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 largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. The park is a nesting place for waterfowl. The Clear Lake area has a rich and interesting Native American and early settler’s history. 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. The water comes from runoff and springs in Soda Bay.
Visitor Center—Located west of the boat launch parking lot, the visitor center’s interpretive displays focus on the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the lake. The center has a large aquarium displaying some of the lake’s fish species. Park staff offer educational and interpretive programs at the nearby Education Pavilion
Activities—Morning nature walks, evening campfire programs and Junior Ranger programs are scheduled throughout the summer. An interpretive Wildflower Brunch takes place each spring.
Camping—The park has four developed campgrounds with a total of 147 sites, plus two hike/bike sites. Each group camp accommodates 40 people. All campgrounds except Lower Bayview have restrooms with hot showers. An RV sanitation station is near the boat launch area, but no campsites have RV hookups.
Cabins—eight lakeside cabins without electricity or running water may be rented.
Fishing and Picnicking—You can fish for crappie, catfish or largemouth bass while enjoying your picnic lunch under the oaks and cottonwoods. Picnic sites have tables, barbecues and water faucets. Restrooms and parking areas with room for buses are nearby.
Boat Launch—The boat launch and marina are located on the west bank of Cole Creek. The launch ramp is paved, lighted and usable year-round. Boat mooring slips are available first-come, first-served. Launch fees apply. Paved parking adjoins the marina, which has a shower and restroom.
Swimming—Clear Lake State Park has a swimming beach just north of the Lower Bayview Campground. Use caution; no lifeguards are on duty.
Hiking—Many miles of hiking trails and fire roads wind through the park. Most of the terrain is hilly, with elevations of 1,320 to 1,600 feet. Carry drinking water and sunscreen and wear a hat.
Dorn Nature Trail winds through oak woodland and chaparral. The vegetation includes oaks, manzanita and many native wildflowers. You can start the trail at several points (see map). The two-mile trail is moderately strenuous.
Indian Nature Trail is a self-guided trail that shows how local Pomo used native plants and other resources. The trail is a moderate halfmile walk.
En route Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
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