Description - In addition to providing power to Southern California, Huntington Lake also serves as a popular recreation area for a number of activities. Some of those attractions include camping, hiking, picnicking, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, and scenic driving.
The main summer season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, after which many of the resorts and businesses close. Some facilities do remain open year round. Several Regattas are held each summer on the lake. The regattas are regulated by permit to allow adequate opportunity for individual boaters to use the lake.
- Huntington Lake Recreation Area, located at 7,000 feet elevation in the Sierra National Forest, is a two-hour drive east of Fresno via State Highway 168. Huntington Lake is one of the reservoirs in the Big Creek Hydroelectric system developed by Southern California Edison Company. The lake is four miles long by one-half mile wide and has 14 miles of shoreline.
There are several scenic drives around Huntington Lake. One is the Kaiser Pass Road. It starts at the Eastwood Information Station and continues out on forest road 80 to Florence and Edison Lakes. Trailers and RV's are not recommended on this road. The other scenic drive is Stump Springs Road. This trip allows the visitor to see the working part of the forest. The trip starts in the town of Big Creek and follows the San Joaquin River drainage around to the Kaiser Pass Road. Views from this road include Mammoth Pool Reservoir, the Minarets, and the Ritter Ranges.
Recreation - There is a boat launch on the lake, but a fee is charged for parking your vehicle and trailer in the parking lot.
There are several day hikes in the Huntington Lake area. Rancheria Falls trailhead is on the south side of the lake. You will find the trailhead one mile south of the Eastwood Information Station and one mile up the Bear Butte Road. Indian Pools starts at the east end of the parking lot at Sierra Summit. The trail follows the shores of Big Creek. Black Point and Mushroom Rock's trailhead is located six miles west of Huntington Lake
Climate - Weather conditions in the Sierra National Forest vary locally with elevation and exposure. Weather changes more rapidly and severely in the Forest's higher elevations. In general, temperatures in the Sierras drop three degrees with each 1000' of elevation gain.
Precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, much of it comes in the form of snow. Snowpack above 8000' can be 25 fee in the winter. 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. It is wise to pack for any season when venturing into the high country, with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.
Huntington Lake Recreation Area is a two-hour drive east of Fresno via State Highway 168. The recreation area is located in the Pineridge Ranger District.