The first inhabitants of the Huntington Lake basin were the Western Mono Indians and later in the 1860’s Valley ranchers used old Indian trails to herd cattle and sheep to the areas lush meadows. Logging operations in the area were set up in conjunction with the 1911 Southern California Edison Company Big Creek Hydroelectric Project.
From Huntington Lake water drops 2,100 feet to Big Creek power house No. 1, and then drop another 1900 feet to Power house No. 2. The Power Houses were producing power as early as 1913 after the three Huntington Lake Dams were mostly completed (later raised). The remarkable project was completely financed by private investors and by 1927 Florence Lake and Shaver Lake were completed along with the fantastic engineering feat of the 13.5 mile Ward Tunnel from Florence Lake to Huntington Lake.
Today, about 1,000 megawatts of power meets the needs of one million homes. Several resorts and private cabin are around the north side of the Lake. Lakeshore Resort & Rancheria Enterprises stay open year around for winter activities of snowmobiling and cross country skiing and provide gas, meals and accommodations for skiing enthusiast at nearby China Peak Ski Resort.
The Billy Creek Guard Station Museum provides a displayed historic presentation of the Huntington Lake area including the Big Creek Project, Native American culture and the Forest Service’s role. It is highly recommended and only about a 4 mile drive from Lakeshore Resort.