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Overview

California's largest natural freshwater lake draws anglers, swimmers, water-skiers, and people aiming for a proper summer destination. Located north of Napa Valley, Clear Lake was created several thousand years ago when a landslide blocked drainage to the Russian River. The water rose and created a natural lake. Considered the best place to snag bass in the state, fishermen flock here, hoping to get a dinner of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. Hikers appreciate the Indian Nature Trail to learn about the Pomo people, who lived in the area for generations. Around the lake are boat-in wineries, resorts, and marshes ...

California's largest natural freshwater lake draws anglers, swimmers, water-skiers, and people aiming for a proper summer destination. Located north of Napa Valley, Clear Lake was created several thousand years ago when a landslide blocked drainage to the Russian River. The water rose and created a natural lake. Considered the best place to snag bass in the state, fishermen flock here, hoping to get a dinner of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. Hikers appreciate the Indian Nature Trail to learn about the Pomo people, who lived in the area for generations. Around the lake are boat-in wineries, resorts, and marshes crowded with vacationers; in the park, visitors can camp and explore without the crowds. Unfortunately, the lake isn't as pristine as it once was — it has a greenish hue — but locals still claim their lovely region has some of the cleanest air in the state.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer