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Your Guide to Lake Almanor

When people think about California, they think about Hollywood, the Golden Gate bridge, the national parks, and Lake Tahoe. However, worthwhile trips are all over the Golden State, including up in northern California's Lake Almanor. People consider it a mini Lake Tahoe, and some prefer it because of its seclusion.
Where is Lake Almanor?
On the edge of Plumas county, Lake Almanor is a popular tourist destination in Chester, California. At an elevation of 4505 feet above sea level and lying far away from most major cities, some people may miss this paradise.

How big is Lake Almanor?
The lake is 43.75 square miles and 90 feet deep.

Lake Almanor and COVID-19
Because it's outdoors, Lake Almanor is a fairly safe place to vacation with your family. While Plumas County encourages people to get vaccinated, it is not a requirement to swim, hike, or fish on Lake Almanor. If you want to keep up-to-date on COVID-19 rates in Plumas county, check out its local website.

What to Do in Lake Almanor?
There is plenty to do in Lake Almanor this summer! You can swim, fish, hike, jet ski, and so much more! Here are things you should keep in mind for each activity:

Can I swim in Lake Almanor?
Of course you can! In fact, because of California's consistent temperatures, people adore swimming in Lake Almanor. The swimming season in Lake Almanor lasts from July to September.
During those months, Lake Almanor water temperature does not usually drop below 68oF and therefore is suitable for comfortable swimming, making it ideal for those wanting to cool off this summer.

If you have children you can head to the shore and relax for a while as they play out in the shallow water. Be sure that younger children always have somebody with them, and that they have the proper swimming safety equipment such as a life jacket.

Fishing Lake Almanor
Fishing is also a favorite activity for many people in Lake Almanor. You can catch all sorts of fish, and if you want to go out on the lake, there are plenty of boat rental places you can work with.

Types of Fish living in Lake Almanor:
  • Rainbow and Brown Trout
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
  • Catfish
  • Smelt
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Sacramento Perch

Where to get California Fishing License:
You can buy a fishing license online here, or you can buy through a licensing agent or through the CDFW license sales office.

Annual Resident Sport Fishing: $52
Annual Non Resident Sport Fishing: $142
One-day Sport Fishing: $17
Two-day Sport Fishing: $26.50
Ten-Day Nonresident Sport Fishing License: $52

Humbug Summit to Humboldt Peak
Length: 6 miles
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
This trail lies close to Cold Spring, and is a fairly easy trail for the whole family!

Devil's Kitchen
Length: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Come see the hydrothermal spot in the Lassen Volcanic National Park just off the Devil's Kitchen Trail. It's worth the hike!

Boiling Spring Lake
Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This lake stays over 120 degrees Fahrenheit! While you may not want to step into its waters, it's still worth the trek.

Water Sports
You can launch your boat off the Forest Service ramps at Canyon Dam Picnic area or off the west shore. From here you can do any exciting water sports that you want to do. If you don't have a boat of your own, you can rent one from Major's Outpost, Plumas Pines Resort & bar, and several others.

Hopefully, you've found everything that you need to enjoy a summer trip to Lake Almanor, even if you just want to drop in, it's all worth the view.

If you're interested in golf courses in our area, check out this article.


“Beautiful lake similar to Lake Tahoe but way less tourists and more affordable. Hidden gem. It's also nice to bring business to a small town such as Chester. As much as we love Tahoe, I recommend giving Lake Almanor a try!”
Jamie M, TripAdvisor
Lake Almanor is perfect for anyone who likes the outdoors. Camping, fishing, boating, picnics ... it has it all. Even if you're passing through, stop off at the rest stop area on the north shore for a refreshing view.”
Travel75_12, TripAdvisor
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