Kinney Reservoir is a popular fishing spot for brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, as well as providing spectacular views from the trails connecting the reservoir, lakes, and Ebbetts Pass.
The 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 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.
- Elevation: 8,350 ft.
- Mile Marker: 44/17
- GPS Coordinates: 38 33 26N -119 48 31W
- Service Available: Fishing, HIking