Camping Central Sierra Eldorado National Forest Family REC National Forest Recreation Scenic Route 88 - Carson Pass Highway

Improvements Underway at Eldorado National Forest’s Caples Lake and Silver Lake East Campgrounds

Placerville, Calif. — El Dorado Irrigation District’s (EID) Board of Directors recently approved a contract to begin making improvements to the Eldorado National Forest campgrounds located along Highway 88 at Caples Lake and Silver Lake East. These improvements are requirements of EID’s 40-year hydroelectric operating license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2006.

Planned improvements include widening campground spurs and enlarging selected campsites to accommodate modern recreational vehicles, repairing and repaving existing campground roads, replacing the existing toilets, changing and relocating all faucets, and upgrading the water systems to meet the most current U.S. Forest Service (USFS) design and accessibility standards of the Architectural Barriers Act.


Caples Lake campground, at an elevation of 7,800 feet, is currently closed and will re-open when improvements are completed during the 2020 recreational season. The timing of the opening for the 2020 season is related to weather conditions that will allow warm enough temperatures for construction crews to lay pavement. The short operational season is due to the high elevation where these popular campgrounds are located and construction can be a challenge for these important projects.

Silver Lake East campground, at an elevation of 7,200 feet, will be closed for the 2020 recreation season for construction work. Work is scheduled to begin as soon as the snow melts in 2020 and local weather conditions allow access to the site.  This work is projected to be completed by the end of the 2020 season, as long as there are favorable weather conditions.

Silver Lake East campground is currently open through September 30 for the 2019 recreation season.

Construction work at these high elevation recreation sites is determined by weather conditions that can be unpredictable and as such the construction timeline and schedules could change. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and look at alternative camping locations on the Eldorado National Forest and vicinity if needed.

EID and the USFS will be posting updates to the project schedules as they become available.

Coordination efforts by EID and USFS have brought these projects to realization and we look forward to reopening these well visited campgrounds for all to enjoy. 

About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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