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Clear Lake State Park

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Clear Lake State Park
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Reservation Status: Accepted Campground reservations can be made online or by calling (800) 444-7275.

General Information

Having fun on Clear Lake.
Copyright: - California State Parks
Having fun on Clear Lake.
Description -

Several thousand years ago, a landslide blocked natural drainage from a valley into the Russian River. The water rose until it found an outlet through Cache Creek into the Sacramento River to form Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within California. Most of the water comes from runoff. Some comes from springs in Soda Bay. How the lake got its name is a mystery -- it contains algae, tules, downed trees and shrubs, and several kinds of water grass.

The lake also contains fish. The bass fishing is so good that the professional bass fishing organizations, such as U.S. Bass, Cal Bass, Western Bass, have designated Clear Lake as the number one bass lake in the nation, based on numbers of fish caught. There are also catfish, blackfish, Sacramento perch, hitch, crappie and bluegill.

Clear Lake features bird-watching, hiking along scenic trails. Hikers may see some deer, hares, rabbits, gray foxes, skunks, muskrats, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and many kinds of birds

Attractions - . The lake features wood ducks, mallard, coots, gulls, valley quail, woodpeckers, western grebes, blue herons, seagulls, mourning doves, scrub jays, goldfinches, horned owls (at twilight), wrens, bushtits, blackbirds, red-shafted flickers, Cooper's hawks, and turkey vultures.

An abundance of wildflowers appear in the spring as well as colonies of bees in hollow trees. Spring flowers include the shooting star, a purple flower with a yellow center; the western redbud; the baby blue eye; the purple wild iris; and the California buckeye, with white flower spikes 5 to 7 inches long. There is manzanita, mountain mahogany, chamise and Toyon berries in the fall and winter. Trees include digger pines, blue oaks, and valley oaks on the higher ground; and black cottonwood, box elder, California black walnut, California laurel, and willows near the streams.

Recreation - The area is popular for all kinds of water recreation, including swimming, fishing, boating and water-skiing. Anglers can catch large mouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. Hikers enjoy the Indian Nature Trail, a self-guided trail that shows how the Pomo people, who lived in the area for centuries, utilized the areas resources. The trail passes through the site of what was once a Pomo village.

Climate - Summers are generally mild. Fog is often encountered near the coastline, with sunny, warmer weather more common inland in the foothills. Winters are generally cool with considerable precipitation. Wear layers of clothing to accommodate cool to warm temperatures and good walking shoes. Rain protection should be included at any time of year.

Location - The entrance to the park is 3.5 miles northeast of Kelseyville on Soda Bay Road, north of Calistoga in the wine country.

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

Filed By: M Wilson Wilson (Thousand Oaks, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Beware of the Algae Bloom during July and August! We had lakeside campsites and the stench was overwhelming at times! The weather was warm but we were unable to cool off in the lake due to the thick, unpleasant Algae. If there was a place to post a picture, I would. It would be worth 1,000 words.

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The lake is beautiful and we had great fishing. The state park is well maintained and has just enough of everything without being too much. The mosquitos were bad when we went through but didn't bother us at our campsite. Everyone was friendly and campsites didn't feel crowded. Kelseyville has a great deli called studabakers and a restaurant called the sawshop. I loved both of them (they are about 5 miles from the park). I would have liked the route to the park to be better marked but it was easy enough to find.

Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We just spent a wonderful week at Clear Lake. Most of the water was clear (some coves had muddy water due to high winds a few days earlier). The fish seem to be getting ready to spawn ... they were hungry and we caught a lot of bass (mostly small), bluegill (huge), crappie (large) and even a catfish. We rented a house on the lake, but enjoyed the lake so much that we are planning to buy an RV so we can camp next time. We stayed in Lakeport where it is very quiet. Plan to check out the other towns next time so we can enjoy some of the "kid" activities. This is by far the best California lake we've been to (better than Loch Lomond, McClure, McSwain, Calero, Del Valle, Lexington, Coyote Creek, Uvas). FYI - if you are going to Lakeport, be sure to eat at Renee's ... we enjoyed every meal!

Filed By: Toan Pham (Sacramento, Calif)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: I was very disappointed upon my arrival at Clear Lake. I've heard about this Lake through the years and have finally made a trip up there, out of curiosity, for a family picnic. What a 'sticker shock'! The whole lake is surrounded by private residents who have turned every available acre into their little private Idaho. There are 'No Parking', 'No Fishing', 'No Trespassing', 'No Loitering', etc... everywhere! The lake is very dirty! I have no idea how in the world this could be 'Clear Lake' :p . The lake is full of algae and slimy debris fill the shoreline. There are very limited access to the lake (because everybody has laid claim to their one acre). The State Park (my entry point) is very small and recreations are limited. The sight of Clear Lake is very urban and crowded! This is not a very good destination to 'get away'. To make a long gripe short, I did not enjoy Clear Lake and will not return anytime soon in the future. Maybe never. The only thing that made our trip pleasant are the professional and courteous State Park Rangers. The Rangers are very friendly and nice. Other than that, Clear Lake is no longer on my map.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping

More Information

Contact Information:
Silverado Clear Lake Sector Headquarters, 5300 Soda Bay Road , Kelseyville, CA, 95451, Phone: 707-279-2267, Fax: 707-279-0401

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.
North Coast State Parks and Beaches - The North Coast Region, stretches nearly 400 miles, from just north of San Francisco to the Oregon border. It is a land of rugged shoreline and pounding surf, of towering redwood forests and rushing rivers, of verdant hills and bountiful vineyards.

California State Parks - Official agency website.
Campground Reservations - Reserve your campground online here with reserveamerica.com


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