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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun at Lake Clementine



The Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun at Lake Clementine

Nestled in the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, Lake Clementine is a hidden gem that offers a myriad of recreational activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This pristine reservoir, formed by the North Fork Dam on the American River, is a paradise for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a water sports aficionado, or someone who simply enjoys a peaceful picnic by the water, Lake Clementine has something for everyone. Here’s your ultimate guide to making the most of your summer at this beautiful lake.

Getting to Lake Clementine

Lake Clementine is located near Auburn, California, about an hour’s drive northeast of Sacramento. The lake is divided into two sections: Upper Lake Clementine and Lower Lake Clementine, each offering unique recreational opportunities. To reach the lake, take Interstate 80 to the Auburn Ravine/Foresthill exit and follow signs to the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Activities at Lake Clementine

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun at Lake Clementine

1. Boating and Water Sports

Lake Clementine is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. The upper lake, with its calm waters and scenic surroundings, is perfect for power boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. The marina at Upper Lake Clementine offers boat rentals, so even if you don’t own a boat, you can still enjoy a day on the water. For those looking to paddle, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also great options, providing a more serene way to explore the lake’s beauty.

2. Swimming

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing swim on a hot summer day. Upper Lake Clementine has designated swimming areas that are safe and enjoyable for all ages. The clear, cool waters of the lake are inviting, and the surrounding scenery makes for a picturesque swim. Be sure to check the water conditions and follow any posted safety guidelines to ensure a fun and safe experience.

3. Fishing

Fishing at Lake Clementine is a favorite pastime for many visitors. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, trout, and catfish. Whether you prefer fishing from the shore or from a boat, there are plenty of great spots to cast your line. Make sure to obtain a California fishing license before you go, and familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations to ensure a responsible and enjoyable fishing trip.

4. Hiking and Nature Trails

For those who love to explore on foot, Lake Clementine offers a network of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. The Clementine Trail is a popular choice, taking hikers along the lake’s edge and offering stunning views of the water and surrounding hills. The trail is moderate in difficulty, making it accessible to most hikers, and it’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area. For a more challenging hike, try the North Fork American River Trail, which offers rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas.

5. Picnicking

There’s no better way to enjoy a summer day than with a picnic by the lake. Lake Clementine has several picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, perfect for a family outing or a romantic meal with a view. Pack a cooler with your favorite snacks, bring a blanket, and find a shady spot to relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. Don’t forget to clean up after yourself to keep the area beautiful for other visitors.

6. Camping

For those who want to extend their stay, camping is available at Lake Clementine. The Upper Lake Clementine Campground offers a more rustic experience, with tent camping sites that provide a peaceful retreat in nature. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to secure a spot. Camping here allows you to wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy the lake’s beauty from sunrise to sunset.

7. Wildlife Watching

Lake Clementine is a haven for wildlife, and visitors often spot deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times for wildlife watching, as animals are more active during these periods. Bring binoculars and a camera to capture the sights, and remember to respect the wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not disturbing their natural habitats.

Tips for a Great Visit

  • Plan Ahead: Check the weather forecast, lake conditions, and any park advisories before you go. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the park’s rules and regulations.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. If you plan to hike or spend extended time outdoors, wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • Stay Safe: Always follow posted safety guidelines, especially when swimming or engaging in water sports. Life jackets are a must for boating and other water activities.
  • Leave No Trace: Help preserve the natural beauty of Lake Clementine by cleaning up after yourself and disposing of trash properly. Follow the Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.
  • Respect Wildlife: Observe animals from a distance and do not feed them. This helps keep wildlife wild and ensures their safety as well as yours.


Lake Clementine is a slice of paradise that offers endless opportunities for summer fun. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, this beautiful lake has something to offer. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and head to Lake Clementine for an unforgettable summer experience. From boating and swimming to hiking and picnicking, every moment spent here is sure to be filled with joy and natural beauty.

Enjoy your summer at Lake Clementine!