Clear Lake Weekend Trip | California's Largest Freshwater Lake

Clear Lake | Introduction

Clear Lake is located in Northern California, two and a half hours drive north of San Francisco. Clear Lake is the largest freshwater lake in California, it takes more than one and a half hours to drive around, but I didn't notice this place until I lived in California for many years. After I came here, I realized that it is a very beautiful lake, maybe it's just because it's hard to walk into the lake, that's why it's not as popular as Lake Tahoe.

Because of the size of the lake, there are a lot of attractions around Clear lake, and there are also two historical parks nearby, so you can spend a few days at leisure. If you are driving from San Francisco to Clear lake, you can also arrange for a stop in Sonoma orNapaIt's a good time to schedule a little weekend getaway. This time we arranged to camp at Clear Lake for the long weekend and walk around a few of the nearby parks.

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Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State ParkIt is located at the southwest corner of Clear Lake, on Soda Bay. Although the state park itself is not small, it only takes up a small portion of the area around Clear Lake. We camped here for two days, and it was very comfortable for both biking and running. For those who like to go by boat, there are many people who come to Soda Bay by boat.

Lower Bayview Campground | Campground Environment

  • Camp Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Camp Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location Convenience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We booked the premium site at Lower Bayview campground in Clear Lake State Park, which is located right at the top to enjoy the lake view. The campground is not big compared to other California state parks, but it has shade and easy access to the lake, and there is enough space for a family to set up two tents. clear lake state park is convenient to go to the lake, but it takes about half an hour to get to other places, so it is best to bring your own food. Overall it is a very comfortable camping experience, the air quality nearby is especially good, there are several campgrounds around, a total of 147 campsites, just cycling and running in the campground can see a lot of different angles of the lake.

Swimming Area

Clear lake state park has a small public beach with a fenced in area for water play and showers. There are only a few picnic tables here, and it's quite popular, with local residents coming early on weekends to take their places.

picnic area

There are also other picnic areas in the park. I actually like the picnic area next to the Visitor Center. The view of the lake is quite beautiful, and you can walk back to the campsite along the side walkway, which is quiet except for one or two anglers, and there are almost no tourists.

Trails | Dorn Nature Trail

If you are tired of the lake view, you can also take a walk on the Dorn Nature Trail next to the campground. There are some places overlooking the lake, but most of the trail is in the woods. 0.7 mile of the trail goes around the top of the mountain, and there are some beautiful wildflowers in the summer.

Redbud Park

Clear lake is actually surrounded by many parks and boat ramps, and although Redbud Park in the southeast corner is not large, there are a lot of people who come here for water sports. It's also a popular spot for bass fishing, and the fishing pier is crowded on weekends.

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

Anderson Marsh State Historic ParkIt is one of the two historical parks near Clear Lake, located at the south end of Clear lake, Clear lake is a very old lake, and the aboriginal people in the vicinity also have a long history, this area was originally the settlement of the Koi people, and there are 24 Koi archaeological sites in the vicinity, but when we come here nowadays, we can see directly in front of us is actually an abandoned farm, and the park is also named after Anderson. The park is also named after Anderson. The park is named after Anderson. This is because in 1850, some white people came from Tennessee to settle here, and at that time, the Koi tribe went out for a long trip to visit their friends, which lasted for two years, and it was exactly during these two years that the white people built houses, and when they came back, the land was occupied by the white people. The land changed hands several times, to the Anderson Family in the early 1900s, and then to the state in 1982. The house can be toured on business days, and remains largely as it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Trails | Cache Creek Nature Trail

Behind the farm, Cache Creek Nature Trail is 1.1 mile long, generally flat, you can walk along Cache Creek through the grassland. At the end of the trail is a bridge over Cache Creek, the scenery is nice, and I have seen some people come here for sketching.

Robert Louis Stevenson Historic park

Another historic park near Clear Lake, Robert Louis Stevenson Historic Park, is a bit further away, an hour south of Clear Lake, but closer to Napa, so it's a good destination if you're on your way.

Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of the novel Treasure Island, is not his former home, but the place where he spent his honeymoon. If you're here, you'll probably be surprised to learn that someone would choose such a place for their honeymoon, and there's a reason for that. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scot who met American magazine writer Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne in France. After they got together, he made the long journey to America in 1879 to marry Fanny, who was divorced. By the time he finally reached California, Robert's already poor health had deteriorated so much that a friend suggested he marry and go to Calistoga for a retreat. After arriving in Calistoga, the family realized that they could not afford the high cost of lodging there, so they traveled to the north side of Napa and found an abandoned cabin in the mountains where they lived for two months until their health improved. He wrote the book The Silverado Squatters about this experience.

The place where he lived at that time no longer exists, there is only a sign on the site indicating the location. Although it is a historical park, the main purpose for most people to come here is to walk the 5 miles trail to the top of Mount Saint Helena, where you can see the whole Bay area, we originally planned to walk to the viewing point, but it was foggy that day, so we didn't finish the walk.

Further reading

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