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Bass Lake in California

Trip Overview

I've been told that Bass Lake is Central California's most popular vacation destination. Whether or not that's true I can't say, but it is one of the most scenic places I've had the pleasure of visiting. Located just 15 minutes south of Yosemite National Park, the lake is just over 4 miles in length and 1/2 mile wide (at its widest point). It is best visited in the late spring through early fall, as it is owned and operated by PG&E who lower the lake level by early winter to make room for the new run-off and snowmelt.

By late august the water temperature can reach 80 degrees, making for great swimming. The shore is dotted with plenty of sandy coves and beaches, perfect for a relaxing lunch or swim, and for fishing enthusiasts there are plenty of options. Stay between the shore and the 5MPH buoys to avoid the ski-boats and jet-skis. Water conditions are generally calm and safe suitable for all skill levels.

Stop off at 'The Forks' or 'Miller's Landing' for a burger if you're on the south shore or Ducey's on the north shore.


Rooms / cabins & and a market available at The Pines Resort on the North Shore or The Forks on the south shore. There are many camping options around the lake.


Daily parking fee of $3.00 to park in any of the day-use or camp-site areas OR park safely along the side of the road for free. If in doubt, check with local authorities.


From Hwy. 41 in Oakhurst travel north and turn right on Bass Lake Road 222 OR Take 426 from the center of town all the way to the lake (Don't miss the sharp turn off to the left after approx. 6 miles or you'll find yourself on Road 223)


Maps and books are available at the Bass Lake station located on the south shore.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip