Kirkwood Lake

Kirkwood Lake Campground

kirkwood granite

Central Sierra Nevada mountains
Kirkwood Lake is west of Kirkwood Ski Resort;
west of Silver Lake @ Carson Pass Hwy 88

Kirkwood, CA
El Dorado National Forest

Inside the granite maze of rock known as Caples Creek, you may find this small lake, just off the highway. Paved access camp ideal for quiet weekends – fish, hike, stargaze and relax. Snow is deep in these parts of the Sierra, so the campground closes annually for winter.


No motor boats
No RV or motorhomes
No horse trailers

Small Camping Lake

Kirkwood Campground

• Elevation: 7,600′
• Number of Sites: 12
• Vehicle Accessibility: No RVs
• Campsites Reservation: No
• Campsite Fee: Yes
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Season: June – October
• hiking trailheads, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoe, rock climbing

Bears are active in this region, so use the metal bear boxes provided to store all food items.

Canoe Lakes

Extra precautions should be taken with human waste around fragile eco systems, like lakes and meadows. Use the new bathroom, instead of the bushes (or granite crack).

new toilets

new toilets

pipe drinking water

piped drinking water, a camp luxury

El Dorado Camping

Primitive Camping in El Dorado County

Camping Rivers

More & more people are venturing off the beaten touristy path of Gold Country. Getting outta the developed campgrounds to discover the joys of dispersed back woods camping is a new adventure, not to be taken lightly.

With truck or SUV ownership come some great rewards! Order a good map & go find some dirt roads. Waterfalls, dense forests, secluded creekside camp sites & more await you. Obtaining a camp fire permit is mandatory for this style of camping. Campfires are often banned in California, due to extreme wildfire danger. Since the gold mining foothills are usually oak and dry grass, with large steep river canyons, extra caution should be given. Always know the fire conditions before you build a campfire. Caldor Camping

Discover the hidden back roads: like Caldor Road off of Grizzly Flat Rd. – up above Placerville CA

Hey, now this is what we’re talking about. Plenty great dispersed camping down by the Cosumnes River & Consumnes Mine Rd. There are hundreds of miles of small roads to discover back behind this historic mining area. Rivers, waterfalls & decent fishing too. Make sure you clean up some litter. This is the only price you pay for the beauty, serenity, peace & quiet & no neighbor campers next to you.

Out exploring these parts, you may run into a dead end road that peters out at some Private Property, which is usually signed & fenced. Make nice with the old crazy miner dude & turn your ass around politely, everything will be okay as soon as you are not within gun shot of him. Yes, there still are plenty of small time mining experts tucked away back here in the hills.

river camping
Premium and secluded river side camp sites in El Dorado National Forest

Plenty creeks and rivers run throughout this central Sierra region, so you can fish all day – until your hearts desire. River rafting and river kayaking opportunities are also great reasons to get wet.

Several mountain reservoirs around offer camping and boating too. Eldorado lakes are listed below.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

  • Caples Lake @ Carson Pass
  • Ice House Reservoir
  • Jenkinson Lake – US Hwy 50
  • Kirkwood Lake
  • Lower Bear River Res. – South Shore Campground
  • Salt Springs Reservoir
  • Silver Lake @ Carson Pass
  • Union Valley Reservoir
  • nearby towns –

    El Dorado Forest Maps –

    El Dorado Campgrounds

    El Dorado Camping

    Kirkwood Lake

    Kirkwood Lake, California

    El Dorado National Forest
    Carson Pass Hwy 88, Ebbetts Pass Hwy 4, Gold Rush Country
    Sierra Nevada Mountains, Alpine Lakes

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
    Airport Flat Campground 5300′ 16 vault no Ice House Reservoir
    Azalea Cove Campground 4900′ 10 vault lake Union Valley Reservoir
    Big Meadows Campground 5300′ 54 pines flush piped handicap access
    Blue Lake Lower Camp 8100′ 16 vault piped PG&E; fish, boat, camp
    Blue Lake Dam Upper 8200′ 25 vault piped PG&E; fish, boat, camp
    Caples Lake Campground 7800′ 35 pines vault piped fishing lake
    Capps Crossing Campground 5200′ 12 pines vault piped gold panning
    China Flat Campground 4800′ 25 vault piped Silver Fork Rd
    Dru Barner Campground 3200′ 16 flush piped equestrian trails
    Gerle Creek Campground 5300′ 50 pines vault piped handicap access
    Fashoda Campground 4900′ 30 vault piped handicap access
    Hell Hole Campground 5200′ 10 vault piped walk-in
    Upper Hell Hole Campground 4600′ 15 vault lake Hell Hole Reservoir
    Ice House Reservoir Camp 5500′ 83 vault lake handicap access
    Jones Fork Campground 4900′ 10 vault lake Union Valley Reservoir
    Kirkwood Campground 7600′ 12 pines vault piped narrow road; fishing
    Lone Rock Campground 4800′ 5 vault lake Union Valley Reservoir
    Loon Lake Campground 6500′ 62 pines vault piped equestrian; group site too
    Lovers Leap Campground 5800′ 21 pines vault piped rock climbing
    Lumberyard Campground 6500′ 5 pines vault RV access
    Middle Creek Campground 8200′ 5 pines vault piped fishing creek
    Middle Fork Cosumnes River 6780′ 5 vault crk PG&E, swim, fish
    Mokelumne River Camp 3200′ 8 vault crk swim
    Moore Creek Campground 3200′ 8 vault crk swim
    Northshore Campground 6378′ 15 vault lake Loon Lake Campground
    Northwind Campground 5500′ 9 vault lake Ice House Reservoir
    Pardoes Point Campground 5900′ 10 pit no Bear River Reservoir Rd
    Pipi Campground 3900′ 51 pit no handicap access
    Sand Flat Campground 3900′ 29 pit no fishing
    Silver Fork Campground 5500′ 35 vault piped fishing
    Silver Lake Campground 7200′ 62 pines vault piped boating lake
    South Fork Campground 5200′ 17 vault piped fishing
    South Shore Campground 5900′ 22 vault piped Bear River Reservoir
    Strawberry Point Camp 5500′ 10 vault lake Ice House Reservoir
    Stumpy Meadows Campgr 4400′ 10 vault lake handicap access
    Sugar Pine Campground 6000′ 10 vault no boating
    Sunset Campground 4900′ 131 vault piped boating
    Wench Creek Campground 4900′ 100 vault crk boating
    Wentworth Springs Camp 6200′ 8 vault crk 4WD recommended
    West Point Campground 4875′ 8 vault lake Union Valley Reservoir
    White Azalea Campground 3500′ 6 vault crk Mokelumne River
    Wolf Creek Campground 8200′ 42 vault piped boating, fishing
    Woods Lake Campground 4900′ 25 vault pump handicap access
    Yellowjacket Campground 4900′ 40 vault piped boating, fishing

    see more about El Dorado National Forest

    waterfalls

    nearby towns –

    El Dorado Forest Maps –

    Silver Lake @ Carson

    silkysilver

    Silver Lake @ Carson Pass

    (Alpine Co)

    7250′ elev.
    on Highway 88 near Carson Pass, California
    El Dorado National Forest
    near Kirkwood Ski Resort & the Bear River

    Large, granite, alpine lake in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains. Abundant trout fishing, swimming, camping, boating, hiking, floating, kayaking, picnic sites, and high altitude backpacking trailheads. Shoreline fishing is just as good as by boat. Fishing boats can be rented at Kit Carson Lodge.

    granitesilver

    The high altitude location makes this a winter wonderland half the year w/ snow ski resorts nearby! It is an awesome summertime family vacation destination as well. Fishing is excellent through Autumn months. Campgrounds close up shop in October, generally when the snow starts. High Sierra – Deep snow pack means they will not reopen until May (at the earliest).

    Carson is major Sierra Pass highway, but it closes for big snows, so always check CalTrans before you make the drive up the mountain. Carson Pass is California State Route 88, which connects the Gold Country (on the western slopes) to the South Lake Tahoe region (on the eastern border), near Nevada.

    Check Current Highway Conditions
    dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi?roadnumber=88
    Cal Trans 800-427-7623

    Silver Lake Day Use Areas

    fishing lakes picnic grounds fishing lakes boat ramp

    These areas listed below are operated by El Dorado Irrigation District and they do charge a day-use fee for many of the amenities provided. Boat Launch fee? Yep. Parking fee? Maybe. Picnic stop! How much? Eat fast!

    • Ferguson Point is located on the north shore of Silver Lake: 10 picnic tables & vault toilets.
    • Sandy Cove is on NW shore of Silver Lake: Wheel-chair access to lake edge, 5 picnic tables, piped water & vault toilets.
    • Oyster Creek Rest Area, up along Highway 88, 1 mile NE of Silver Lake: 10 picnic tables & vault toilets.

    kaysresortsign

    Historic Memories: Camp Minkalo, Camp Silverado & Kays Silver Lake Resort are all closed now.

    National Forest Campgrounds in this lake vicinity:

    East Silver Lake Campground – 62 sites
    West Silver Lake Campground – 42 sites
    Kirkwood Lake Campground – 12 sites

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    campground RV campground

    Silver Lake Campground NFS

    • Elevation: 7200′
    • Number of Sites: 62
    • Vehicle Accessibility: RV 30′
    • Campsite Reservations: Yes
    • Camp Fee: Yes
    • Toilet: Vault
    • Length of Stay: 14 Days
    • Season: June – October
    • Trailheads: Hidden Lake, Sandy Cove

    NFS
    El Dorado National Forest
    Amador Ranger District
    26820 Silver Drive
    Pioneer, CA 95666
    209-295-4251

    silver from highway

    Older lodges, resorts, camps and cabins at Silver Lake were mainly built in the 1920s, while the oldest resort dates back to the mid 1800s. Wow, how cool is that! Much history in this mountain region w/ Kit Carson Emigrant Trail, all stories totally worth exploring.

    Kit Carson Lodge
    Rustic Silver Lake Cabins & Restaurant
    kitcarsonlodge.com
    209-258-8500

    Historic Plasse’s Resort
    One of the Oldest Camps in the USA
    plassesresort.com
    209-258-8814

    Gold Miners

    See all Silver Lakes in California

    Central Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Small Camping Lake

    Kirkwood Lake Campground

    Central Sierra Nevada: Sequoia to Donner

    Although Sequoia trees can be found in the southern Sierra, the National Park is located more in the mid-Sierra. From the Kern River to Kings River,  the southern stretch of Sierra Nevada is home to the southern most Sequoia groves, the longest river in California, and the granite dome wonderlands that overlook the Mojave Desert.

    The Tehachapi range is on the tail end to the south w/ Hwy 58, while Kings Canyon Park borders more High Sierra Wilderness to the north end. If you are heading up from SoCal, this is the most accessible portion of the Sierra Nevada range.

    While the Kern River Valley can get hot in the summer months, the rivers, streams & higher elevations surrounding it, make it a prime destination for folks seeking cooler mountain breezes, creeks and dark skies. Springtime is one of the best times of year to visit the Kern River. While summer is best for the high wilderness areas, since the snow usually doesn’t melt until May.

    Mountain Home State Forest is a little known haven for campers & hikers seeking less-crowded Sequoias. With the Tule River, fishing ponds, waterfalls, swimming holes & meadows, this place provides a nice solitude to the busier parks to the north. Balch Park is a county park w/ large campground, that sits adjacent to Mountain Home Forest.

    Both National Parks are both busy in summer & tourists can be seen lining the Highway 198. Crystal Cave & Boyden Cavern both offer daily tours during the warmer months. Sequoia National Park is open during winter months & is popular among winter sports enthusiasts. Kings Canyon National Park & Hwy 180 are also open during winter, with winter sports recreation.

    Big Meadows Road (14S11) offers great camping options for those that wish to camp outside the National Park boundaries.

    Sequoia groves

    Sequoia forest & parks –

    Sequoia National Forest
    Mountain Home State Forest
    Sequoia National Park
    Kings Canyon National Park

    Sequoia maps & trails –

    Sequoia towns nearby –
    Alta Sierra, Camp Nelson, Fairview, Kennedy Meadows, Kernville, Lake Isabella, Mineral King, Ponderosa, Springville, Three Rivers, Wofford Heights

    Sierra Nevada

    Central Sierra Nevada forest & parks –


    Sierra National Forest

    Yosemite National Park

    Stanislaus National Forest

    Eldorado National Forest

    Tahoe National Forest

    Sierra Nevada

    Central Sierra Highways –

    Central Sierra Nevada maps & trails –

    Rancheria Falls

    Rancheria Falls, Huntington Lake, CA

    Central Sierra Nevada towns nearby –
    Bass Lake, Fish Camp, Huntington Lake, Pine Flat Reservoir, Shaver Lake

    stanislaus sonora pass

    Gold Country California

    is located in the western foothills of the Central Sierra Mountains

    Historic Highway 49 is the Gold Country Hwy, which begins down near Yosemite and leads north, thru the foothills, up to Sierra Buttes & ends out near Loyalton, CAgold miner