Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Bass Lake, CA

  • Published 2023/03/23

Bass Lake is a year-round vacation destination located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California.

Constructed in 1895, the Bass Lake Reservoir provides hydroelectric power to Central California.

Bass Lake is one of the most popular sites in the area due to its fishing and hiking routes.

Sunset Magazine voted the lake as one of the “West’s Best Lakes.”

At the lakeside resort, guests enjoy various activities, including water sports, mountain biking trails, hiking, and fishing.

There is a variety of lodging options, including lakeside resorts, cottages for friends and family to rent, and campgrounds.

Bass Lake is an excellent location for boating and fun and the perfect spot for water recreation.

Here are the best things to do in Bass Lake, CA:

Stay at Yosemite RV Park

Picnic table and chairs in front of an RV

hbw_pictures /

You will never feel more at home anywhere else, by the seaside or the mountains.

It’s the location that causes one to stop, take a quick look around, and appreciate their surroundings.

Find around 178 campsites with complete hookups, including cable and Wi-Fi.

Log cabins and tiny cabins are perfect for almost any gathering or romantic getaway, and they are not limited to RVs.

RVs parked at Yosemite National Park

Sundry Photography /

The resort features a kid-friendly playground and a relaxing outdoor pool.

Families can spend valuable time playing billiards, ping pong, and other activities in an indoor clubhouse.

All the activities you could ever desire are within walking distance of Bass Lake.

You can try fishing and swimming, hiking and biking, and everything in between.

View of the RV at Yosemite National Park

Cheri Alguire /

Go Camping at Bass Lake

Scenic view of the Bass Lake

hafakot /

Bass Lake is still fantastic even if you haven’t brought your camping gear.

There are restaurants, stores, and hiking trails in the area, as well as watercraft rentals.

The campgrounds are spacious.

Even though they seem to be in a remote location, they are near to all of these essential facilities.

Although the location is in the highlands, some campgrounds are also accessible by car.

Each campground, including Forks, Lupine, Wishon, and Recreation Point, has its own designated areas.

It is primarily exposed, with only a few trees obscuring its view.

This area offers numerous possibilities for individuals who appreciate lake views.

Follow the Spring Cove Trail

Around Bass Lake are several trails that you can use to learn more about the surrounding environment.

West of the lake, the Spring Cove trail leads from the campground to Goat Mountain through Spring Cove.

This hike encompasses almost five kilometers of the sometimes steep dirt track.

The Willow Brook trail follows the creek as it flows into Bass Lake above Falls Beach.

Hikers should approach the polished and slick granite boulder with caution.

Throughout the year, Bass Lake is an ideal location for a stroll with children, who can see animal trails as they make their way around the lake.

Admire the Beautiful Goat Mountain

Bass Lake is the ideal spot for those in search of some excitement.

It is much more than a mere lake.

Before the Europeans came, the Chukchansi and Mono peoples lived there, which was a lovely pine-forested meadow.

During the early 20th century, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company built the Crane Valley Dam, a 145-foot dam constructed across Willow Creek.

The company built the dam in 1910; they made seismic modifications to it nearly a century later.

During the lake’s construction, the company also brought goats there to compact the valley floor.

They were soon allowed to roam the nearby foothills, and many reached the crest of Goat Mountain west of the lake.

Despite the absence of goats, you can still find a historic fire lookout tower and electronic communications equipment at the top of Goat Mountain.

Stay with Your Family at the Forks Resort

The Forks Resort is the ideal home away from home for visitors to Bass Lake.

The Forks Resort is a refuge for individuals in search of happiness.

It is a typical, family-run resort on the south side of Bass Lake that has delighted guests for over 80 years.

Boat rentals, hiking trails, and a golf course are within walking distance of your cottage.

In addition to the features, your fellow guests make this neighborhood special.

You’ll feel right at home in their lovely cabins, replete with satellite television and all the comforts of home.

After a day of outdoor enjoyment, indulge your family and friends here.

The Forks prohibits parties, so you need not worry about being disturbed by late-night revelers.

Go Barbecuing on a Patio Boat with Bass Lake Boat Rentals

Boats at Bass Lake Boat Rentals

KPegg /

Renting a patio boat with a grill is a terrific way to spend a day with the family at Bass Lake.

One of these patio boat rental services is the Bass Lake Boat Rentals & Watersports.

On these all-day sailing boats, you can rest while frying burgers and patting yourself on the back for being such a genius.

These boats include canopies, a gas barbecue with propane, life vests, a ladder, an ice chest, and padded seats as standard equipment.

Do you wish to excite your kids even more?

You can rent a “banana” or inner tube to tow the patio boat.

Celebrate at Miller’s Landing Resort

Are you seeking a genuine California experience?

Miller’s Landing Resort is the optimal choice.

Generations of families have frequented this location for important occasions and the most enjoyable moments.

It resides on the southern bank of Bass Lake.

Miller’s is a historic site with a pleasant, casual appeal, featuring a spacious pier, a grill selling delicious food, unique souvenirs, and breathtaking grounds.

Cabins at Bass Lake are available for rent throughout the year, with substantial discounts offered during the off-season.

Cabins are great for romantic getaways and business retreats; it’s got all the conveniences you’ll need for a memorable trip.

Nothing can go wrong, including the BBQs that you can do at every cabin.

Dine at Ducey’s on the Lake

Exterior of Ducey's on the Lake restaurant

Kit Leong /

Ducey’s on the Lake is one of the finest restaurants at the Pines Resort, boasting an unparalleled view of Bass Lake.

The lodge design and effortless elegance, as well as the delicious meals, assure that you will not be disappointed.

In addition to traditional American cuisine, Ducey’s on the Lake provides fine dining with farm-to-table and organic food.

Locals and tourists flock for numerous holidays, including Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and New Year’s Day.

Ducey’s Grill retains the same excellent quality and service standards but in a more relaxed environment.

Ducey’s is open year-round for a drink at the bar or supper with your family, regardless of the weather.

Watch the Bald Eagles at the Pines Resort

Sunset at Pines Resort

Win Mon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While camping around Bass Lake this summer, you might see some beautiful eagles swooping overhead.

The Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the U.S. Forest Service have monitored at least two well-established nesting territories for at least 20 years.

Within the Ponderosa Pines, the birds of Bass Lake are an integral part of the ecosystem.

The Pines Resort sits across from two nests, one of which is concealed in a cove.

What does an adult bald eagle look like?

Its body is brown, with a white head and tail, yellow eyes, and a yellow bill.

While it may not appear to be doing much, a perched eagle is aggressively protecting its nest.

They are foraging for food and recharging their batteries when not in flight.

If you notice one, maintain your distance and quietly observe it from at least 50 to 100 meters away.

Explore the Pines Market and Deli and Bass Lake Farmer’s Market

At the Pines Market and Deli, travelers can find many delectable options.

You will find everything from magazines, snacks, sandwiches, toys, and treats to an extensive supply of canned foods and camping equipment.

In addition to ice cream, apparel, and fishing licenses, this store provides courteous service and local expertise.

If you’re planning a hike or a picnic, pick up some deli items at the lunch counter in the back.

Hot dogs and chicken wings are among the most popular menu items.

From late spring until early October, this farmers market offers an extensive selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables, honey, and olive oil.

Dinner at the Pines Village Bakery and Pizzeria

Looking for a quick meal can be tricky at Bass Lake.

On the other hand, the Pines Village Bakery and Pizzeria has what you need.

Its outdoor seating enriches the dining experience and offers fantastic people-watching opportunities.

Try their generously sized calzones that can feed two people.

The family-friendly Pines Village Bakery and Pizzeria is a great place to unwind or take a break while shopping nearby.

Don’t leave the restaurant without ordering a root beer float.

Party at the Pines Bar

For an evening of relaxation, visit the Pines Bar near Bass Lake.

If you don’t know where it is, you must search for the tavern in the Pines Village.

You may sneak away for a drink in the rustic atmosphere, which features an excellent selection of beers on tap.

This bar has everything a fun establishment needs, from darts and a pool to a dance floor and ceiling fans.

This bar is open every day and features karaoke nights on Thursdays.

Weekends typically feature a DJ or band performing live music.

They partially filmed the movie The Great Outdoors at Bass Lake, featuring scenes at the Pines Bar.

The movie’s long bar is now a meeting spot for locals and tourists.

Family Camping at the Lupin Spring Cove

Bass Lake can provide the most tranquil and beautiful scenery imaginably.

Due to the proximity to Cedar Bluffs Campground, you may also take advantage of this equally serene setting.

Lupin Spring Cove offers the most tranquil experience compared to other attractions requiring significant physical effort.

Picnic tables, campfire rings, and barbecues are available at Lupine Spring Cove.

Potable water and clean washrooms are also provided for your family’s comfort.

Additionally, kayaking and other water sports are available near the beach and boat launch.

Don’t forget to strike a pose and freeze the time when you get here!

Discover the Way of the Mono Trail

The walk along the Way of the Mono is an excellent place to reflect on your life.

The route is a simple mile-long circle that begins with a steep ascent but quickly levels into switchbacks leading up the mountain.

On the summit of Mono Rock, hikers can enjoy a spectacular view of the lake below.

Bass Lake’s Mono Trail makes it simple to imagine what life was like for the area’s indigenous occupants.

Way of the Mono is located adjacent to the Little Denver Church day-use area and is accessible by Route 222.

There is limited free parking near the trailhead and along the road.

However, you should also park your vehicles away from oncoming traffic.

Despite its proximity to the lake, this ascent requires shoes with an excellent traction pattern.

Children and pets must stay on designated hiking trails.

You should also watch your dog all the time.

There is nothing comparable.

Enjoy the Fantastic View at Falls Beach and Angels Falls

On the northern edge of Bass Lake, Falls Beach is a great place to relax and watch the sunset.

Drive along Road 274 and park where Willow Creek meets Bass Lake to reach your destination.

Falls Beach’s day-use area offers barbecues, picnic tables, potable water, and a variety of play and swimming facilities.

Bring your seats and a shady spot to ensure a comfortable journey.

You have a beautiful view of the lake, ample space to spread out, and all the leisure time in the world to do whatever you please.

Angel Falls is located high above Falls Beach.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

The granite boulders are dangerous, and the cold water is swift.

This spot is also popular with hikers; however, you should proceed cautiously.

You can find great swimming holes in this location if you know what you’re doing.

Enjoy Exploring Willow Creek Trail

View of Willow Creek Trail

Kelly vanDellen /

Bass Lake is surrounded by nature, and when you get here, don’t miss any of its treasures in the great outdoors, including Willow Creek Trail on Road 432.

This 2-mile loop trail will take you to two main attractions: Angel Falls and Devil’s Slide.

There will be lots of lush trees along the way with the beautiful sound of the water, and if you explore it in the fall, expect breathtaking fall foliage.

It’s a little off the beaten path, but nothing beats solitude in nature!

It can be slippery and rocky in some parts of the trail, so make sure to wear proper hiking boots.

Willow Creek Trail is properly marked, which is easier for first-timers in the area.

Go Mexican at Casa Velasco Mexican Restaurant

It’s easy to get indulge in Mexican food in Bass Lake with the goodness of Casa Velasco Mexican Restaurant.

The restaurant features cozy cantina-style dining; offering classic Mexican staples.

It’s popular for its mouthwatering fajitas, shrimp dishes, chili verde, nachos, enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos, and many other Mexican specials.

Also, don’t miss out on its Camarones A La Diabla and its delicious Margaritas!

You can find Casa Velasco Mexican Restaurant on Road 432.

Sign Up for Adventure Programs at Summit Adventure

If you want to take the adventure to a whole new level, sign up for a ministry outdoor program at Summit Adventure.

Courses vary according to your preferences, but most of these get you even closer to nature and are truly transformational.

You can choose from trekking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, orienteering, cultural immersion, rappelling, and more.

These adventures happen in Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley.

But it also offers international adventure programs in Israel, Ecuador, Mexico, and Patagonia.

Visit Summit Adventure at North Shore Road for more details.

Shop for Unique Souvenirs at Good Ol’ Daze

Before heading back home, drop by Good Ol’ Daze to browse through its unique items for gifts and souvenirs for this trip.

Here, you’ll find interesting products that you can take home for yourself or for your loved ones.

From fine art print to collectibles, antiques, jewelry, handbags, clothing, glassware, sculpture, and many other special items, you sure can feast your eyes on these pretty souvenirs.

Also, there are artisanal food and drinks made by local vendors, which you can try and even bring home for your family.

Good Ol’ Daze is located just off Road 432.

Bring a Picnic to Little Denver Picnic Site

Specially designed for family picnics, Little Denver Picnic Site is one of the best spots in Bass Lake to share a picnic with your loved ones.

It’s nestled among the beautiful pine, oak, and cedar trees, which provide excellent shade to the area.

The site features shallow sandy shores and is close to the lake, with nice picnic tables to use for lunch or snacks while enjoying the park’s natural beauty.

In addition to picnicking, Little Denver Picnic Site also offers kayaks and boat rentals if you want to play in the water.

The little ones can also enjoy the children’s water toys on-site.

Final Thoughts

Bass Lake is a sanctuary for individuals wishing to escape the pressures of daily life.

If you want to relax or have fun, this facility has everything you need.

Mountains, woodlands, and waterfalls comprise indescribably gorgeous sceneries.

It’s a place for camping, hiking, fishing, and boating due to the consistently good weather.

Start planning your Bass Lake excursion today!

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