Once you reach Pollock Pines on Highway 50, you’re deep into Gold Country. And on a hot summer… Read more.
This 650-acre, turquoise-blue gem of a lake with a nine-mile trail around its circumference is a very popular with Central Valley residents escaping the summer heat. At 3,500 feet in elevation, it's a good 10 degrees cooler than the valley below.
Shady paths circumvent the shore, with one leading to a waterfall boasting a picturesque swimming hole at the base of the cascade. The eastern portion of the lake has a 5 m.p.h. speed limit for boats, making it more suitable than the west end for day-trippers and those into paddle sports.
The downside for Dogtrekkers: While dogs are allowed on trails, they must be leashed and are not supposed to go in the water since this is a domestic water supply.
In short, this is a lovely place to stake out a day-use picnic area, bring the water toys and fill your eyes with beautiful scenery. Also very popular for overnight camping, with sites designated for families, groups and equestrians.