Planning a visit to Bass Lake, California?
I’m sharing more about some of the area attractions and top things to do near Bass Lake.
Bass Lake is located around 30 minutes from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. This is a beautiful area to explore before or after your visit to the National Park for the whole family.
How Big is Bass Lake in California?
Bass Lake is almost 5 miles long with a max depth of 98 feet. The lake is at an elevation of 3400 feet with surface water temperatures around 75 degrees in the summer.
Bass Lake is a popular destination for locals and tourists who enjoy waterskiing, wave runners, and wakeboarding.
If you prefer a slower pace on the water there are coves on Bass Lake for kayaking, fishing, swimming, and sailing.
What types of fish are in Bass Lake?
- Rainbow Trout
- Kokanee Salmon
If you want to know the best places to fish there are local charter fishing guides available for hire.
* A California fishing license is required for ages 16 and up.
Boat Rentals at Bass Lake, California
The following businesses offer a variety of watersport rentals including pontoon boats, wake boats, jet skis, fishing boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes.
Bike Rentals Near Bass, Lake Calfornia
Popular Hiking Trails Near Bass Lake
- Sierra National Forest – An assortment of hiking and mountain bike trails
- Willow Cove Trail – .5 mile out and back trail near Bass Lake.
- Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail– 3.1-mile hike where you can see two waterfalls, Angel Falls and Devils Slide.
- Way of the Mono Trail – .6 mile self-guided loop where you can learn more about the Mono people.
- Goat Mountain Trail to Goat Mountain Fire Lookout (Short Option) – this 6.6-mile out-and-back trail takes you to a lookout that dates back earlier than 1915.
- Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias – multiple hiking trails
Tours Near Bass Lake, California
If you are looking for tour options all year round, Yosemite Adventure Co. offers snow tours, off-road Jeep and ATV tours, and on-road tours.
Ride the Logger Train at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
56001 Highway 41, Fish Camp, CA (before the Yosemite Gate)
You can experience a scenic train ride through the Sierra National Forest located less than 7 miles from Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
The one-hour narrated train ride gives you insight into the local wildlife, the history of the steam engine, and the logging history of the area that benefitted the nearby town of Madera.
The 4-mile adventure on the Madera Sugar Pine Railroad stops briefly in the Lewis Creek Canyon before traveling back to the station.
This is a great opportunity to stretch your legs and for younger kids to burn off some energy.
You’ll also want to take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures of the steam engine up close.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad has two historically geared steam locomotives called Shays, representing the original Shays that worked on the line from 1874-1931.
The current Westside Shay locomotives from Westside Lumber Company were built in 1913 and 1928 and still burn oil for fuel. The original locomotives on the line burned wood for fuel.
Where Can You Purchase Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Tickets?
It’s recommended that you purchase your tickets for Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad online to guarantee your reservation for your preferred day and time.
If you choose to purchase a daytime train ride in person it’s recommended that you arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled departure.
Ages 2 and under ride the train for FREE!
*The Moonlight Special BBQ train requires a reservation. You can also call the ticket office at (559) 683-7273.
What Months Do The Trains Run for the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad?
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad trains run from April through October.
The first train ride is at 11 am but you’ll want to check their calendar for daily operation times.
Guests can choose to ride on the long logs that have been carved into seating or there are covered cars if you prefer to stay out of the sun.
We actually preferred the log seating so that we could soak up more of the California sunshine during our train ride.
The train is wheelchair accessible. It has a lift that can hold a passenger with a wheelchair weighing up to 600 pounds.
Can dogs ride the trains on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad?
Well-behaved dogs on a leash are allowed on the train for free.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad – Themed Train Rides
These are themed train rides offered by Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad:
- Logger Steam Train
- Halloween Limited
- Yosemite Jazz Train
- Moonlight Special
Additional Things to Do Before or After Your Train Ride
There are several things to do onsite while you’re at Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
Visit the Thornberry Museum
The Thornberry Museum is small but it does have a lot of interesting pieces that give you more insight into the life of the logging camp workers in the area.
Gold Rush City Gold Panning
Guests can learn how to pan for gold and keep the gold they find.
Visit the Station Gift Shop For Souvenirs & Snacks
You’ll find lots of souvenirs for a reasonable price inside the gift shop.
I lucked out and found a replacement ball cap for the one I lost in Yosemite National Park.
Before or after your train ride you can grab a cold drink or a bite to eat from the Station to enjoy at the designated picnic area.
The Kids’ Depot
Kids of all ages will find an assortment of toys and games inside the shop.
Look toward the ceiling for the miniature train circling the shop.
(right inside Yosemite’s south gate on Highway 41)
You’ll definitely want to spend time experiencing the wonder of the giant sequoias trees at Mariposa Grove.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is located in the southern part of Yosemite National Park.
If you’re spending more than one day in the National park I would recommend visiting Mariposa Grove on a separate day because of its distance from the valley floor.
There are over 500 mature giant sequoia trees in the park including several iconic trees that you don’t want to miss!
Check out my Guide for Visiting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias before you go.
Experience Yosemite VR (at the Yosemite Cinema)
56001 Highway 49, Oakhurst, CA
You can experience Yosemite National Park in a new way at the first permanent motion VR theater in the United State.
This is the only location where you can view “Experience Yosemite” narrated by Bryan Cranston most known as the lead character in the tv show “Breaking Bad.”
Yosemite VR taps into your 4 senses incorporating motions, haptics, sound, and scent. If you are wearing glasses there’s still enough room to keep them on with the VR headset.
We really enjoyed traveling through Yosemite National Park without leaving our seats. The film combined history and the incredible beauty of the park in a multidimensional way.
The VR experience really complimented the reality of our visit to Yosemite the day prior.
There are 16 chairs in the virtual reality theater and each chair has a weight limit of 330 pounds.
There are accommodations available for guests with special needs or wheelchairs to still enjoy the virtual experience.
The VR experience is around 17 minutes and the VR show runs every 20 minutes.
Yosemite Cinema has rotating VR content in addition to the “Experience Yosemite” show and offers first-run movies in their regular theater.
Drink and Dine at South Gate Brewing
40233 Enterprise Drive, Oakhurst, CA
South Gate Brewing is a great stop after spending time enjoying the outdoors.
The brewery prides itself on hand-craft beer and exceptional food. You’ll find an assortment of craft beers to choose from.
If you are looking for a unique option try the “Pickle Rick,” a cucumber sour with a touch of Kosher salt.
During our visit, we enjoyed two types of tacos. The Pacific cod fish tacos are made with Wild caught Pacific Cod, cabbage, green onions, and fresh cilantro in crispy corn tortillas with cilantro crema and house-made salsa verde.
The grilled shrimp tacos were made with Jalapeño-cilantro marinated shrimp, cabbage, green onions, fresh cilantro, and pineapple pico de gallo in crispy corn tortillas with cilantro crema and house-made salsa verde.
We traded a few tacos with each other so that we could sample both for the win!
Make sure that you save room for dessert!
We shared their delicious house-made chocolate pecan pretzel brownie with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. It was a great combo of sweet and salty.
Enjoy a Meal at Ducey’s on the Lake
39255 Marina Dr, Bass Lake, CA
The Pines Resort has two restaurant options for guests. Ducey’s on the Lake is an upscale steakhouse open for breakfast and dinner.
Our first meal at Ducey’s on the Lake was following a long day exploring the Valley Floor of Yosemite National Park.
The restaurant has nice views of Bass Lake with large windows throughout the restaurant.
We started with soup and a salad followed by our steak of choice.
I opted for the garlic herb marinated steak medallions served with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed sweet corn and bacon.
My husband tried the 12 oz. ribeye with blue cheese butter with the bacon mac & cheese and baked potato as his sides.
You’ll want to save room for the cinnamon roll bread pudding! I was told that the cinnamon rolls are made special just for this decadent dessert.
It’s served warm and topped with caramel, creme Anglaise, and candied pecans.
Breakfast at Ducey’s on the Lake at The Pines Resort
The following morning we tried breakfast at Ducey’s on the Lake. If you’re staying on the property you don’t have to travel far for a great breakfast.
I enjoyed the New York-style breakfast sandwich. It was made with an everything bagel, 2 eggs, bacon, garlic aioli, cheddar, and swiss cheese served with house potatoes.
My husband opted for the garden omelet served with toast and house potatoes.
Ducey’s Bar and Grill
Ducey’s Bar and Grill is a more casual dining option on the property that’s open for lunch and dinner.
The Pines Market Deli and General Store are conveniently located by Bass Lake if you need a souvenir or food or drinks to go.
We created a picnic lunch with items from their grocery and deli to take with us to the National Park.
The complex nearby has several shops in addition to The Pines Bar.
A Relaxing Stay at The Pines Resort: Lakefront Hotel on Bass Lake
54432 Road 432, Bass Lake, CA
The Pines Resort is a wonderful year-round option for vacationers looking for an option on Bass Lake that’s also a reasonable drive from Yosemite National Park.
The Pines Resort offers lakeside suites, chalets, cabins, and rental homes for guests to choose from depending on the group size and preferences.
There are 20 rooms in the boutique hotel with full or partial lake views. I loved our room’s location on Bass Lake offering beautiful views from our private deck both day and night.
Lakefront Spa Suite at The Pines Resort
We stayed in the Lakefront Spa Suite at The Pines Resort during our stay.
The split-level suite had a king-size bed and oversized jetty tub on the entry-level.
There is a partition that can slide open or closed between the tub and the bedroom area. The bath area also has a private bathroom and shower.
The living area of the suite has a log-burning fireplace, wet bar with mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and a full bed sofa sleeper.
Amenities at The Pines Resort
Guests at The Pines Resort have access to the following:
- Outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi
- Tennis courts
- Game courts
- Fire pit and bonfire areas
- Lounging room
- Business center
- Workout room
*A room key is required to enter the pool area.
The outdoor swimming pool is a short walk from the hotel.
I loved that the guests can still enjoy views of Bass Lake from the outdoor pool and jacuzzi.
The bonfire pit also has nice views of the lake.
We really enjoyed our time at Bass Lake as part of our Gold County road trip.
Looking More Gold Country Adventures
You can read about more of our California Gold Country road trip here:
- 3 Gold Rush Towns In California To Visit (Only 1+ HR From Yosemite National Park)
- Things to Do In Mariposa, California Before You Visit Yosemite
- Essential Tips For Visiting Yosemite National Park
- Guide For Visiting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
What’s the Nearest Airport to Bass Lake?
The closest airport to Bass Lake California is Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
Thanks again to Visit Yosemite Madera County for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own.