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The 08 Best Lakes In California, Enjoy Beauty Of Nature!

There are a lot of great lakes in California. They’re surrounded by mountains and lush flora, which makes them the perfect places for swimming and relaxing.

Tourist Attractions To Best Lakes In California

The state’s most popular lake is arguably Lake Tahoe, with stunning vistas framed by the granite Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s known for attracting artists, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking to get inspiration from natural wonders. It’s also home to some of the best skiing in the state.

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There are many activities to choose from, including mountain biking, fishing, and parasailing. Another top-notch lake in California is Mono Lake. This geological marvel features the eerie tufa towers that protrude out of the saline water.

Lakes In California
Image Credit : Facebook

They’re reminiscent of stalagmites in a cave and take hundreds of years to form. The tufa towers are an incredible sight that attracts photographers, but they’re not the only thing to do at Mono Lake. It’s a beautiful place for hiking and camping too, with a range of trails to suit all abilities.

This lake is a good option for families, with activities such as the Magic Mountain Alpine Slide and McDill Swim Beach. It’s also a good spot for kayaking and canoeing, and has plenty of family-friendly campsites.

Lake Tahoe is arguably the biggest and best of them all, drawing visitors from far and wide thanks to its gorgeous setting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s also a great place for water-sport activities like cruising, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, and scuba diving.

California is a state of incredible natural beauty, and that includes the stunning lakes that dot its landscape, there are plenty of lakes in the state that support a wide variety of recreational activities.

Lake Tahoe #1

Lake Tahoe is one of America’s most popular vacation destinations, with its pristine, crystal clear waters and stunning mountain landscapes. Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe attracts visitors from both states all year round.

The lake is so clear that objects can be seen in the water from a depth of over 70 feet. Its clarity is caused by the fact that it sits at a high elevation of 6,237 feet above sea level, which allows it to reflect the skies on its surface.

Lakes In California

It’s also one of the deepest lakes in the world, with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet. Its unique formation is believed to be due to faults in the Earth’s crust that allow it to store water.

The winter season is the ideal time to visit the lake, with snow falling in abundance and fantastic skiing conditions. February is especially popular as the bluebird days tempt scores of skiers and snowboarders to this enchanting mountain resort.

Weather9°C, Wind S at 8 km/h
Elevation1,901 m
Population21,414 (2021)
Area code 530

Lake Shasta #2

Lake Shasta is the largest man-made lake in California, and it’s one of the state’s best-known tourist destinations. Situated on the upper Sacramento River, it’s surrounded by mountains and features numerous bays and coves.

The lake is a popular destination for water sports such as kayaking, boating, and sailing. It also offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, including black bears, deer, elk, and antelope. Visitors can explore the area by car, on foot, or by horseback.

There are many trails around the lake, and one of the most scenic areas to visit is Turtle Bay. Several marinas offer food, retail, and rental services. These include Bridge Bay Marina, Digger Bay marina, Shasta Marina Resort, Antler’s Marina, and Silverthorn Marina.

The Lake Shasta Dam is a 602-foot-high concrete gravity dam built between 1938 and 1945 to control floods, provide power and water supply benefits, and help manage the water flow of the Sacramento River.

It’s a popular tourist attraction and one of the largest concrete dams in the United States. It’s a free stop for visitors, and you can watch the dam’s spillway during drawdown (release). You can also catch a dinner cruise on the lake.

Surface elevation325 m
Area121.4 km²
Outflow locationSacramento River
Inflow source Sacramento River, McCloud River, Pit River

Lake Berryessa #3

Lake Berryessa is a great place to enjoy water sports and recreation. The large lake is popular for boating, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, swimming, and fishing. There are many full-service marinas, boat launches, and campgrounds around the lake that make it easy to get out and explore.

The lake is also home to a variety of fish species. The spotted bass, one of the most common species, is especially thriving in Lake Berryessa. This fish can be caught in shallow waters near weeds and fallen timber. You can use dainty lures and worms to attract these tasty morsels.

While visiting the area, you should definitely check out the famed Glory Hole (also known as a bell-mouth spillway). This unique feature is actually a concrete funnel that floats up out of the reservoir when water levels rise above 440 feet above sea level.

It can also be seen from the Monticello Dam, located at the eastern end of the lake. When the lake level reaches this point, the spillway opens up and starts discharging water into Putah Creek hundreds of feet below.

Surface elevation135 m
Area83.77 km²
Length24.9 km
Outflow locationPutah Creek

Mono Lake #4

Mono Lake is a stunning natural oasis that lies between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the dry Great Basin of California. It’s one of the oldest lakes in North America and is home to bizarre tufa towers formed when fresh-water springs bubble up through the alkaline water.

These delicate white tufas are calcareous (calcium carbonate) deposits. They form when fresh-water springs percolate through saline lake waters, combining calcium in the fresh water with carbonate in the saline lake water.

The tufa towers are an important habitat for brine shrimp, gulls, and grebes. They are also a popular destination for birdwatchers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts. To see the iconic tufa towers, visit Mono Lake County Park off US Highway 395 and hike an interpretive boardwalk trail that is just under 0.5 miles each way.

It’s a flat and easy walk, with restrooms, drinking water, and picnic tables. It’s a wonderful place to take a break from the crowds and capture some beautiful photos of the tufa towers.

Surface elevation1,944 m
Area180 km²
Length15 km
Width 21 km
Inflow source Lee Vining Creek, Mill Creek, Rush Creek

Tenaya Lake #5

A popular getaway for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park is a beautiful alpine lake. Its mile-long shore is bordered by granite peaks and domes, creating a postcard-worthy scene.

Tenaya Lake sees fewer visitors than other water attractions in Yosemite Valley, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular. It’s also a great place to cool off after a hot day hiking, kayaking or boating.

This is one of the best lakes in California for swimming, thanks to its salty waters that make it comfortable to float. It’s not a particularly popular spot for camping or overnight stays, but it is easy to visit on a day trip from nearby towns.

Unlike some other alpine lakes, Tenaya Lake is accessible year-round, thanks to Tioga Pass. However, the road is closed during the winter due to snow. Once the snow melts and Tioga Pass opens (usually in early June), it’s a great place to take a hike or kayak.

Surface elevation2,484 m
LocationYosemite National Park, Mariposa County, California, US

June Lake #6

Known for its spectacular photo ops, June Lake is the perfect destination to spend your vacation. This quaint resort town is home to a variety of lodging and vacation rentals ranging from cabins to motels.

It’s a great spot to enjoy world-class trout fishing and stunning beaches along its mile-and-half long eastern edge. You can also rent a boat or jet ski from the marina and enjoy the view. If you’re looking to get in some hiking, June Lake has a number of trails spanning 2 to 10 miles, depending on your level of fitness and skill.

Some trails are easy while others are more challenging. One of the best things about visiting June Lake in the fall is the dazzling display of colors that Nature puts on! This region is often resplendent in yellow, orange, red and burgundy.

It’s a great place to spend your vacation and is easily accessible from both Reno, Nevada and Los Angeles, California. The drive from either city is absolutely stunning, with excellent opportunities to detour through some of California’s best National Parks along the way.

Weather9°C, Wind SW at 19 km/h
Elevation2,333 m
Area28.75 km²
Population413 (2020)

Gull Lake #7

Gull Lake is a tiny alpine lake nestled into the beautiful Eastern Sierra Mountains of California’s Mono County. It is one of the four chilly, crystal-clear lakes that make up “The June Lake Loop,” a scenic drive that takes visitors past several pristine lakes and provides views of Carson Peak in the distance.

Gull Lake offers ample opportunities for fishing for a wide variety of trout species. Boat fishermen can target Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat Trout. For trollers, inflated night crawlers and yellow powerbaits are the best bets.

Aside from fishing, June Lake also has a number of other recreational activities such as biking, sightseeing, hiking, and more. The area is a popular vacation destination with families.

Gull Lake Campground is located at the southern end of the lake and consists of 11 campsites that are open from the last weekend in May until early October (weather permitting). Each site has a fire pit, table, grill and food storage locker. The campground is well shaded among the trees on the shores of the lake and has drinking water, flush toilets and access to hiking trails.

Silver Lake #8

Situated in a picturesque swath of Los Angeles, Silver Lake is a charming neighborhood that embraces the hipster lifestyle. Its eclectic blocks and street art are lined with artisanal coffee shops, creative Asian eateries, indie music venues and trendy bars.

The main attraction of the area is the namesake reservoir that encircles the neighborhood. It is ringed by a popular walking trail and offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities, including kayaking and hiking. During the summer, residents of Silver Lake enjoy boating on its pristine waters.

It is home to rainbow, brown, Lahontan cutthroat and native tui chub trout, and it’s regularly stocked by the Department of Fish and Game. The region is also famous for its numerous fishing camps and resorts, including Plasse’s Resort (which has been in operation since 1853).

This campground, located near the southern end of Silver Lake, features a Thunder Mountain Restaurant, general store and sports areas. Usually open from early June to mid-September, it is a great place for families and campers alike to unwind and spend time together away from the hustle of daily life.

Elevation109 m
Zip codes90026, 90039
Area codeArea code 213

FAQs about Lakes In California

What is the deepest lake in California?

The deepest lake in California is Lake Tahoe, which has a maximum depth of 1,645 feet (501 meters). Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty.

What is the largest natural lake in California?

The largest natural lake in California is the Salton Sea, which is also one of the largest inland seas in the world. Located in the Imperial Valley of Southern California, the Salton Sea covers an area of approximately 343 square miles (890 square kilometers) and is fed by agricultural runoff and natural springs. The lake is an important habitat for birds and other wildlife.

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