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Silver Lake - Carson Pass 

Silver Lake - Carson Pass Kayaking
Photo Credit Jim Snyder

Silver Lake Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

 Watch the day slowly fade away over the soaring mKayaking Silver Lake Carson Passountains, knowing that new paddling adventures await you each morning at this remarkable paddling paradise. Traveling on the Carson Pass Highway, you’ll encounter some of the most amazing scenery imaginable, as you drive through the Eldorado and Humboldt Toiyabe National Forests.

Silver Lake is one of the most visually dramatic areas in the entire state of California. Paddling enthusiasts can plan on nonstop adventure at this inviting getaway. During the early morning hours as the sun rises over the mountains, perfect reflections of the surrounding terrain are cast onto the lake’s glassy water surface. The lake's mirror-like waters reflect the colors of the sky above, attracting photographers to its picturesque shores.

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Silver Lake rests at 7200’ elevation in the Eldorado National Forest. The lake spans 200 acres in a large granite basin surrounded by a forest of mixed conifers. Silver Lake has numerous exceptionally beautiful coves to explore and a diversity of topography between the upper and lower ends of the lake. An extensive array of rugged mountains covered with pine and fir trees can be seen while paddling this scenic splendor.

With access to the Mokelumne Wilderness and all the surrounding national forest lands, you’ll discover an abundance of photographic opportunities of exquisite landscapes with astonishing vistas. You will witness panoramas of ragged volcanic skylines, lush green meadows, and dazzling timber-covered mountain sides as you glide along the lake’s crystal clear, blue waters.

 From the late spring through early fall there is excellent kayak angling opportunities for trout at sunrise and sunset. The lake’s 5.5 miles of shoreline provides plenty of room for fishing. Visitors to the area can also enjoy picnicking, hiking, boating, horseback riding. Silver Lake is a surprisingly fertile fishery, and supports an abundant population of brown and rainbow trout, as well as some mackinaw and brook trout. The lake is planted yearly with 18,000 rainbow, 6,000 brook and 6,000 brown trout in the 10 to 12 inch class.

The Silver Lake area blooms with bright wildflowers in the summer months, delighting outdoor enthusiasts with their presence around the lakes and high in the mountain meadows. The mild summer air temperatures at Silver Lake range from about 75 to 85 degrees during midday.

The best time to paddle the smooth sparkling water surface is, during the early morning hours, before the wind picks up in the afternoon. Strong afternoon winds commonly occur at Silver Lake. Also, frequent afternoon thunderstorms at this high elevation lake are especially common in the month of August. In the wintertime the lake’s water surface freezes over until mid to late May. The water temperature is extremely cold throughout the entire summer. Winter recreation is just as fantastic, and the views are even more magical when blanketed in white snow.

Average
Temp
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 44 47 51 57 66 75 83 82 75 65 53 44
Low 18 20 24 28 34 40 44 43 37 25 22 17

Open: Silver Lake is closed from approximately October 15th to June 15th, weather permitting.

Fees: There are fees to camp, to launch, and for pets.

The Best Places to Kayak in California Guide BookFacilities: The facilities include swimming, power boating, fishing, sailing, hiking and horseback riding, boat rentals (including kayaks and canoes), a boat launch, marina, grocery store, restaurant, and laundry facilities. Pets are allowed.  Amador Ranger District Ph: 209 295-4251  Eldorado Information Ph: 530 644-6048  

 

 

 

 

 
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