Caples Lake – An outdoor playground

Caples Lake, just south of South Lake Tahoe in the Carson Pass area is a great place to enjoy a day or a few outdoors. The lake is two miles long at an elevation of 7,800 feet with 6 miles of shoreline. The activities surrounding the lake are endless. A few of my favorites include ice fishing and snowshoeing in the winter and camping in the summer.

A few weeks ago, two of my friends and I spent all day Saturday on the lake ice fishing. We took an early morning exit from Zephyr Cove and stopped at Raleys in the “Y” for drinks and food to bring with us. An auger is necessary so we picked one up in Carson the night before. We arrived at the lake and chose a spot. After shoveling a foot of wind-blown snow on the lake, we cut three holes into the two foot deep ice and dropped our lines in. Rainbows and brook trout are the most abundant fish in the lake with a common size of 10-14 inches. There are however, fish in the lake much larger. The best bait to use is usually worms, power bait or Kastmasters. If you’re looking to seriously catch some fish, the best spots are at the spillway and by the dam.

Caples Ice Fishing

Another great activity at Caples is snowshoeing. If you don’t have a pair of snowshoes you can rent them in several stores nearby such as Shoreline of Tahoe in Stateline, Pyramid Peak Ski and Snowboard or Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards both in South Lake. Caples is a great place to spend a day walking or relaxing. You will usually find previously trounced paths around the lake or going across the lake. Bring your dog and/or some food and enjoy the sun.

Camping at any lake is always a great experience. Caples Lake offers a nice campground across the street in walking distance from the lake. There are small fees and it is first come first serve. The sites allow for tents, trailers or RVs and have toilets available. They also include piped water, picnic tables, grills and fire pits. The campground is only open in the summer usually from June to mid-October.  It’s a great way to spend a summer evening outdoors.

Camping at Caples

Camping at Caples

There are other outdoor activities available at Caples, but these are a few of my favorites. What activities have you experienced at Caples Lake? Leave a comment if you’ve had an experience at Caples or have any fishing tips.


5 thoughts on “Caples Lake – An outdoor playground

  1. Wow, first off it looks COLD, brrrr. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and my dad being an avid fisherman I remember getting up early before the sun came up and packing the truck and boat. We’d stop off and get donuts and coffee and either be on the lake or Ocean just as the sun crested over the water. The ONE thing I always remembered, it was D*MN cold. I guess that’s why I never really got into fishing. Yeah I would catch more than my dad every trip, no matter if we were going for Salmon, or rainbow trout, but my toes feel cold right now just thinking about it. Thanks for the info on Caples Lake, I am looking at it online now to book a weekend with our new RV.

    • Thanks for sharing Jeff! The best part about Tahoe is that the temperature tends to warm up during the day so it’s not so bad. The actual campground won’t open until the summertime around June, but there are definitely pulloffs near the lake for an RV. Hope you enjoy your new adventures with your new RV!

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