15 Best Lakes in California

California is geographically diverse, with the Sierra Nevada, the Central Valley and the Mojave Desert making up for its main terrain. It is home to some of the largest trees in the world, beautiful wildlife and a long stretch of coastline, as well as being home to over 30,000 lakes and reservoirs.

Some of California’s lakes drain into the ocean, while others are completely landlocked. Some are small, while others span for over 370 square miles. Some are deep and some are shallow, and can be located at sea level or up in the mountains. Regardless, one thing that many lakes in California have in common is that they are stunning. Here is a list of the 15 best lakes in California.

1. Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada

Lake Tahoe

Source: flickr

Lake Tahoe

Sitting at 1,897 metres above sea level, Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake, with a surface area of over 191 square metres. The magnificent lake sits at the border of California and Nevada and is a major tourist attraction thanks to its stunning scenery, as it is surrounded by conifer forest and beautiful beaches.

The lake is over 2 million years old, though it got its shape during the ice age. In the past, the lake was inhabited by the Washoe tribe, though today it is a thriving resort community that is visited by hordes of tourists year round.

In the winter months, Lake Tahoe is famous for its skiing, being home to many ski resorts. In the summertime, the lake turns into a haven for water sports enthusiasts, where parasailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and jet skiing are all offered. Boating is the most popular thing to do on Lake Tahoe, though scuba diving is also popular.

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15 Best Lakes in California:

Lake Tahoe