Some think of Bass Lake, the pine-trimmed reservoir about a half-hours drive south of Yosemite National Parks south entrance, as a smaller version of Lake Tahoe. But the little lake with the big alpine feel has an appealing difference from its high-country cousin: Bass Lakes elevation is only 3,400 feet/1,036 meters, so its surface waters become blissfully warm in summer, hovering around 75Â°F/24Â°C.
While the nearly 5-mile/8-km-long lake is popular destination for water skiing, wakeboarding, and wave runners, it also has sheltered coves for swimming and for sailing, as well as kayaking and pedal boating (boat and gear rentals are available). Bring or rent fishing gear or hire a local guide to snag bass, rainbow trout, Kokanee salmon, and more (California fishing license required for ages 16 and above). Dozens of trails lead into the surrounding Sierra National Forest, so theres plenty of exploring by foot or mountain bike. Get a workout with a view on the challenging 5-mile/8-km up-and-back hike to Goat Mountain Fire Lookout.