Caples Creek–Silver Fork Loop Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness

Kyburz, California

Caples Creek–Silver Fork Loop: Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness Professional Review and Guide

"The proposed Caples Creek Wilderness is relatively small in comparison to the Mokelumne Wilderness to the south and the Desolation Wilderness to the north, but its glaciated topography, rugged river canyons, old-growth forests, and extensive trail system provide plenty of opportunities for true wilderness solitude.

The trail system is easily accessible from multiple trailheads off Hwy 50 and Hwy 88. This hike is accessed from Hwy 50 and features a loop that makes a good long day hike or two- to three-day backpack trip. There are many streamside and meadow campsites to choose from, providing a great opportunity to base camp and explore. Anglers can fish for trout in both Caples Creek and the Silver Fork, and all visitors will enjoy the sparkling cascades of both streams."

Caples Creek–Silver Fork Loop: Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness Reviews

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We hiked to the end of government meadow yesterday. The water was really flowing and some flowers were on the trail to give it color. It is a moderate hike and river wasn't passable . Mosquitos were present only in some areas. We experienced thunder and hail however fun!
Caples Creek trail, Kyburz level 2, 7.75 mi, around 5500' more like a level 3 for the steps of boulders, and pack the bug spray for this one! The loop isn't passable for the river so we did out & back, lots of shady pines, some lovely meadows and a wonderful raging river alongside for a while that no one got pix of! the trail veers off to the left when there are lots of fallen trees, but there is a tree blocking that route also so we missed it going up and ended up cutting in through the woods - look left to a fallen tree and the trail is beyond that going up hill. Lot's of fallen trees and seems like a lot of rock steps so hips do a lot of work - and the farmers gate... make sure everyone is away from it because it's barbed wire and is on tension.
My friend Ali and I did this entire loop today. First, for any more people looking for this trail, it is NOT Silver Lake Road off of the 50, it is Silver Fork Road and it is 8.7 miles to the turn off. We did the 8.6 mile loop and i would definitely say this does not fall under the difficult catergory. Moderate would be about right. You climb the first two miles about 800 feet, after that it is very gradual the rest of the trip. The creek was very high so to complete the loop we crossed downed trees, one at around the 4.5 mile spot where there is a campsite and fire ring, and then crossed back over about 6.5 miles and then rejoined our original trail. The trail on the far side after crossing the first time is much rougher, many downed trees, snakes (saw 2), bear feces, etc. You can tell many people do this trail as an out and back and the first section through the meadows is very pretty. In fact if i were to do it again, i would do this as an out and back, forget about crossing the river (not a creek) and enjoy the beautiful meadows. But for a trail close to the 50, and a good steady climb, this fit the bill. Bring your bug spray! Yozers!
We did the out-and-back trek to the Jake Schneider Meadow and loved it. With the late spring this year, the wildflowers were still in bloom despite it being mid-July. You can see photos from the hike at
A few of us headed in early friday morning for a long weekend trip. We did not do the full loop. We instead crossed the foot bridge and followed the trial in reverse mainly to be close to Silver fork of the American river for better fishing. We found out that theres good fishing on both the river and the creek. It was a great hike, not to hard, but for sure a work out with 50 lb packs on. We are going back this weekend. The only complant I had was, when went in on friday am, we didnt see a sole, when we came out on sunday afternoon, there was a ton of people everywhere! This time were going even deeper in to avoid the crowds.

Caples Creek–Silver Fork Loop: Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,200 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 to 6 hours
Best: June-October
Fishing, Camping
Additional Use
Eldorado National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Tragedy Spring, Caples Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018