Lake Almanor is a picturesque reservoir formed by the Canyon Dam on the North Fork of the Feather River in northeastern California. Several creeks, including the Last Chance Creek and Benner Creek, also feed into Lake Almanor. This popular recreational area offers fishing, water skiing, swimming, and various other outdoor activities for residents and visitors. There are numerous incredible Lake Almanor vacation rentals for those planning a quiet getaway. When visiting the area with your family, consider these 12 popular activities.
1. Fish for Rainbow Trout
Lake Almanor is noted by anglers from the region as one of the best spots to fish for trout. It is also home to king salmon, small mouth bass, and catfish. Grab your gear and visit the spring when the water begins to warm. For shore fishing, head to the east side of the peninsula around Big Springs Cove or near the dam. Rent a fishing boat at the Big Cove Resort of Knotty Pines and travel to the jetties at Prattville or by the Hamilton Branch. Catfish tend to gather at Catfish Beach at the north side of the lake.
2. Rent a Kayak
If you like being on the water, rent a kayak and explore the creeks, coves, and hidden spots that often go undetected from the crowds. Lake Almanor Kayak Rents provides everything needed for a safe trip on the water, including paddles, life vests, dry bags, and even a rack system for your vehicle. Paddle along the calm waters and enjoy the wildlife and the sunshine. Families with young children can opt for a tandem kayak to pair a child with an adult, while teenagers can paddle their own craft.
3. Learn How to Stand-Up Paddleboard
Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular activity on Lake Almanor. The calm water near the northern end of the lake away from the dam is the perfect spot to learn. Action Sports Rentals rents paddleboards, canoes, rafts, and a variety of other equipment for the water. If you are new to the activity, sign up for lessons at the Evergreen Recreation Center.
4. Bike the Lake Almanor Recreation Trail
Lake Almanor is surrounded by beautiful shade trees, plenty of trails, and lush greenery, which create a serene place for a day of family cycling. The Lake Almanor Recreation Trail offers 9.5-miles of easy paths to ride and enjoy. You’ll find winding meadows, forests filled with fir, pine and cedar trees, and an inviting shoreline that is ideal for picnicking and taking pictures, so be sure to bring a camera and pack a picnic lunch.
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5. Hike to Indian Falls
Located near Crescent Mills, the Indian Falls Trail is a short hike that is ideal for all skill levels. Less than a mile long, the trail leads up some rocky cliffs to the falls. There is a small beach for relaxing and a swimming hole to beat the heat in the summer, and the trail features a few signs marking species of plants and trees that are native to the region. The trail is open all year, and you can bring your dog with you as long as you keep him on a leash.
6. Visit the Lassen Volcanic National Park
Teach the kids about the wonders of hydrothermics at the Lassen Volcanic National Park, where there are seven hydrothermal areas with steaming fumaroles. Tour the park with a ranger to learn about these geological formations. Sign the kids up with the Junior Firefighter Program where they can learn how firefighters using engines and firefighting gear to keep the park safe. At the end of the 45-minute program, participants earn a badge.
7. Ride Horses in the Caribou Wilderness
Equestrian lovers can explore the area around Lake Almanor on horseback. The Caribou Wilderness trails begin at Hay Meadows. This gentle and rolling forested plateau is dotted with glacial lakes, towering trees, volcanic peaks, and meadows of wildflowers. The wilderness is unpopulated, which makes it a great escape for families that prefer to escape the crowds.
8. Go Geocaching
Escape your vacation rental for the day and set out on an adventure of locating geocaches. Find a variety of treasures in the Lassen and Plumas Forest. Other locations include Cemetery Hill, Dark Shadows, Bluff Falls, and the Mountain Meadows Dam. If you’re new to geocaching, download the app to your cell phone to get started.
9. Take a Snowmobile Tour
Visit Lake Almanor in the winter and enjoy the snow. Snowmobile and winter ATV tours are available throughout the region. Considered one of the best snowmobiling locations in the west, Buck’s Lake offers 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. La Porte has over 80 miles of trails, and the Lake Almanor basin has five staging areas of different levels for riders of all experience levels.
10. Challenge Family to a Sledding Race
The Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl is an iconic place to go in the winter for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Enjoy this event all year round, and in February visit the park for the annual Winterfest that features snow games for the kids, music, and lots of food. Sundays in February are reserved for long boards. There is also a small café that serves hot drinks, burgers, and hot dogs by a roaring fire.
11. Play a Round of Mini Golf
The Paul Bunyan mini golf course is located within the Paul Bunyan Resort. This themed golf course is located along the north side of the lake and offers a challenging and fun event for kids of all ages. The course also incorporates antique logging pieces that have been gathered from various loggers in the area.
12. Have a Picnic Lunch
Bring a blanket and stretch out on the grass at Chester Park and enjoy a picnic lunch with the family. Let the kids play on the playground or enjoy a game of catch on the ball field. The park has restrooms and a band shell for live shows throughout the summer.
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