SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California is home to more than 3,000 lakes and reservoirs, providing residents ways to beat the heat and explore the Golden State.
Northern California lakes attract tourists and local residents looking to cool down on hot days. Here are some of the lakes closest to the Sacramento area.
Folsom Lake – 25 miles, 40 minutes
As one of the most visited parks in California, Folsom Lake offers locals countless opportunities for an outdoor excursion. While aquatic activities account for 85% of all recreation visits, the area is ideal for biking, running, camping, horseback riding, water-skiing, and boating.
Lake Camanche – 49 miles, 1 hour
With a 54-mile shoreline and 7,700 acres of water, Lake Camanche is considered a year-round recreation site for fishing and outdoor activities. Located near Lodi, CA, the lake is an appealing spot for family and outdoor camping.
Lake Berryessa – 67 miles, 1:40 hours
Lake Berryessa is the largest lake in Napa County and provides popular year-round fishing and aquatic activities. In the lake sits an iconic ‘glory hole’ that funnels water overflow and serves as the largest spillway in the world.
Donner Lake – 100 miles, 1:40 hours
Located near Truckee, Donner Lake is a popular alternative to crowded Lake Tahoe. In addition to free parking near the lake and cabin rental opportunities, the lake draws fishing aficionados to the area for some of the biggest trout in California.
Clear Lake – 100 miles, 1:45 hours
As the largest freshwater lake in California and the oldest in North America, Clear Lake is popular for water recreation, including swimming, fishing, and water-skiing. The park offers day passes for boating and various trials that were once used by the local indigenous population.
Lake Oroville – 85 miles, 1:45 hours
Located on the west side of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Oroville was formed by the tallest earth-filled dam in the country. The lake offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, horseback riding, camping, hiking, sailing, and more.
Lake Tahoe — 100-120 miles, 2-2:30 hours
Considered one of the best lakes in the United States, Lake Tahoe attracts visitors year-round. With hundreds of hiking trails and dozens of beaches, Tahoe emerges as a leading California tourist destination during the summer season.
Lake Shasta — 170 miles, 2:40 hours
Located 10 miles north of Redding, Lake Shasta is California’s largest reservoir. The lake is popular during summer for its fishing and houseboats, jet skis, inner tubes, and more.
Lake Helen – 187 miles, 3:18 hours
Lake Helen’s deep blue waters sit in Lassen Volcanic National Park, offering stunning and picturesque views of its volcanic peaks. More than 200 lakes and ponds are scattered throughout the park for swimming purposes.
Lake Almanor — 187 miles, 3:40 hours
Lake Almanor is one of the largest lakes in California and remains a popular swimming spot for visitors. Summer weather makes the lake ideal for boating, fishing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.