Enjoy the spring-fed and deep waters of Upper and Lower Blue Lakes
The fish are always biting and the waters are always clear at a unique pair of northern California lakes called Blue Lakes—135 miles north of San Francisco in placid and picturesque Lake County. And although Blue Lakes is comprised of two separate lakes (Upper and Lower), locals refer to both lakes as simply “Blue Lakes”—perhaps to honor its one-of-a-kind, limnological nature.
While many lakes all across California and western Canada are experiencing an uptick in algae bloom, the uniquely positioned Blue Lakes remains unspoiled. Blue Lakes is spring-fed, leaving it unaffected by larger climatological factors that many are experiencing across western North America. That means the waters are clean, ideal for swimming and fishing, pretty much year-round.
Lake County’s best-known lake is Clear Lake, whose unique geological factors make it the oldest lake in North America. Years ago, a giant landslide caused the water at Clear Lake to spill over, forming Blue Lakes, which benefits from an entirely different set of unique geological factors that render its waters uniquely clear and cool.
Sitting at the base of the scenic and pine-tree-covered Cold Creek Canyon, these lakes form their own little ecosystem with clean groundwater keeping them free from the spread of algae and other various aquatic weeds.
Blue Lakes is exceptionally popular for fishing largemouth bass, trout, catfish and bluegill. It’s also great for boating, though boats with motors are not allowed. This helps maintain the water’s purity and ensures a peaceful and idyllic experience.
There are a variety of camping and lodging options near Blue Lakes, but your best bets are those located right on the shores of the lakes themselves. The resorts keep a very small footprint on the natural environment, but their amenities are first-rate.
Here are a few of the more popular locations.
The Lodge at Blue Lakes is a gorgeous facility that’s especially well suited for weddings, workshops or other large events you might want to host on the lake. The Lodge at Blue Lakes offers a number of electric boats that comply with the Blue Lakes’ non-motorized boat policy, and is also a dog-friendly resort.
The Narrows Lodge Resort also allows dogs, and is a secluded getaway with cedar cabins, quaint hotel rooms and space for RVs and camping. For those looking for a variety of boating options, the lodge rents kayaks, canoes, hydro-bikes and patio boats.
Le Trianon Resort has been around for more than a hundred years and takes pride in its family hospitality. All of their cabins have a screened porch and come equipped with a picnic table and a fire pit outside. Can’t stay the night? Le Trianon also offers day passes to the lake, where families can rent sailboats, canoes and kayaks. And another plus—the resort has a grocery store right on the property where you can buy fishing tackle, swimming gear, ice, firewood, beer, wine and of course, food.
Pine Acres Resort is another lodging option where you can hook up an RV, camp on the edge of the lake, fish along the shoreline, or enjoy its white sand beach and crystal clear water. Pine Acres offers nearly a dozen accommodations, with each cottage having its own distinct amenities. They also rent out pedal boats, row boats and kayaks for your leisure.
If Clear Lake gets crowded this summer, head just five miles north to Blue Lakes to see firsthand how unspoiled and clear the waters of Blue Lakes truly are.