CLEAR LAKE STATE PARK
Clear Lake State Park is on the shores of California?s largest freshwater lake. 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. The park is the nesting place for waterfowl.
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 area?s resources. The trail passes through the site of what was once a Pomo village.
The park visitor center features displays about the area?s natural and cultural history.
California State Parks is excited about the soon-to-be-installed rustic cabins. To plan your trip if you want to stay in one of them, we recommend you call Clear Lake SP directly.
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.
BBs / Inns
Close to Calistoga, Napa Valley and Lake County Vineyards, and Harbin Hot Springs in the Mayacama Mountains, and 2 hrs away from San Francisco or Sacramento. Backyard Garden Oasis is an exquisite respite for those wanting a nature-filled retreat surrounded by some of Californias most beautiful country.
18.1 miles from park*
Search for a vacation rental
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 State Park is located near Clearlake, Cloverdale and Kelseyville
Dorn Nature Trail 1.5 mile loopClear Lake is the largest lake located entirely within the state. (Tahoe is a larger lake, but it?s partly in Nevada.) Around the lake are mountains and beyond a fruited plain of vineyards, walnut groves and, as locals boast, ?the world?s largest Bartlett pear growing area.?
Clear Lake, earth scientists estimate, is 2.5 million years old; some claim it?s the oldest lake in North America. At the very least, it?s considerably older that such 5,000-year-old ?infants? such as Lakes Tahoe and Superior.
Clear Lake is a natural lake, meaning that it has a set-in-nature feeling, and gives an altogether more tranquil vibe than state mega-reservoirs such as Folsom Lake or Lake Oroville.
Clear Lake State Park offers much-needed public access to the lake and preserves about two miles of lakeshore. Swimming, water skiing and hiking are popular at the park, but fishing is as big as the lake itself. ?Wall to wall? catfish, bluegill, crappie and black bass lure fishermen to the lake.
Located on the lake?s south shore, the state park includes some terrific lakeshore campsites at Kelsey Creek Campground. A modern visitor center features exhibits about the lake, as well as Native America lore. Dorn Nature Trail samples the slopes above Clear Lake and offers fine Lake County vistas.
Directions to trailhead: From Highway 29 in Kelseyville (just south of Lakeport) turn east on signed Soda Bay Road and follow the signs to Clear Lake State Park and the day-use parking area near the visitor center.
The hike: From the visitor center, walk back up the day use access road to the main park road; here you?ll see signed Dorn Nature Trail. The path joining Dorn Nature Trail from the left is the return leg of the loop.
The path ascends into a woodland of California buckeye and valley oak, switchbacks a bit, and soon serves up the first view of the lake.
A quarter mile climb brings you to the crest of a minor ridge and a junction with a side trail splitting to the right and leading to Upper Bayview Campground. Stay left and continue on Dorn Trail to an overlook.
Oak and manzanita frame a grand view of the lake, backdropped by vineyards, orchards, and the Mendocino Coast Range.
A bit farther down the trail, a second overlook offers another vista of the lake, as well as towering Mount Konocti.
Three-quarters of a mile out, about halfway through this walk, the path descends and passes a right-forking trail leading to Lower Bayview Campground. The descent continues over fern-covered slopes, contours west, then drops to the park road back at the trailhead.
The entrance to the park is 3.5 miles northeast of Kelseyville on Soda Bay Road, north of Calistoga in the wine country.
Latitude/Longitude: 39.0094 / -122.8106