Are you looking to explore California off the beaten path? Situated on the North Fork American River Canyon, a trip to Lake Clementine should definitely be on your bucket list! With a serene setting and picturesque views, this hidden gem is a wonderful spot for kayaking, swimming, boating, hiking, and more. If you and your sweetheart enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, you must plan a visit! Read on to learn about the best things to do at Lake Clementine. Then, be sure to request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide for more great tips about nearby attractions, restaurants, and activities in northern California!
About Lake Clementine
Located just minutes from Auburn, Lake Clementine is a beautiful reservoir that opens seasonally to the public. The entire reservoir is approximately 3.5 miles long and offers magnificent views of the canyons, sparkling blue water, and the North Fork Dam. The Upper Lake is a favorite destination for swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding while the Lower Lake is a great area for hiking and boating. Typically the Upper Lake is open daily from May 3rd until September 29th and some weekends in October. However, due to road work and recent weather, the Upper Lake is currently closed. The Lower Lake is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. The day use fee is $10/day per vehicle.
Top 5 Things to Do at Lake Clementine
One of the prettiest hikes near Sacramento, the Lake Clementine Trail is 4.5-mile, round-trip loop that takes you past the dam and the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn. Enjoy breathtaking views while you walk alongside the winding river and pass beneath the bridge. Along the way, you’ll also pass a natural swimming hole and beautiful vegetation. Prepare to be amazed when you finally reach the North Fork Dam. When the sunlight hits the water just right, you can see rainbows reflecting off the roaring waterfall. Just beyond the dam is a spectacular view of the lake. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
2. Swimming in Clark’s Hole
This Lake Clementine swimming hole is one of the best-kept-secrets in Northern California! Believed to be created by mining activity sometime in the late 1800s, the natural pool is located in the American River and accessible from the Lake Clementine trailhead. The intimate and peaceful setting is ideal for couples who are looking to get away from it all. Enjoy a scenic hike together through the forest and then cool off with a refreshing dip in the pool.
In addition to hiking, the Lower Lake is an excellent area for boating. The water here is calm, offering perfect conditions for wakeboarding and waterskiing. Seasonal and daily boat slip rentals are available at the Lower Lake Clementine Boat Launch and marina. Fuel and ice are also sold here, so you will have everything you need for a fun day on the water. Parking and boat rentals are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend arriving early!
The calm and crystal-clear water at Lake Clementine is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing. There are nearly four miles to explore in this beautiful retreat. Paddle at your own pace and enjoy the peace and quiet. You are likely to spot native wildlife along the shore! Black-tailed deer, bald eagles, gray foxes, black bears, and a variety of shorebirds like to make their home here.
5. Lounging on the Beach
There are several gorgeous beaches here, and they are only accessible via boat, kayak, or canoe. One of the most popular areas is a large pebble rock beach on the southern side of the lake. Visitors can enjoy wading into the shallows or swimming in the deeper water. Surrounded by natural beauty, it’s easy to spend an entire day relaxing on the shoreline!
Book Your Stay at Eden Vale Inn
After a fantastic day at Lake Clementine, come enjoy more adventures at Eden Vale Inn! Our Placerville bed and breakfast is a short, forty-minute drive from the lake. All of the best whitewater rafting excursions, kayaking spots, waterfall hikes, national forests, and lakes are just minutes away! Rated as one of America’s Top 10 Most Romantic Inns, you are sure to be swept off your feet from the moment you step inside. With luxurious accommodations, top-notch amenities, and a picturesque setting, we guarantee that your stay with us will be a relaxing one!
Each of our well-appointed rooms features a private bathroom, an in-room fireplace, and a private patio or balcony overlooking the gardens, pond, or Gold Country foothills. Our Cypress Room would be a wonderful option for a romantic getaway. One of our most serene rooms, it features an extremely comfortable king-size bed, a private patio, and outdoor romance swing. Check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to welcome you!