Vermilion Valley Resort at Edison Lake

Deep in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains, the Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR) sits on the shores of Thomas Edison Lake, one of the largest lakes in the region. Just a short hike off the historic Pacific Crest and John Muir trails, VVR is a major resupply and layover spot for hikers who travel here from around the world to hike these internationally known trails.

Vermilion Valley Resort is one of the most remote locations one can drive to in the High Sierra. The VVR is located in the Sierra National Forest in the John Muir Wilderness. The last 27 miles of winding, often single lane mountain road adds to the allure and excitement as it is an adventure just to travel into the region by vehicle. The difficulty in reaching the VVR by vehicle has kept impact to the region at a minimum.

Edison Lake and its tributaries are a trout fisherman's paradise. Wild German Brown and Rainbow Trout are the primary fish in the lake. In a day, a flyfisherperson can hike or ride horseback into wilderness areas that have outstanding Eastern Brook and Golden Trout.

The Vermilion Valley Resort is surrounded by incredible vistas, with the Silver Divide and Graveyard Basin to the north and Recess Peak and Volcanic Knob to the south. Guests at the lodge will experience incredible scenery from almost any location on the property.

The resort itself consists of five tent cabins, yurt, four motel rooms, two 30' RV trailers, a camp store, full-service restaurant, six-room shower/bathroom building, laundry room, and hiker camping area. The resort is off the grid and electricity is supplied by generators 15 hours a day.

2015 note: California is in year four of a severe drought and Lake Thomas Edison is at historic lows. Fishing remains excellent and we are encouraging catch and release to maintain the fishery. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, star gazing and general relaxation and enjoyment of the spectacular high Sierra are not affected by the drought!

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Latitude: 37.37633 Longitude: -119.012597 Elevation: 7670 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jim Clement

Lodging Style and Amenities

The Vermilion Valley Resort offers several choices of lodging from the basic canvas wall tent cabins to motel units with kitchenettes and private bathrooms. Or choose one of our fully appointed and secluded yurts or comfortable RV trailers.

For those hungry hikers and campers, we offer fresh baked pies and wholesome hearty meals at the restaurant which is open to both guests and the general public.

VVR Camp Store offers basic grocery supplies, hiker resupply foods and supplies, ice and fishing gear, t-shirts, maps & books. And, most importantly, we offer one of the largest selections of micro-brews and locally-brewed beers in the Sierra Nevada.

For the thru-hikers enjoying the Pacific Crest or John Muir trails, we offer a free camping in our backpacker camping area. For the hikers we offer shower and laundry facilities, free food from the hiker barrel, and hiker resupply box storage & pick-up services.

The lodge was built in 1964 and has been added on-to and remodeled several times over the years. It is rustic but clean with modern amenities (as much as possible as remote as we are). We offer satellite internet (limited), satellite phone, a full-service restaurant, hot showers & laundry, electricity is generated for about 15 hours a day, and lots of friendly faces and excellent customer service. Most people gather around our nightly bonfire for conversation and laughter, then wander off to look at the stars in the clear night air.

Seasons Open

VVR opens the week before Memorial Day. We close early to mid-October when the streams close to fishing.

Recreational Opportunities

For access to Lake Edison, we offer fishing boat rentals outfitted with Honda 4-stroke motors. For paddling around the shoreline of rock islands and coves, we offer kayaks and canoes.

For the fly fishing enthusiast we offer clinics for novices and experienced anglers, including women only clinics held in June and September.

The fishing guide services range from 1/2 day to full day outings with fun and knowledgeable experienced guides. Or, horse pack into the back country on a multi-day trip for some of the finest Golden Trout fishing in the Sierra Nevada.

Hikers and campers can take the Edison Queen water taxi across the lake to get to the Mono Creek headwaters and PCT and JMT hiking trails.

Located just across Boggy Creek is the USFS Vermilion Campground, a wonderful family campground located in the pines overlooking the lake. Or experience the wilderness by setting up camp at one of the many no-fee campsites around the lake. These are accessible only by boat, ferry or foot.

For those hikers or horseback campers looking for a grand trans-Sierra Nevada trip, many hike over from the eastern Sierra trailhead; Rock Creek / Mosquito Flats. Climb up and over Mono Pass (12,035') and spend a night exploring the John Muir Wilderness between Third and Fourth Recess in Mono Basin.

For the trail or endurance runner we have become a destination point for those hearty souls starting at Mammoth Lakes or Rock Creek as it requires minimal logistical support (daypack only) to access our lodge. After a hot shower, good food and drink, fun camaraderie with the other hikers, and a comfortable bed, the next morning dawn cheers you on for more miles.

Rate Range

Lodging starts at $67.50 for tent cabins to $95.00 and up for rooms/trailers.

Driving Directions

Best directions are located on our website

NOTE:  Do not use Mapquest or other GPS directed driving instructions. You will find yourself  "lost". Print our directions and you'll find yourself  "here" with no additional adventure.

Locally or Family Owned Business Notes

Since 2002, Jim Clement has owned and operated this wonderful piece of earth called Vermilion Valley. Jim and Vickie live on-site during the season and then reside on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Lakes during the winter months.

Jim and Vickie have dedicated themselves to creating a family and hiker friendly facility where people can wander in off the trail or that darn hard road and feel right at home enjoying a true wilderness experience.

Jim likes to compare the VVR to those old outposts in the middle of no where, when people would come off the wagon trail to share trail information, trade for some food and supplies and continue their journey. Jim states, "We have been honored to have shared in the journeys and memories of so many wonderful, enthusiastic, and just plain interesting people from around the world. These past twelve years in the High Sierra have been nothing short of a privilege."

Annually we see many of the same Mono and Paiute families hiking over the Sierra to meet in the middle for trading purposes as they've done for many years. It is a great delight to meet entire families coming off the trail, from grandparents to small children, all honoring a tradition. Mono Hot Springs (5 miles away) is a special place to the Mono tribe, and offers lodging, open hot tubs in the meadows, and private hot tubs. Mono Hot Springs is accessible by vehicle or by hiking.

Pet Friendly Notes

Very Pet Friendly. On any given day you'll find a gathering of dogs hanging around the porch or patio, chasing sticks in the lake and just enjoying a dog's life. Good dogs are welcome for a small fee.


I pass through here every year when hiking the John Muir Trail. Always a treat and an adventure.

Bill, 4/16/2011

VVR at Edison is such a great place to meet new folks from all walks of life, have a great time together, and use as a landing pad for fishing, hiking or just ’getting away'.

Ron Hill, 4/17/2011

My family loves Edison Lake and VVR. It's always a great place for us to get away and hang out. Friendly staff, good food and warm atmosphere.

Gabrielle Kant, 4/25/2011

Have long distanced hiked 3 times thru California on the PCT and have always enjoyed the stop, owners, great food, and hiker friendly attitude at VVR. Will see you next Sept.

Floater, 11/26/2014

I applaud VVR for recommending catch and release for ALL fish, big or small. Take a quick picture. Try to keep your fish in the water at all times.

Dave Bech, 2/22/2015

My Uncle Elmer Riblett ran the Resort in the 70s and let me stay the summer of "73" and the only chores I had were running to Shaver Lake once a week for nightcrawlers ,And keeping the cold cases filled in the Store ,I helped on the Boat Rentals and got to ride the Ferry to the upper end to pick up back packers off the J. Muir Trail , What a Summer for an 18 year old.

Dennis Riblett, 6/20/2016

Can you get from Vermillion Family Resort to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite?

Warren, 12/15/2016

Any date on opening of kaiser pass road? I fish for big browns!

Nicholas Coquillette, 4/29/2018

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