Potholes at Silver Lake CA

• 5-star hike
• 1.4 mile out-and-back
• Easy difficulty | Gain 100 ft (Peak 7,265 ft)
• Kirkwood, CA | Lake Tahoe
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

Lake Tahoe's Best Trails
All-year-round fun at this Northern California landmark. Trailspotting has Lake Tahoe hikes for everyone.

These potholes are infinitely more fun than a bump in the road, and a great relief from warm summer days. You'll find them on State Route 88 six miles South of Kirkwood ski resort and 40 miles South of South Lake Tahoe.

Bereft of any trailhead signs, we only discovered this excellent swimming hole by word of mouth. Probably the best because although this swimming hole might be new to some, it can get busy, particularly at weekends.

Trailhead is located across the road from the Silver Lake day-use area, which is probably the best location to park. There is also informal parking for around six cars immediately next to the trailhead, and potentially more parking towards the Kit Carson Lodge – check out our map for more information.

Potholes Trail Expand Map

Potholes at Silver Lake 5★
1.4 mi, Out-and-back, Gain 100ft, Peak 7265ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

The well-marked trail begins at the Southwestern corner of the SR-88 bridge, and gently descends to The Potholes through the shade of evergreen forest, alongside the Silver Fork American River which is really no more than a big stream at this point. You’ll know when you arrive at the Potholes, at which point you can scramble around the granite landscape to find the best of the swimming and jumping holes – and even a few short slides to enjoy.

Shade is available closer to the top of The Potholes, but the main areas of the swimming holes don’t offer much protection from the sun. You can also extend this short trail a little further by exploring the rocks and river below The Potholes, including a picturesque little waterfall.

Take a cooling dip, or try one of the two short natural slides!

Just across the road, Silver Lake is a great place for lunch or a kayak.

• Trailspotting on YouTube: Silver Lake Potholes Video
• Trail Links: Public Map at AllTrails

More photos, leave a comment:
Facebook Icon Trailspotting Facebook Group
Reddit Icon Reddit at r/Trailspotting

California Coastlines
More California coastal hikes and beaches to check out at Trailspotting.com.
San Francisco Bay's Best Trails
For great hiking trails throughout the Bay Area check these out.

Yosemite's Best Trails
Epic scenery and adventures await. Summit hikes, waterfalls and more to choose from.
Bluesky Icon   Facebook Icon    Flipboard Icon   Instagram Icon   Mastadon Icon   RSS Feed Icon   Threads Icon
Subscribe for new trail reviews weekly

Trailspotting is non-commercial, ad-free and for the public good.
Content provided without warranty of accuracy. Copyright © 2005-2024 Stuart Green all rights reserved. Reproduction requires explicit consent.
About Trailspotting.