To reach Carr Lake in Nevada County, drive to the
Carr Lake trailhead by taking Highway 20 from
Highway 80 at Yuba Pass. Take Highway 20 west until you can turn right on Bowman Lake Road.
From Bowman Lake Road, follow the signs to the turnoff for Carr Lake Road. Carr Lake Road is an unimproved
dirt road that is very rough but still manageable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle with
modest clearance. The parking can be sparse due to the trailhead being very popular.
Technically Carr Lake is a roadside water but you will have to walk from the parking area to the lake which is
only a few hundred feet. The parking lot is close to the Carr Lake Trailhead which gives you access to better fishing
destinations such as Feely Lake,
and Penner Lake. You could park closer to the dam and walk around the east side if you are looking for better casting access.
We walked over the hill between the trailhead parking area and the lake to fish the west side of lake.
We found the trout fishing to very poor but we did catch three small catfish within one hour. According to Fish
and Wildlife records, Carr Lake has been planted with hatchery trout but we did not see any trout on our visit.
The appearance of the lake suggests that it could be a good place to plant and catch trout and perhaps there are some
trout in there, we just didn't have any luck finding them. If you enjoy catching catfish then this would be a good
place to get a stringer full very quickly. I would recommend it as a place to take the kids if they enjoy catching fish
and do not care what kind of fish they are hooking into.
The camping sites are not ideal at Carr Lake due to heavy brush blocking water access in most areas, save a few sites.
Many of the established camp sites are many yards from the water and can be a bit too close to neighboring campers.