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General Information

Lake Kaweah was formed by the construction of Terminus Dam on the Kaweah River
Copyright: - US Army Corps of Engineers
Lake Kaweah was formed by the construction of Terminus Dam on the Kaweah River
Description - The lake was formed by the construction of Terminus Dam on the Kaweah River. The dam was completed in 1962 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood control and water conservation. During the spring run-off season it stores 143,000-acre feet of water. Energy production was added in 1990 with the construction of the Terminus Power Plant. The new hydroelectric plant produces an average of 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is equivalent to 67,000 barrels of oil..

A bit of history - Lake Kaweah is fed by the Kaweah River, which originates in the Sierra Nevada at Sequoia National Park. Long ago, Yokuts, Wukchumne, and Kaweah people lived and hunted along this river. Spaniards were the first Europeans to explore this area two centuries ago. Settlers arrived fifty years later. Cattleman Hale Tharp started a ranch at the confluence of the Kaweah River and Deer Creek in 1856. He lived here until his death in 1912. Several landmarks still bear his name.

Attractions - Horse Creek Campground is a developed campground with 80 campsites and an amphitheaters for summer campfire programs.

The lake brings pleasure to water-skiers, sailors, and pleasure boaters. Launch ramps ($) are located in the Kaweah and Lemon Hill recreation areas. Fishing the lake provides opportunities to snag largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and rainbow trout.

Day users find picnicking at all accessible areas of the park. Kaweah and Horse Creek recreation areas have tables, barbecue grills, and piped water. Swimming is permitted around the lake except at posted areas near boat ramps and the dam's intake structure. A 1.0-mile hiking trail between Slick Rock and Cobble Knoll recreation areas is a favorite among bird watchers, wildflower lovers and those who are just looking for a pleasant, quiet walk

Recreation - Outdoor lovers come to Lake Kaweath for a variety of reasons. The lake amenities include group hikes and ranger programs, call park office for details. Powers boaters, sailing enthusiasts, water-skiers, campers, hikers, picnickers, sightseers and others enjoy Lake Kaweah.

Leashed pets are permitted. Golden Age and Golden Access passports are accepted for a 50% discount on single unit fees.

Climate - Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation around Lake Kaweah. Precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, much of it comes in the form of snow. Winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. Layered clothing and rain gear is advisable.

Location - Lake Kaweah is located in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills, go 20 miles east of the town Visalia.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The lake was great for boating, on a Thursday we practically had the lake to ourselves. Great to teach the little ones to water ski!

Filed By: SoCalMommy (Upland, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: What a great lake. Been visiting for over 25 years. June of 2005, the lake was so high all the campgrounds were covered with water. Slide Rock was completely covered with water. Please pick up after yourselves, there are plenty of trach containers. Have Fun!

Filed By: Cheryl Brown (Carlsbad, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Slick Rock - Our family is in love! Visited in late July. Had a wonderful swim. Please don't litter when you go there! Lots of people left behind trash and it was heartbreaking to see. We will be going back as often as possible.

Filed By: Patrick, Zephyr, Volt & Zap (Visalia, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My wife, our twin boys and myself relocated to Visalia a few months ago and have already chosen Lake Kaweah as one of our favorite swimming destinations. Unbelievably beautiful scenery, great weather, lotsa sun and fantastic water are found here daily throughout the spring summer and fall. Very easy to find, just take 198 east and youll drive right into it. The traffics normally light, enjoy your drive to the lake as much as your activities there.

More Information

Contact Information:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Kaweah, P.O. Box 44270 , Lemon Cove, CA, 93244, Phone: 559-597-2301, Fax: 559-597-2468
, kaweah-info@spk.usace.army.mil

Additional Information:
California Lakes and Reservoirs - The lakes and reservoirs described here range from huge reservoirs to small mountain lakes. The lakes are often part of large recreation areas, National Forests or State Parks.
Central Valley Region - California's breadbasket, the great Central Valley, stretches for 450 miles down the center of the state, from Willows to Bakersfield. This region includes culturally diverse communities, historic sites, exceptional outdoor recreation, abundant wildlife and the California Delta.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Official agency website.


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