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Kinney Lakes and Reservoir

Fishing Area
Lower Kinney Lake

Kinney Lakes and Kinney Reservoir are popular fishing spots for brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, easily accessed via a network of hiking trails that provide spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and Ebbetts Pass. Half the fun for anglers is driving historic Highway 4 to Kinney along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway that connects Arnold to Markleeville for an unparalleled fishing experience.

The Kinney Lakes are depicted as Silver Lakes on an 1864 map of the Silver Mountain Mining District, with the Mountain Oaks Mine located between them. In the 1890s, the Alpine Land & Reservoir Company, an organization of the East Fork Carson River farmers in Douglas County, Nevada, dammed a tributary of Silver Creek to create Upper and Lower Kinney Lakes, as well as Kinney Reservoir. Utilized for irrigation purposes in the Carson Valley, by 1912 the agriculturalists had constructed half a dozen reservoirs in Alpine County. Lower Kinney Lake Dam was completed in 1926, and Upper Kinney Lake Dam in 1990.

The trail to Upper Kinney Lake, via the northbound Pacific Crest Trail trailhead, other than the initial climb up the mountain, is gently graded and an excellent day hike for the family. There are some good campsites here, one of the better overnight hikes in the Ebbetts Pass area. Wildflower viewing in the early summer is spectacular.


From Meyers at junction of Highways 50-89, take Hwy 89 South and go 11 miles to junction of Highways 88-89. Turn East and go 6 miles to Woodfords. Turn South and go 12 miles on Hwy 89 (past Markleeville) to junction with Hwy 4. Continue straight on Hwy 4 for 13 miles. The reservoir is alongside the highway. Steep, narrow winding road last several miles.

Best Access and Parking Areas

Limited parking along Highway 4 and at Kinney Reservoir.

Hints and Tips for Fishing this Area

For Your Information:

  • Fishing Access is FREE
  • There are NO on-site facilities

For the inside scoop and updatd fishing report, check out the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

If you forgot your camping gear, fishing supplies or just feel adventurous, these nearby stores can help you find what you are looking for!

  • Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, Arnold, CA
  • Lake Alpine Resort
  • Bear Valley Store
  • Woodfords Station, Hwy 88
  • Markleeville General Store
  • The Angler's Edge, 1506 Hwy 395, Gardernville, NV

Recommended Reading for Fishing the Sierra Nevada:

  • Fly Fishing the Sierra Nevada, Bill Sunderland. This 148-page book by fly-fishing author Bill Sunderland covers the entire Sierra Nevada, from Lake Almanor in the north to the Kern River drainage in the south, and details hundreds of rivers, streams and lakes that offer good trout fishing throughout the region.
  • Sierra Trout Guide, Ralph Cutter. Undoubtedly the most thorough book on selecting the best flies for the various conditions in the Sierra Nevada. A great book on fishing techniques, equipment, and selecting the best places to fish.
  • California Fishing, Tom Stienstra. The eighth edition of this classic guidebook offers detailed descriptions of over 2,000 fishing locations and includes over 70 pages of fishing tips and advice. Complete with detailed regional maps as well as directions and ratings for each location.

Rules and Regulations for Fishing Area

Please familiarize yourself with the California Fish and Game regulations for Freshwater Sport Fishing :

Nearby Places