Once Twin Lakes, now Caples Lake reservoir

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Caples Lake
Caples Lake reservoir in the Eldorado National Forest
Map with lakes southwest of Carson Pass
Map with lakes west of Carson Pass
Map with Caples Lake

Caples Lake map with surrounding peaks
Caples Lake reservoir south of Highway 88 surrounded by peaks and other lakes, connected via various hiking trails. The red star indicates the location of the Carson Pass Information Center.

Caples Lake in California's Alpine County is a high-elevation reservoir (2378 m), west of the Carson Pass, surrounded by huge pines and a breathtaking mountain scenery including Round Top. The semi-natural lake is part of the Eldorado National Forest in the Sierra Nevada. Originally, Caples Lake existed as two separate lakes—Twin Lakes—before Caples Creek was dammed by PG&E.

A side-box on page 308 in Mike White's Afoot & Afield hiking guide (Widerness Press, Berkely, 2nd printing Nov. 2008) provides some interesting details on the history and naming of Caples Lakes:

Two small lakes known as Twin Lakes occupied this area before PG&E dammed Caples Creek and created the Caples Lake reservoir. The lake and creek were named for Dr. James Caples, a physician who, in 1849, left Illinois with his family to join a wagon train bound to California. As a resident of California, Dr. Caples had stints as a miner and a merchant before managing a 4000-acre ranch near Carson and Deer Creek.

Caples Lake is a popular kayaking, canoeing, paddling and fishing destination; although, even on a summer day, the water can still be ice-cold. Hiking trails are nearby.