore of the pond skimming treasure.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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