Skip to main content

Lake Almanor is California's Best Shoreline Vacation

Lake Almanor is the perfect family water vacation!

Lake Almanor is the perfect family water vacation!


LAKE ALMANOR a Perfect Summer Shoreline Water Vacation

Not only is "Lake Almanor California's Best Family Summer Shoreline Water Vacation," but it is beautifully set in the serene calm of a rich pine scented forest. Located some 40 miles southeast of Lassen Peak, off of Highway 89 near Chester; this pine-fringed, 13-mile-long lake at 4,500 feet, offers views of the snowy peak of Lassen and surrounding mountains which are mirrored in the clear, calm waters of Lake Almanor.

Lake Almanor Trivia

At 75 square miles Lake Almanor is one of the largest man-made lakes in California. It was created in 1914 as a hydroelectric facility by the Great Western Power Company. The name "Almanor" is the names of three sisters, Alice, Martha and Elinore; daughters of Guy C. Earl, Vice President.

Family Time on Lake Almanor

Families who love to swim, boat, fish, water-ski (or jet-ski), hike, bike, and even golf, thrive on Lake Almanor's sandy beaches and surrounding acreage. You will find cozy cabins and clean campgrounds for rent on the western shore. The water is perfection as the summer lake surface temperatures reach seventy-five degrees! You will enjoy the Lake Almanor Recreational Trail as it weaves you along the edge of the west shore of the lake; an easy, flat, 9.6-mile paved route for biking, walking, (and cross-country skiing, when winter comes around).

You will be transported to a 1950's-style encounter when you visit Chester's lakeside resorts, motels, B&Bs, houseboats, and campgrounds. This small near-by town caters to vacationers and travelers alike with the true spirit of traditional family vacationing. Re-connecting with your loved ones while vacationing here is all but guaranteed; as no one can resist the soothing atmosphere and warm calm watery-wet shorelines of Lake Almanor!

Travel to Lake Almanor Using this Handy Map!

Lake Almanor offers skiing, boating, fishing, jet skiing, lounging, and everything water sport you can imagine!

Lake Almanor offers skiing, boating, fishing, jet skiing, lounging, and everything water sport you can imagine!

Where to eat in Lake Almanor is easy when you follow these good-eats recommendations!

Where to eat in Lake Almanor is easy when you follow these good-eats recommendations!

Lake Almanor Best Food Locations


When camping or vacationing it is important to take into consideration the cost of eating, while still managing to enjoy those tasty foods we crave. Sometimes, the campfire just doesn't feel all that inviting after a busy day of biking, swimming, and skiing; your vacation energy gets left out on the water, leaving you minimal power for the chore of campground cooking. But, there are a few pretty good, even outstanding choices when traveling to Lake Almanor for restaurants even frugal travelers are happy to enjoy.


CREEKSIDE GRILL - 278 main Street, Chester; Call: (530) 258-1966. You will find a charming country setting by a creek, with a fireplace and outdoor dining deck. The grill's fine Chef creates sophisticated California Cuisine as well as down-right homey country food. Prices range from very reasonable to moderate (the price is well worth anything you try here).

STOVER'S ST. BERNARD LODGE - Mill Creek, 10 miles west of Chester; Call: (530) 258-3382. Very cool knotty pine walls, stained glass, and antiques in a casual dining setting. Hearty American food, such as huge burgers, fresh fish, steak, and fried chicken! You can even take a gentle stroll around the trout pond. Prices are really reasonable for even a super-good steak!

PENINSULA STATION BAR AND GRILL - 401 Peninsula Drive, Lake Almanor; Call: (530) 596-3538. Fresh trout and VERY reasonably priced meals. Excellent selections for kids. The prices are as good as the food (and that's damn good).

Bodega Bay, California

Bodega Bay, California

Looking for Another Great California Shorline Vacation? Check this out!

How to put a worm on a hook for great Lake Almanor Bass Fishing!

How to put a worm on a hook for great Lake Almanor Bass Fishing!

Lake Almanor Summer Vacation Fishing Tips

When you are ready to take the family to that special fishing location on Lake Almanor, a few fish-expert pointers are in order! According to the Fish Sniffer Newspaper Magazine/Online, the best bait and fishing tips suggest that in summer it's time to break out topwater baits!
They also say you can find Bass and Trout along steep, rocky shorelines and main body points. They go on to suggest that during the day 4 to 6 inch worms fished 10 to 30 feet deep may just be the best fishing you have ever encountered. And for those fishing experiences closer to shore, try rigging Senkos for under the floating docks.



Zara Spooks 

dead-on coloring, sturdy components and enticing action get incredible strikes 

bass, pike, trout, redfish and more 

Chug Bugs 

works best using a high-speed retrieve because the lure's size and design allows it to skip and spit water  

bass, pike and more 

Wacky Rigging Senkos 

consists simply of a "wacky worm" impaled on a hook through the middle of its body like a Senko 

bass, pike, redsish and more 

Pro Rs

The lure is designed with a lifelike minnow profile, and sports a wobbling paddletail that produces a rockin’ & rollin’ swimming action that big bass cannot resist

bass, pike, trout, redfish and more


Scroll to Continue


  • Nelson Veterinary Services - 131 Stone Ave, Chester, CA (530) 258-7264
  • Chester Veterinary Clinic - 299 Main St, Chester, CA (530) 258-4242
  • VCA Animal Hospitals- Serving the Lake Almanor Area (888) 201-0297

Even the Dog Loves a Lake Almanor Shoreline Family Vacation

That's right, travel with your dog(s)! Feel free to bring your family dog along with you for the best family water vacation ever! You'll pay a couple of extra buck's to have your dog along, and you DO need to keep Fido on a leash at all times; but when it comes time for water sports, romping in the gentle ebbing Lake Almanor waves is a dog-day-delight! We have a couple of hunting dogs (a Labrador and Golden retriever) who had more fun than we did playing in the water. They swam and galloped and chased sticks until we simply could not throw anymore!

  • Be sure to treat your dog(s) with flea and tick prevention 24-hours before heading out for vacation.
  • Bring all dog food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Heart-worm prevention is a good idea as well.
  • Make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations (rabies and Parvo being among the most important).
  • Use a harness-style leash when on the water and when taking the family dog along on vacation. This reduces the chance of a neck-style collar getting caught on something and choking your furry best friend.
  • Have a doggy first-aide kit on hand.

A few pointers for taking dogs along on family camping trips:

  • Make sure to bring a clean dish for DAILY FRESH WATER (don't think that the lake water he drinks while playing is enough; as it is not).
  • Make certain your dog has plenty of shade in the day and warmth at night. (Get him as dry as possible before settling into bed for the night.)
  • Bring dog treats so you are not tempted to give him Bad Human Foods for Good Dogs.
  • Check your dogs feet, eyes, ears, and body frequently to make sure he is injury free.
  • Have the local vet information handy at all times. (If I can't get the information online before we depart, I find the information as soon as we arrive to a vacation destination, and then input it on my cellphone for easy access in emergencies.
Bringing the dogs along on our Lake Almanor Water Vacation was a blast! They provided loads of fun and action!

Bringing the dogs along on our Lake Almanor Water Vacation was a blast! They provided loads of fun and action!

A Lake Almanor Summer Family Vacation offers great water-skiing, fishing, swimming, and many more water adventures!

A Lake Almanor Summer Family Vacation offers great water-skiing, fishing, swimming, and many more water adventures!

Shaking-Off a Lake Almanor Water Vacation

Leaving the green pines and warm calm blue lake waters behind sent me into a vacation trance as we drove west towards home. Reflecting on the many water activities and family fun widened the grin across my tired yet fulfilled vacation face. The dogs lay still in the back of the car, the tents and toys, and supplies are all packed away; dusty and used. The Digital cameras are all loaded to the max with Lake Almanor Summer Water vacation pictures, that are waiting to remind us just how much love this family really has for each other. I'm not sure if it was "getting away," or "getting away together," but which ever it was, I am grateful for the time we shared on Lake Almanor. Truly a family summer water vacation that has become a special part of our family history.

Comments for "Lake Almanor - California's Best Family Summer Shoreline Water Vacation"

HomerMCho on September 30, 2011:

Great Lake Almanor as you described it. I'll visit it sometime.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 16, 2011:

Oh, my goodness, what an excellent hub about this beautiful lake! When I was a child, my family and I camped often at Mt. Lassen, and we did visit Lake Almanor, but never camped there, so I was at least familiar with its existence and location.

I'm not a fisher-person, but I certainly am a water person--in that sense, I shall never grow up!

Did you know the history of the name of the lake? The area used to have lumbering operations, and the lake was in the middle of one of those areas. The owner of the property had two daughters, Alma and Eleanor--he combined their names to create the name of the lake.

So--as radio commentator Paul Harvey used to sign off by saying, "And now you know the rest of the story." ;-)

Danced all over your buttons! Great hub!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on July 14, 2011:

leahlefler~ I knew I liked you. ;) ...You are a Golden Retriever person, as am I! I have a friend who resides in Lions NY (upstate, about 50 miles from Rochester, I'm from Long Island) who also has a golden. He misses being able to take Price (the dog) for those free-runs along the shores of California like you. Lake Almanor is simply a delight for us humans and our fuzzy friends! Thanks so much for taking time to comment today Leah. Cheers~


Leah Lefler from Western New York on July 14, 2011:

I miss California - Lake Almanor looks gorgeous. We recently started fishing with our boys, but we generally catch tiny sunfish on our lake. I love the fact that dogs are allowed, too - most of the waterways in Western NY restrict dogs, which makes our Golden Retriever more than a little sad!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on July 13, 2011:

Hi DH! Sounds like you were playing a HubPages slot-machine with the comments buttons--he-he-he!I noticed the new "interesting" option today as well, a great choice to add IMHO. Thanks for the awesome support and bookmarking the hub. I hope you find it useful for future ref. Always a joy seeing you in the yard!



India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on July 13, 2011:

Simone~ Lake Almanor is a photographers dream lake! I'm surprised you haven't heard of it, but then again, California has a vast number of lakes to learn! I am so happy that seeing the dogs romping around brought back family vacation memories for you-- that's some special stuff! I really appreciate your comments!



Denise Handlon from North Carolina on July 13, 2011:

Wow! This is a great hub. I hit up and across the board. Had to hit the 'funny' just for all the cool stuff about the dogs, and the cute photos! And, there is another button I noticed tonight-'interesting', so I had to hit that one as well.

I'm bookmarking this one!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 13, 2011:

Great Hub! I thought I knew all the good lakes to visit and camp around in California, but Lake Almanor is new to me. And I really appreciate the dog camping trips! Reminds of me camping with family dogs when I was a kid. :D

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on July 13, 2011:

Steph Harris! So glad you made it by today. We did have such a great time on Lake Almanor, and the dogs are still kicking and barking in their water-fun doggy dreams! We plan to return year after year to this warm lake water. I hope someone else finds the same joy we found vacationing on Lake Almanor! Thank you for your comments Steph!



Steph Harris from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom on July 13, 2011:

It really does sound like you had an absolutely awesome holiday K9, and from the look of the photographs, your dogs had a wonderful time as well. Very interesting read.

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on July 12, 2011:

Peggy W~ Thanks for the comments. So glad you found Lake Almanor to sound great. And you are totally right, the dogs had just as much fun on the water as we did! Appriciate you stopping by today.



Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2011:

What a great sounding lake! Your dogs certainly had fun at Lake Almanor judging from the pictures! Enjoyed learning about this. Thanks!

Related Articles