Lake Expectations

Summer's on and the SoCal lakes are gleaming and beaming. You will be too, if you visit one of these less known lakes, where you can camp, hike, paddle, have a barbecue, or just soak in the calming effects of nature. 

Week: 06.21.2023
Regions: Southern CA

Emerald in the Woods

Camping and Paddling at Green Valley Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains

Green Valley Lake, nestled at 7,000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains right between Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead, has all the watery charm of those popular bodies of water, just on a smaller scale, and decidedly without crowds—or motorized boats. It's also got camping, including first-come, first-served options.
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We Dream of Ashland

Plan Your Outdoor Vacation to Ashland, Oregon

Dreaming of your next amazing getaway? Dream like a local—an Ashland, Oregon local! This beautiful mountain town is a vacation dream come true, with outdoor adventures right in town and all around.
Discover Ashland's Outdoors

Jenks for the Memories

Kayaking, Fishing, and Hiking at Jenks Lake

Name your passion! Whether it’s kayaking, fishing, hiking, barbecuing, or relaxing in a hammock beneath tall ponderosa pines—Jenks Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains is the place for a perfect lakeside summer day.
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Hodges and Hodgee Monster

Hike the shoreline of beautiful Lake Hodges in Escondido San Diego

Woman walking the shoreline at Lake Hodges in Escondido San Diego County
Placard rock sign at Lake Hodges in Escondido San Diego County
Red flowers in foreground of Lake Hodges in Escondido San Diego County
Woman walking up to the the shoreline at Lake Hodges Escondido San Diego County
Escondido’s Lake Hodges is one of the most beautiful lake settings in San Diego, with Kumeyaay history, phenomenal birdwatching, a world-record-holding bridge, and a resident lake monster!  Do a 5.5-mile shoreline hike here ...  
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Trending Stories NorCal

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  1. Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.

  2. Wapama Wows

    Hetch Hetchy can be overlooked in Yosemite National Park because of its more remote location and limited facilities. But this is where you’ll also find one of the best day hikes in the park: Wapama Falls.

  3. Sheep Tight!

    You’re not going to have to count sheep to get a good night’s sleep at Sheep Dung’s beautiful property in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Four modern cottages—tucked far apart from each other among 500 acres of rolling hills—are designed for blissful solitude. And it’s dog-friendly!

  4. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.


Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. All the Wright Stuff

    Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.

  2. kirk creek campground big sur

    Sur Bet!

    You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.

  3. Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

    Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!

  4. Three Falling

    Three waterfalls, and fewer people. McCloud Falls might be the best waterfall hike in Northern California. There are bigger waterfalls in the state, but it’s the whole package that makes this 4-mile (round-trip) hike truly memorable.