May 15, 2015 by Joe Kukura.

The clear choice for sailing in northern California is Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California and the oldest lake in North America. Located about two hours north of San Francisco, Clear Lake is an enormous lake with more than 43,000 surface acres and 100 miles of shoreline. Clear Lake boaters enjoy unparalleled scenery, with views of the towering Mount Konocti and the abundant waterbirds and wildlife. And as the home to several nationally renowned bass tournaments, there is always great fishing on Clear Lake, earning it the nickname the “Bass Capital of the West.”

Whether you want to sail your own boat, rent a boat or enjoy a guided boat tour, Clear Lake offers fantastic sailing and boating options for anyone with or without their own boat. Clear Lake is vast and uncrowded, with a network of outstanding water trails for those who prefer to paddle in a kayak. Many of the parks and beaches along the shoreline offer boat docking and ramping.

Sailing on Clear Lake Calfornia

Clear Lake was not originally named for the clearness of the water. Clear Lake was given its name for the astonishing cleanliness of the air in the region, still known today as the cleanest air in America. The average water temperature of Clear Lake in the summer is a warm 75 degrees. These conditions let you set sail on one of the vastest, most memorable bodies of water on which you’ll have the privilege of boating.

If you are bringing your own boat of larger than 8 feet to go sailing on Clear Lake, realize that these boats must be registered and inspected before entering the waters. This is simply to limit the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels, and the rule does not apply to canoes, kayaks, car-top boats, inflatables and non-motorized boats smaller than 8 feet. You can read more information on this at the Lake County Invasive Mussel Prevention Program website.

Repairs and supplies are also readily available, as the Clear Lake region offers several boat service and supply outlets.

Boat rental, water tours and boat rides

Those of you without your own boat to tow can still enjoy the scenic pleasures of sailing on Clear Lake. There are a number of Clear Lake boat rental services offering rentals of kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats. If you’re a bird-watcher or wildlife enthusiast, Eyes of the Wild offers boat tours with resident experts onboard to give background and details on the wildlife.

With the cleanest air in the country and some of the most amazing scenery on any freshwater lake in California, Clear Lake is a clear favorite for a wonderful day’s sail. For more information on Clear Lake, check out LakeCounty.com and start making plans to set sail.