Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake Trail

Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake Trail

Caples Lake in the Carson Pass area off Highway 88 is known for fishing, hiking and camping opportunities. At 7,800 feet the water is always cold, so don’t plan on much swimming! A new, $2.5 million boat-launch facility is available on the east side of the lake. A trail starting at the lake’s western tip follows the shore for 2.5 miles before turning south and climbing 800 feet to Emigrant Lake, an azure cirque at a breathtaking 8,600 feet of altitude. Bring lunch and plenty of sunscreen for this popular day hike.

A developed Forest Service campground is available at Caples Lake. Backpackers should note that camping is not allowed within 300 feet of Emigrant Lake, a popular destination for backpackers. The trailhead parking area is five miles west of Carson Pass Summit at the Caples Lake spillway.

Your dog may accompany you off-leash on this and other trails in the Eldorado National Forest so long as she is under strict voice control and does not harass wildlife or other hikers.

Dogs are not allowed at Caples Lake Resort.

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