Do you sometimes wish you could take your family deep into the wilderness away from the daily grind? Lake Almanor is the answer to your quest for a quiet place where you can camp, hike, fish and commune with Nature.
Deep in Plumas County, about 260 miles north of San Francisco at the junction of CA 36 and CA 89, the small town of Almanor is perched on the shores of Lake Almanor.
One of the largest manmade lakes in California, Almanor was created by damming the North Fork of the Feather River to generate power. It stays full during summer and levels don’t drop until fall, giving visitors year-round opportunities to fish its depths. Located at an altitude of 4500 feet, Lake Almanor has a 53-mile shoreline. The surrounding Plumas County offers stunning scenery of Mount Lassen, numerous camping opportunities and excellent hiking trails. Add such exciting activities as gold panning, swimming, water skiing, boating and horseback riding and you have an ideal family destination.
If you enjoy fishing, you are in for a treat, as the lake is known as an angler’s paradise.
Despite innumerable options in both fishing locales and species, you will seldom find a huge crowd at Lake Almanor. Even near the peak of vacation season, there are hotspots where you can fish in near solitude. The highlight of summer fishing at Almanor is the Hexagenia mayfly hatch, which begins in late June and goes into early July. Big fish like trout, bass and salmon are attracted to the surface to feed on the newly hatched flies making it a rewarding time for anglers. Fishing is best done in the early morning hours, leaving the rest of the day free for the pursuit of other activities.
Lake Almanor has much to offer besides fishing. For a basic fee of $15, you can take the family camping anytime during the months of May to September. The well-equipped camp area has barbecues, fire rings, tables, piped water and flushing toilets. The many delis, cafes, barbeques, pizzerias and restaurants cover a range of dining options. Just 30 miles away is Lassen National Park, a treasure trove of wild flora and fauna. The Caribou Wilderness nearby is a place where you can actually hear the sounds of silence. The hiking trails here are easier for kids to handle.
Fresh air, plenty of activities and multiple opportunities to connect with nature are the hallmarks of the Lake Almanor experience. This unhurried, serene spot in the Sierras is truly a hidden gem.