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Weekend Getaways

The 20 Largest Lakes in California

Essentially the most stunning lakes in California shine with magnificent pure sights among the many quite a few beautiful out of doors settings throughout the state. California’s a number of reservoirs and freshwater lakes present numerous leisure alternatives similar to boating and swimming. Resort locations within the state additionally embrace the nicest lakes for a vacation trip. From Northern California lakes, like Lake Shasta and Lake Tahoe, to Southern California lakes, like Silverhead and Massive Bear, all the state’s most important cities are inside simple attain of an attractive physique of water.

California’s lakes provide a various roster of features that profit each people and the wildlife residing in and surrounding them. However of all of the lakes within the state, which ones is the most important? This text will discover the 20 largest lakes in California and different info about them.

The 20 Largest Lakes in California

20. Camanche Reservoir

The Camanche Reservoir is a synthetic lake in San Joaquin Valley.

Package Leong/Shutterstock.com

A man-made lake situated within the San Joaquin Valley in California, the Camanche Reservoir has 12 sq mi or 31.16 sq km floor space. Camanche Dam, constructed in 1963, retains its waters in verify. Camanche Reservoir offers flood management and a supply of water for industrial and municipal wants.

19. Lake Isabella

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Lake Isabella is one other reservoir situated in California. It sits in Kern County and was shaped by the Isabella Dam. Often known as Isabella Lake, the Californian lake has a complete floor space of 17.18 sq mi or 44.52 sq km. It was created in 1953 when the US Military Corps of Engineers dammed the Kern River at Whiskey Flat, the place its two branches meet.

18. Folsom Lake

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Folsom Lake measures 17.89 sq mi or 46.34 sq km in floor space, making it one other huge reservoir in California. The lake is situated within the Sierra Nevada foothills and lies 25 mi or 40 km northeast of Sacramento. Folsom Lake, together with the neighboring Folsom Lake State Recreation Space, is one in all California’s hottest parks. The California Workplace of Environmental Well being Hazard Evaluation has issued a protected consuming advisory primarily based on mercury ranges noticed in fish captured within the lake.

17. New Melones Lake

Lake vs River What Are the Differences - August 12, 2022

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Positioned within the northern Sierra Nevada foothills on the Stanislaus River, New Melones Lake is a reservoir masking 19.53 sq. miles or 50.59 sq. kilometers. Hydroelectric energy, flood administration, irrigation water, and wildlife habitat are all offered by the reservoir.

16. Tule Lake

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Overlaying 20.31 sq. miles, Tule Lake is identical measurement as Don Pedro Reservoir.

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Tule Lake covers 20.31 sq mi or 52.61 sq km, exactly the identical measurement because the Don Pedro Reservoir. The Tule Lake Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and the Klamath Venture are each situated on the lake. The Klamath Venture’s water deliveries have helped rescue geese and different species inhabiting the lake.

15. Don Pedro Reservoir

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Don Pedro Lake is located within the Sierra Nevada foothills.

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Often known as Lake Don Pedro, this reservoir measures 20.31 sq mi or 52.61 sq km, making it sixth of the most important reservoirs within the state. The unreal lake is located within the Sierra Nevada foothills. Moccasin and La Grange are two of its adjoining native communities.

14. Lake Oroville

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The principle attraction at Lake Oroville is mostly fishing.

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With a floor space of 25 sq mi or 64.75 sq km, Lake Oroville is a big reservoir throughout the Lake Oroville State Recreation Space. By holding water, controlling flood, recreation, and freshwater releases, Lake Oroville is acknowledged as a cornerstone facility throughout the California State Water Venture, serving to to forestall saline intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and conserving fish and animals.

Learn concerning the Oroville Dam, which creates Lake Oroville.

13. Trinity Lake

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Trinity Lake is one in all Califonia’s largest lakes.

Blake, Tupper Ansel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service /This work has been launched into the general public area by its writer, Blake, Tupper Ansel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is applicable worldwide. In some international locations this is probably not legally doable; in that case: Blake, Tupper Ansel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants anybody the correct to make use of this work for any goal, with none circumstances, except such circumstances are required by regulation.

Encompassing 25.8 sq mi or 66.91 sq km of floor space, Trinity Lake in Trinity County snags a spot in California’s greatest lakes listing. It’s a synthetic lake created by the Trinity Dam for irrigation and hydroelectric energy. The lake can also be one in all California’s largest reservoirs. Other than providing wonderful water-skiing alternatives, Trinity Lake additionally reveals quite a few little arms and clear inlets.

12. Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu
Havasu Lake is shared by the states of California and Arizona.

Pamela Au/Shutterstock.com

Lake Havasu measures 30 sq mi or 78.1 sq km and is shared by the states of California and Arizona. Lots of the most notable desert vistas encompass the lake. Lake Havasu continues to be the longest lake in California as of now.

11. Lake Berryessa

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Lake Berryessa has a shoreline that stretches to round 165 miles.

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With a 32.3 sq mi or 83.77 sq km floor space, Lake Berryessa is the most important lake in Napa County, California. When full, the lake covers round 20,000 acres or 8,100 hectares and has a shoreline that stretches to about 165 miles or 265 kilometers.

10. Eagle Lake

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Anglers head out to Eagle Lake in hopes of touchdown the following eleven-pound, native Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout.

Micheal Lee/Shutterstock.com

Eagle Lake is an endorheic alkaline lake situated in Lassen County, California. With a floor space measuring 37.5 sq mi or 97.12 sq km, it’s the state’s second-largest lake located fully inside California, subsequent to Clear Lake. 

9. Clear Lake Reservoir

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Kim Joar Bekkelund / Artistic Commons – License

Clear Lake Reservoir is a man-made lake situated in northeastern Modoc County, California. It’s a part of the Klamath Basin and the Modoc Nationwide Forest and measures 40.23 sq mi or 104.2 sq km. The dam’s reservoir has a median depth of simply round 20 toes or 6 meters at most capability, leading to a extremely fast evaporation fee.

8. Lake Almanor

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Lake Almanor has a floor space of 44 sq. miles.

iStock.com/Laurens Verhoeven

Whereas Lake Almanor’s whole floor space encompasses 44 sq mi or 113.3 sq km, it’s thought of the state’s widest lake. Leisure alternatives abound in Lake Almanor. Tenting, mountain climbing, and fishing are only a few of the favored leisure actions obtainable at this lake.

7. Shasta Lake or Lake Shasta

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Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and landlocked Steelhead, King & Kokanee Salmon deliver the anglers out to Shasta Lake in droves

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Lake Shasta is California’s largest man-made lake, masking a complete floor space of 47 sq mi or 121.4 sq km. The Shasta Reservoir, which sits above the Sacramento River, was constructed together with the Shasta Dam building, which was established to generate hydroelectricity.

6. Clear Lake

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Mono Lake and Clear Lake have the identical floor space (68 sq. miles).

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Clear Lake ties with Mono Lake in terms of floor space, with 68 sq mi or 180 sq km in whole. Nonetheless, Mono Lake is extra huge in terms of water quantity. This pure freshwater lake in Napa County and San Francisco is the most important pure freshwater lake situated fully inside California’s confines. Additionally it is North America’s oldest lake, having been shaped about 2.5 million years in the past.

5. Mono Lake

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Overlaying 68 sq. miles, Mono Lake is a lake with very excessive salinity ranges offering a singular sort of lake expertise.

iStock.com/Poly Isepan

Mono Lake is an enormous, shallow saline lake masking 68 sq mi or 180 sq km of whole floor space that originated as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin round 769,000 years in the past. As a result of the lake has no outlet, vital volumes of salt have amassed. Mono Lake’s water is alkaline attributable to its excessive salt content material. With its distinctive ecology, it permits brine shrimp to thrive.

4. Honey Lake

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Honey Lake is a self-contained physique of water within the Honey Lake Valley and is house to hundreds of lovely geese, geese, and cranes.

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An endorheic sink within the Honey Lake Valley, Honey Lake has a complete floor space of 86 sq mi or 220 sq km. It’s situated close to the Nevada border in northeastern California. Resulting from evaporation, the lake is decreased to three,000 acres all through the summer season months, leading to a dry lake. Mountain climbing, warm-water fishing, fowl watching, waterfowl searching, tenting, and picnicking are all in style leisure actions on Honey Lake.

3. Goose Lake

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Overlaying a floor space of 147 sq. miles, Goose Lake is the third-largest lake in California.

Tom Reichner/Shutterstock.com

Goose Lake is the third largest lake within the US state of California, with a floor space of 147 sq mi or 380.7 sq km. The huge saline lake is situated within the Goose Lake Valley, near the California-Oregon state boundary. Nonetheless, nearly all of the world across the lake valley is privately held agricultural land.

2. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is the second-largest lake in California.

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Overlaying a complete floor space of 191.58 sq mi or 496.2 sq km, Lake Tahoe is the second-largest lake in California by floor space however is the most important freshwater lake in terms of water quantity. Lake Tahoe is known in the US because it is likely one of the deepest lakes within the nation and one of many deepest lakes in North America as properly. Other than these ranks, Lake Tahoe additionally makes it to the listing of the most important lakes in the complete United States because it holds an enormous quantity of water. Lake Tahoe sits within the Sierra Nevada, between Nevada and California, and has a quantity of 150.7 cubic kilometers. The Californian lake can also be well-known for its insanely clear and pure water with 99.994% purity, virtually as pristine as distilled water, which measures 99.998%.

1. Salton Sea

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The Salton Sea is the most important lake in California.

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The Salton Sea, a shallow, salty, endorheic lake with a floor space of 343 sq mi or 889 sq km, is the most important lake within the state of California. As it’s landlocked, it doesn’t produce other waterways or outflow to empty its waters, and it solely loses its waters by way of evaporation, thus its excessive stage of salinity. The water in Salton Lake has a salinity of 44 grams per liter, larger than the Pacific Ocean, which solely has a 35 g/l salinity stage. The only real native fish species within the sea, the desert pupfish, is a federally categorized endangered species in the US. This freshwater fish is understood for its capability to withstand the Salton Sea’s escalating salinity. It could possibly survive salinity ranges various from freshwater to twice as salty as saltwater.

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