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Bass Lake: Not just a place, it's a state of mind. A family's story.

Attractions, Guest Stories, Outdoor Activities

My wife started visiting Bass Lake 35 years ago and I married into the tradition 26 years ago. I was immediately captivated by the beauty and serenity of the lake and it just got better every year. There’s so much we love to do at and around Bass Lake. We keep discovering new places and activities every time we visit. But, these are my favorites:

1. Water sports have always been a huge draw and the kids (and now our grandkids) learned to ski and wake board there. We rent a patio boat from Miller’s Landing Resort for the two weeks we’re there; that’s my favorite mode of transportation. We also get a ski boat and sometimes wave runners, mostly for our grandkids.


2. About seven years ago, we bought a large water trampoline for our cabin and it has been a hit for us and many of our neighbors on the lake. It has an attached “launcher” whereby someone sitting on the far end can be launched into the air by someone else jumping on the near end from the trampoline (see photo).  If you don’t have your own cabin on the lake, you can rent a cabin from one of the many cabin rentals available at Bass Lake or stay at The Pines Resort, Miller’s Landing Resort, or The Forks Resort.  You can also camp along the lake.  

3. In late July through mid-August, there’s an amazing meteor shower called Perseid, which is made up of meteorites from the Swift-Tuttle comet. The viewing at Bass Lake can be spectacular, especially if the moon isn’t up when we’re looking for it. One year, we saw a shooting star every 5 seconds or so!

4. Some years ago, we started a tradition of swimming across the lake. We get up early to make sure we have enough time to get across and back before the lake opens at 8 am to fast boat traffic. Someone drives the patio boat to accompany us, helping anyone who gets tired. It’s about a mile round trip but we take our time, and it’s an amazing experience!

5. There are great places to eat on the lake. Miller's Landing Resort has a new second story addition to their restaurant that offers an amazing view of the lake to go with the wonderful food. We give our grandkids a coupon at Christmas that’s good for a bucket of ice cream at the Miller’s ice cream fountain, though I prefer their shaved ice. I also like the Forks Burger at The Forks Resort’s restaurant and one of our grandsons celebrates his birthday there each year. Some of us go to the Jones Store in Beasore Meadows for their fabulous pies. Sometime, the adults go for a fabulous Mexican dinner at La Canbaña restaurant in North Fork, while the kids eat pizza and watch a movie.  There’s also Ducey’s Restaurant and Bar & Grill plus Casa Velasco in the Pines Village, so there’s lots of variety right on the lake.

6. There also lots that we do around Bass Lake. There’s always a hike for the kids and a more challenging one for the adventurous. Most years we arrange a hike up Half Dome in Yosemite for the more adventurous.

What’s amazing to me is that the entire family (12 of us) comes back every year, which includes our teenagers and those in their thirties and forties. Though there are lots of activities to keep us all busy, we love to play board games, eat and just hang out together. It’s become such an important part of our lives that even when we’re not at Bass Lake, we’re often reminiscing and talking about what we’ll do the next year.

It’s no wonder by Sunset Magazine named Bass Lake “One of the West’s Best Lakes”!


deck + bass lake + california.


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40343 Highway 41,
Oakhurst, CA 93644
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at the Fossil Discovery
Center of Madera County
19450 Avenue 21-1/2
Chowchilla, CA 93610
(Exit 164, off Highway 99)


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