Hidden Gem Just East of Kirkwood and Caples Lake
Discover Woods Lake near Kirkwood. If you have traveled Highway 88 to Lake Tahoe or Visited Kirkwood and Caples Lake in the past you may have driven right by one of the hidden gems of the Carson Pass and Eldorado National forest.
A small lake great for shoreline fishing or a morning kayaking trip, woods lake is Typically open by July for summer Camping up until October seasonally. During winter month’s locals will snowshoe or cross country ski back into the lake area from the highway and the lucky few who have family cabins have been known to visit in the deep of winter for some exclusive backcountry skiing below Winnemucca Lake and Elephant’s ack or round top mountains.
Woods Lake history also can be found with walks around the lake or traveling up the trail towards Round top Lake for a visit to the old mining claim above the lake.
During the Summer Season Hikers pack the lot early for hiking trips up to Round top Lake, Winnemucca Lake and Fourth of July Lake. And early season Hikers find this region especially photogenetic as the wild flowers are abundant on many areas along the trails.
63.5 miles east of Jackson on Highway 88 and 2 miles south
of the highway near Carson Pass.
Activities/Facilities Within 5 Miles
Picnicking (8 wheelchair accessible sites)
Boating (No motors allowed at Woods Lake).
Hiking access to Mokelumne Wilderness (permit required
for overnight use year‐round). Permits available at
Carson Pass Information Station (summer only) and the
Amador Ranger Station. Fee parking available at Woods
Lake trailhead, 1/2 mile before campground.
Caples Lake Resort: restaurant, store, boat launch, boat
rentals, laundry, fishing licenses, phone, cabin rentals.
Winter Access to Woods Lake
Winter Access to Woods Lake is tricky during heavy snow season. The road access to Woods lake is not maintained and often hidden behind the snow berm along highway 88. how ever if it is a light snow season or early / late season you may find parking on the road entrance which makes the 2 mile trek into the lake easier.
Many cross country Skier sand snowshoers park at the Meiss meadow Trailhead and cross Highway 88 making the woods lake excursion a cross country affair of approximately 3.5 miles each way.
Which ever way you decide to go , it is a beautiful location in the winter and solitude and space are easy to find.
Things to Know:
- CAUTION: There are bears in the area. Please keep all foods, soaps, and garbage properly stored in bear boxes.
- Campground host on site. Please check with the host or entrance board before setting up your camp.
- Single units are limited to 2 vehicle and 6 people per site and Double units are 4 vehicles and 12 people. An additional fee will be charged for an extra vehicle if the parking spur will accommodate it.
- Trailers are not recommended because of difficulty of getting trailers in and out of area.
- Keep family pets on a leash at all Times.
- Use the grill or fire ring provided and make sure your fire is dead out before leaving. Use only water, not soil. Use only dead and down wood.