Take a lakeside break in this cozy town near Yosemite National Park.
About an hour from Fresno in the Sierra National Forest, Bass Lake attracts boating and water skiing enthusiasts with its reservoir, often touted as a mini Lake Tahoe. While nearby Oakhurst up the road has a wider selection of amenities, the town of Bass Lake offers plenty for campers, including boat and water sports rentals, RV resorts, and tons of campgrounds for tent camping. The town is set on the northern shores of the lake—for a quieter alternative, consider the US Forest Service’s Lupine Campground, offering campsites with fire rings, plus picnic areas and restrooms with flush toilets.
West of Bass Lake While the expanse between Bass Lake and the California coast has its fair share of towns and farmland, there are also plenty of natural areas and parks to explore. Spots worth considering along this route include San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Pacheco State Park, and Henry W. Coe State Park. Sequoia National Forest Head south and you'll hit Sequoia National Forest, where you'll find everything from scenic waterways to colorful high mountain scenery. Backpackers may want to also consider a trip out to the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, with its thick forest interspersed with alpine meadows. Stanislaus National Forest North of Bass Lake, the massive Stanislaus National Forest is a great place to continue water adventures, with a wide variety of lakes and rivers. Hiking and camping opportunities also abound in this wooded area.
Bass Lake is definitely a summer destination, though many area campgrounds are open year-round. Summers can get hot, with daytime temperatures sometimes rising to the upper 90s, while nights are pleasantly warm, with temperatures in the 60s. The spring and fall shoulder seasons are ideal if you want fewer crowds, with pleasantly warm temperatures in May and September. Late fall through winter gets plenty of rain, and snow is not uncommon.