Highland Lakes

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The lakes are set in a spectacular high alpine valley, close to the top of Ebbetts Pass at an elevation of 8,600 feet. These two lakes are unique in that they are headwaters for two different watersheds: the eastern lake flows into the Mokelumne River drainage, while the western lake flows into the Stanislaus River drainage. Maximum boat speed on both lakes is 5 mph, and gas powered motors are discouraged. Highland Lakes visitors enjoy camping, hiking and horseback riding. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Calaveras Ranger District (HWY 4)
Fees No fee for day use. Fee for camping.
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Water: Potable water at campground in summer season only; hand pump
Restroom: Vault toilet at campground
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

General Notes:

No garbage service or dumpster; Pack it in, Pack it out.


Highland Lakes are located at the end of Highland Lakes Road, five miles off Highway 4. Highland Lakes Road is a narrow, steep and winding dirt route where safe travel speeds average 20 mph or less.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

Water Activities

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Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities



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One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire

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