Have you been to one of our gorgeous lakes? Do you have your summer trips marked on your calendar? Northern California has a boatload of lakes to spend some time at. Feel like camping, or fishing, or maybe you want to go skiing or just relax on the shore? There’s so much to do and summer is just waiting for you to stop making excuses and finally do it. Here are our suggestion for some awesome summer fun.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Scotts Flat Lake, Nevada County
Would you believe this lake is located at a 3,100 foot elevation? Yep. It's true. Over 850 acres of glassy water with over 7.5 miles of shoreline. Which means more than enough room to invite all your family and friends for a picnic!
2. Lake Shasta
This behemoth of a lake holds over 4.5 million gallons of water. The dam was built between 1935 and 1945 and impounds this massive beast. Lake Shasta is a popular destination for boating and skiing. I've heard lots of stories about friends who stayed on houseboats and had a blast.
3. Abbotts Lagoon, Marin County
This lagoon is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a sand dune. Once the home of coastal Miwok Indians, they used this lagoon to water their cattle. Now, a popular spot to spy on birds in their natural habitat and a lot of other cool things! What activities do you enjoy here?
4. Goose Lake, Modoc County
Goose Lake is located on the California - Oregon border. At the longest part this lake is over 42 miles long. The neat thing about it? The Northern half of Goose Lake is in Oregon, while the southern half is in California. You can hang out in two states on one adventure. Sounds good to me!
5. Tioga Lake, Mono County
Tioga is an Iroquois Indian word meaning "where it forks" or "swift current". This lake is off the beaten path. Because of its seclusion, campers especially enjoy this lake. John Muir was one of the very first folks to survey this area. Pretty neat, right?
6. Lake Temescal, Alameda County
This lake came to be in 1868 after folks damned up Temescal Creek to create a reservoir for drinking water. Once over 80ft deep, because of sedimentary that collects it needs to be dredged regularly. Currently it's around 20 feet at its deepest.
7. Lake Aloha, El Dorado
This lake is at an 8100 foot elevation. It's pretty much in desolation wilderness because you can't get to it unless you hike in from Echo Lake. Apparently, there's a lot of you crazy folks who do it because it's pretty well known. Enjoy! I'll be reading a book at Lake Tahoe instead.
8. Snag Lake, Lassen County
Located in the eastern part of Lassen National Volcanic Park, this pretty 300 acre body of water just beckons you to come and sit awhile.
9. Folsom Lake, El Dorado County
Folsom Lake is a reservoir that keeps the Sierra run-off from flooding the lower American River. One of the prettiest lakes in the Sacramento area. You can fish or boat here and a picnic by the lake is an easy pick-me-up for the week.
10. Lake Camanche, San Juaquin County/Amador County
This area was settled during the gold rush. Three towns popped up. As the gold rush slowed, the population dwindled as people began to move away. Settlers from Iowa named the largest and most populated town “Camanche” after a town in Iowa. When the dam was built this town was evacuated by officials and is now under water.
11. Clear Lake, Lake County
Some historians believe Clear Lake to be one of the oldest lakes in all of Northern America. It's approximately 19 miles by 6 miles large. It's a beauty to be on no matter what the season. But, summertime is the best time to make some lake plans.
12. Donner Lake, Sierra Nevadas
Donner Lake was named after the ill-fated Donner party. 154 campsites dot the lakeside shores. Whether it's fishing, camping, boating or just spending the day at the lake for a picnic...Donner Lake is where you need to be!
13. New Melones Lake, Tulomne County
14. Fallen Leaf Lake, El Dorado County
Only one mile south of Lake Tahoe, lots of folks don't even realize this beauty is here. It's a one-lane road into the lake area and the lion's share of the area around the lake is publicly owned which keeps the traffic down. But, if you haven't taken a hike around Fallen Leaf Lake then this must be on your bucket list this summer.
15. Bon Tempe Lake, Marin County
Mount Tamalpais has a sparkling beauty at her north side. There's a few watershed lakes but Bon Tempe is our favorite. Come and enjoy all the amenities that a lake provides. Feel like taking a hike? If you go all the way around the lake it's a whole 4 miles. Might as well keep your Fitbit working, right?
Do you spend all your time wishing you were at the lake? Stop wishing and start putting a few of these down on your calendar. Then pack up the kids and call a few friends. Come unwind at the lake. You deserve it!