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Things to Do in Bass Lake California

wooden dock on the lake with boat slips and a person paddleboarding at bass lake california

Located in the Sierra National Forest, just outside of Yosemite National Park, you’ll find Bass Lake, California. This beautiful lakeside retreat offers a variety of activities, the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or someone who is looking to relax by the water, Bass Lake has something for everyone. Here are the best things to do in Bass Lake, CA.

woman kayaking in red kayak at bass lake California light clouds and blue skies

Things to Do in Bass Lake California

wooden dock on the lake with boat slips at bass lake california

I partnered with Visit Yosemite | Madera County who hosted me on this trip. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click my link, I make a small percentage (at no extra cost to you). This helps me keep the travel blog running. 

Lake Activities at Bass Lake, CA

There are tons of fun activities to do in the Bass Lake area from watersports, hiking, Bass Lake fishing, and more. Here are some local favorites.

Bass Lake Hiking

Bass Lake offers miles of scenic trails perfect for hikers of all skill levels. Here are some popular Bass Lake hiking trails to add to your itinerary:

  • Way of the Mono: This short 0.5-mile loop trail offers stunning views of Bass Lake. Along the way, interpretive signs provide insights into the local history and culture, as well as information about native plants.
  • Angel Falls via Willow Creek: Known for its stunning waterfall and serene atmosphere, this popular Bass Lake hiking trail is perfect for a refreshing hike. It is especially scenic in the springtime when the waterfall flows strongly.
  • Corlieu Falls and Red Rock Falls via Lewis Creek National Scenic Trail: This moderate hiking trail, just a 15-minute drive from Bass Lake, leads you to two beautiful waterfalls and is surrounded by lush greenery.

If you’re a hiking newbie or need tips on new hiking gear, check out this Hiking For Beginners post here.

Mountain Biking 

The rugged terrain and scenic views around Bass Lake make it perfect for mountain biking. With trails ranging from easy to challenging, bikers can enjoy breathtaking vistas and thrilling rides.

Some popular mountain biking trails include:

  • Pines Loop Trail: A scenic loop trail that takes you around the lake.
  • Goat Mountain Trail: A challenging trail with stunning mountain views.
  • Spring Cove: A moderate to difficult trail that rewards cyclists with panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding areas.

Bass Lake Water Sports

There are so many things to do at Bass Lake and getting on the lake is one of them! Here are some options when it comes to Bass Lake water sports:

  • Kayak and paddleboarding 
  • Jet skiing
  • Pontoon boats with BBQs
  • Wakeboards and water skis
  • Tubing

Many of these activities are perfect year-round. Learn more about rentals below.

Fishing at Bass Lake

Bass Lake is perfect for fishing enthusiasts, renowned for its abundant fish. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, trout, and kokanee salmon. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make a great catch here.

Lake Swimming 

The clear waters of Bass Lake are perfect for swimming from late spring through summer. Designated swimming areas ensure you can safely enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake while soaking up the sun.

wooden dock on the lake with boat slips at bass lake california


Bass Lake is home to many bird species. Bring your binoculars and explore the area’s diverse birdlife, from eagles soaring high above to songbirds, and so much more.

Bass Lake Rentals

If you’re looking to get out on the water and need to rent equipment, there are a variety of resorts that offer rentals.

wooden dock on the lake with boat slips at bass lake california

Bass Lake Kayak Rentals

If you’re looking for a fun activity that provides a bit of a workout, consider renting a kayak. It’s a fantastic way to explore the lake at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Rentals are available at Miller’s Landing Resort, Bass Lake Boat Rentals & Water Sports, and The Forks Resort.

woman kayaking in red kayak at bass lake California light clouds and blue skies

Bass Lake Boat Rentals

For those seeking a more leisurely experience, boat rentals are available at Bass Lake, CA. You can choose from a variety of options, including pontoon boats, fishing boats, and speedboats, at Miller’s Landing Resort, Bass Lake Boat Rentals & Water Sports, and The Forks Resort. Additionally, Miller’s Landing Resort and Bass Lake Boat Rentals & Water Sports offer jet skis.

Bass Lake Restaurants

You’re going to be hungry when visiting so here are a few Bass Lake restaurants to visit during your trip.

Restaurant at Miller’s Landing

The Restaurant at Miller’s Landing is a great spot to grab a bite after a day of adventure. They have an outside dining section as well as an inside area with a view overlooking the lake and highway.

woman sitting at a table holding a cup of ice cream next to large windows that view a lake and pine trees outside at millers landing restaurant

Ducey’s on the Lake

Enjoy fine dining with a stunning lake view at Ducey’s on the Lake at The Pines Resort. The menu features a range of delicious dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.

Ducey’s Bar & Grill

For a more casual dining experience, head to Ducey’s Bar & Grill, also located at The Pines Resort. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while eating on the patio.

a restaurant table on a patio with a view of the lake during sunset

The Forks Resort

Offering classic American fare, The Forks Resort is a favorite among locals and visitors. Don’t miss their famous burgers and a classic milkshake!

a plate of salad, chocolate milkshake, chili cheese fries and a beer on a table

Things to Do Near Bass Lake, California 

There are many things to do in Bass Lake, California but there are also tons to do in the nearby area. Here are some places to visit on your next trip.

Visiting Yosemite National Park

Just a short drive from Bass Lake, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit for nature lovers, travelers, and hikers. The park is known for its towering granite cliffs, epic waterfalls, and giant sequoias. 

How far is Bass Lake from Yosemite? Bass Lake to Yosemite National Park is only about a 25-minute drive to the South Entrance.

water roaring from towering waterfall from a giant granite rock at yosemite national park

Wine Tasting the Madera Wine Trail

Indulge in some wine along the Madera Wine Trail. Sample a variety of wines from local vineyards in Madera County. There are eight vineyards in the area with the majority located in the the city of Madera. The closest winery to the lake is Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen which also serves a delicious menu.

woman holding up a glass of wine sitting at table with a flight of wine in small carafes at Idle House Winery + Kitchen in Oakhurst California

Sierra National Forest

Discover the diverse landscape of the Sierra National Forest, where you’ll find an abundance of hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic drives waiting to be explored.

How to Get to Bass Lake, CA

Getting to Bass Lake is easy! Located just off Highway 41, near Oakhurst, it’s accessible from major cities such as Fresno and Los Angeles. You can fly into Fresno, the closest major airport, get a rental car, and arrive in Bass Lake, California in an hour and 15 minutes. And driving from LAX will get you there in around five hours.

wooden dock on the lake with boat slips at bass lake california

Where to Stay in Bass Lake

There are plenty of hotel options, cabins, and vacation rentals in Bass Lake, CA. Here are some recommendations. 

Miller’s Landing Resort

Miller’s Landing Resort offers cabin accommodations with stunning lake views. It’s the perfect place for families, small friend groups, or couples looking for a lakeside retreat.

activewear dress above from Amazon

The Pines Resort

Stay at The Pines Resort and enjoy amenities like the lakefront summer concert series during the summer season. The Pines Resort offers cozy chalets, lakeside suites, large cabins, and more. 

The Forks Resort

The Forks Resort offers comfortable lodging with easy access to lake activities. It’s a great option for those looking to stay close to the action and is only 30 minutes from the Yosemite South Entrance.

cabin looking structure called The Forks Resort with a sign that says "The Forks" above the double doors

Best Time to Visit 

The best time to visit Bass Lake depends on how you want to spend time there. Late spring to summer is ideal for water sports and hiking, while fall offers beautiful foliage and cooler temperatures. And winter brings a peaceful and quiet atmosphere perfect for a relaxing getaway.

activewear set above from Amazon

Bass Lake Packing List

Ready to explore Bass Lake, California? Book your stay at a cabin resort, pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure! Whether you’re kayaking on the lake, hiking the scenic trails, birdwatching, or enjoying the lakeside views, Bass Lake offers an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Follow more of my adventures on Instagram!  Check out my Instagram Reels for more on Bass Lake and Yosemite things to do! Click here to read more about California destinations.

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1 comment

Best Things to Do in Oakhurst, CA  - Le Wild Explorer at 11:22 am

[…] fishing, boating, and kayaking, to hiking and biking Bass Lake is a haven for those who enjoy being outdoors! You can rent boats, kayaks, and more at various […]

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