A different kind of trip story, a day trip told mostly with short videos.
Caples Creek is up the road from our home and makes for a excellent destination for a quick getaway. The area is proposed Wilderness and has two main creeks, Caples Creek and the Silver Fork of the American River. Both are tailwater fisheries. The creeks flow from the upstream dams impounding Caples Lake and Silver Lake on highway 88 west of Carson Pass. Caples Creek is the second California Department of Fish & Wildlife Designated Wild Trout Stream in the Eldorado National Forest.
Information on the Caples Creek Trail Area is found on the Eldorado National Forest's website - Here
A map of the area can be found - Here
A map of the Wild Trout Designation can be found - Here
A vimeo video of fly fishing Caples Creek (with some nice twin fiddling on a Bill Monroe tune) can be found - Here
We had the mid day of Sunday June 5th available for a quick hike.
There have been recent excellent improvements to the trailhead area.
A mile up from the trailhead is the confluence of Caples Creek (left) and the steeper gradient of Silver Fork on the right.
The water was at a normal late spring snow melt high, that was delightful to see after our many years of drought. Wildflowers are always a treat along this trail.
Caples Creek Trail meanders through tall trees and a series of meadows. Jake Schneider Meadow is named after one of the early ranching families. The remains of the old Schneider Cow Camp (summer range) is just west of Carson Pass.
The meadow was wet. The creatures darting in front of the lens are mosquitoes, not birds, although some were the size of small hummingbirds. The trail is being rerouted to the north along the edge of the meadow so it will no longer impact this area. This will be a nice change.
The next, higher meadow is Government Meadow.
It has been years since the grazing allotment was closed here so it is wonderful to see the change and growth of the flora. The California Native Plant Society does an annual trip through this alpine area.
The trail ends at Caples Creek. A route crosses here and loops back down Caples Creek on the south side but this crossing is impassable during high water.
We continued up onto the glaciated granite dotted with glacial erratics.
A highlight of the Caples Creek trail are the old growth trees. There are several pockets of magnificent Sugar Pines.
We snacked and wandered along Caples Creek and dreamed of fly fishing when the water drops.
It was time to return back to our packs.
We watched the clouds build into thunderstorm above us.
It rained on us as we returned down the trail to the truck but the thunder and lightning stayed up near the Sierra crest.
We met several groups out enjoying the area and the trailhead was near full. If you live in the Sacramento area or the Mother Lode foothills, Caples Creek should be on your list of hikes. It would be hard to find a more beautiful place to spend a day. We are so lucky to live close by.
We found four logs down across the trail so on our drive home we stopped at a friend's place who is a member of the mule club that volunteers to care for this trail. They launched a string of mules up the trail on Wednesday (quite a group of energetic people) so you should find the trail clear.