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Your guide to Bass Lake
All About Bass Lake
Regarded as one of the best fishing lakes in the Sierra Nevada, five-mile-long Bass Lake attracts anglers from all over California for its abundance of Kokanee salmon, trout, and catfish. Located 3.5 hours’ drive east of San Francisco and an hour north of Fresno, the lake is also a magnet for water sports enthusiasts: water skiing, wakeboarding, and kayaking are all on the menu here, as is swimming in the lovely, shallow coves.
Surrounded by pine forests, Bass Lake is also popular for hiking and mountain biking. The Mono Trail is a short loop to the top of a rock with a panorama of the lake. The five-mile-return hike to Goat Mountain Fire Lookout is more challenging, but it rewards with spectacular views. The three-mile Willow Creek Trail takes you to Angel Falls, a delightful swimming spot.
Bass Lake is a gateway to Yosemite National Park, just 30 minutes’ drive to the south entrance and the iconic Tunnel View. The park is full of magical adventures, including the journey to Glacier Point for expansive vistas of Yosemite Valley, the hike through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, or the Mist Trail with its cool spray from Vernal and Nevada Falls.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Bass Lake?
Summers are a great time to stay in one of the many cabins and rental homes in Bass Lake. Expect plenty of warm days and balmy nights for fun on the water. Every Friday in summer, the Bass Lake Live Summer Concert Series brings local musicians to the lake. In the fall, the temperatures drop, as do the crowds, but the weather is still mild — and the changing colors are spectacular. Bass Lake Halloween and Fall Carnival is a popular event in October with carnival rides, pumpkin carving, music, and games, plus a beer garden. Spring is a vibrant time to visit as the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. In winter, snowfall turns Bass Lake into a wonderland, with cross-country skiing and fat-tire mountain biking. Yosemite National Park also has a small ski area for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
What are the top things to do in Bass Lake?
Way of the Mono Trail
The Way of the Mono Trail is less than a mile through a pine forest with magnificent views of the lake. The loop trail is fairly easy and provides interpretive signs along the way highlighting native trees and plants and offering an insight into the lives of the Mono, the first peoples to live in the area.
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
A 30-minute drive to Yosemite National Park will take you to the spectacular Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, one of the largest sequoia groves in the world with more than 500 giant trees. Here, you’ll see legendary trees such as the Fallen Monarch, a massive log that fell three centuries ago, and Grizzly Giant, the largest and oldest tree in the park at more than 2,700 years old.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
Experience the Sierra Mountains from aboard an authentic steam train at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Choose from a suite of options, from a one-hour jaunt to soak up the fall foliage to narrated rides that focus on the history of the locomotive. The famous Moonlight Train includes dinner, music, and a stop at Lewis Creek Canyon, where you can pan for gold.