Silver Lake (Amador County, California)

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Silver Lake
Silver Lake.jpg
Location of Silver Lake in California, USA.
Location of Silver Lake in California, USA.
Silver Lake
Location of Silver Lake in California, USA.
Location of Silver Lake in California, USA.
Silver Lake
LocationNorthern California
Coordinates38°39′31″N 120°07′07″W / 38.6587447°N 120.1186238°W / 38.6587447; -120.1186238Coordinates: 38°39′31″N 120°07′07″W / 38.6587447°N 120.1186238°W / 38.6587447; -120.1186238[1]
Primary inflowsSilver Fork American River South Fork American River Watershed
Primary outflowsSilver Fork American River
Basin countriesUnited States
Managing agencyEl Dorado Irrigation District
Surface area525 acres (212 ha)
Surface elevation7,200 feet (2,200 m)
IslandsTreasure Island

Silver Lake is a reservoir in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.[1]

It is located within Amador County. It is about 20 mi (32 km) south of South Lake Tahoe and about 8 miles (13 km) west of Carson Pass.[2] The lake surface is 525 acres (212 ha) at full capacity and is at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2,200 m).[3] It is surrounded by Eldorado National Forest and is part of the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) and their Hydroelectric Project 184 system.[4] Snow and ice are common in this area during winter seasons.

It used to be reachable between 1848 and 1863 by taking Old Emigrant Road, now you can access it off of California Highway 88 or known locally as the "Carson Pass Highway".[5]

In the center of the lake is Treasure Island which is only accessible by boat or swimming.

Silver Lake West Recreation Area/Campground[edit]

Silver lake is home to Silver Lake West Campground[6]

This is a first-come-first-served campground with 42 campsites. The campground is open from May until October depending on weather conditions. All campsites contain one to two vehicle parking, fire rings with grill, bear-resistant food storage lockers, a picnic table and some can accommodate for small RVs and motor homes.[7] There is no cell coverage at this campground.

Silver Lake is open for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing for a small fee.[8] There are some available for rent at the Kit Carson Lodge which is located at the north end of the lake.[9] The lodge also offers many other individual or group activities such as gold rush tours and horseback riding through the trails.

Silver Lake Hikes[edit]

There are many trials located near and around Silver Lake, such as

  • Shealor Lake trailhead
  • Granite Lake trail
  • LakeMargaret trailhead
  • Thunder Mountain trailhead
  • Meiss Lake trailhead
  • Frog Lake trailhead

Wildlife & Fishing[edit]

There are many fish that are stocked annually into Silver Lake by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) since 1930. Currently there arr Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss),

Silver Lake is open year-round for fishing with a 5 trout daily take limit and a 10 in possession bag limit[10] Local animals are found along the hiking trails, rim of lake, and in the camp ground such as bears, squirrels, a variety of insects, mountain lions and other small rodents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Silver Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved Jan 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "Search Results - California Department of Fish and Wildlife". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  3. ^ "Fish Planting Schedule". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  4. ^ "Silver Lake | El Dorado Irrigation District". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  5. ^ "Silver Lake, Amador County, California". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  6. ^ "Silver Lake West Campground". Outdoor Project. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  7. ^ "Silver Lake West Campground | El Dorado Irrigation District". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  8. ^ "Silver Lake Fees | El Dorado Irrigation District". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  9. ^ "Kit Carson Lodge - Rustic Silver Lake Cabins & Restaurant". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  10. ^ "BIOS Viewer by CDFW". Retrieved 2019-03-28.