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

Psst. Can you keep a secret? 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.
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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. Photo of the East Brother Light Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Oh, Brother!

    Spending the night on a tiny island in the Bay? Intriguing. Spending the night in a lighthouse perched on that island? Sound the foghorn! East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast sits on a small patch of land in the strait that separates San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

  2. Mill About Lakeside

    Bucks Lake Recreation Area near Quincy in Plumas County has plenty of beautiful hiking trails. For an easy hike with beautiful spots for sunning, swimming, and lounging on sand beaches or giant rock slabs, do the Mill Creek Trail.

  3. Camping at Chewing Gum Lake Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

  4. The Secret Big Blue

    Set at 4,500 feet, surrounded by 52 miles of shoreline, and with sparkling sapphire hue, Lake Almanor is the other big blue. The secret one. This huge lake—idyllic in spring through fall for all kinds of water adventures—is a gem of Plumas County where you can relax without crowds.


Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. Hot As (Bumpass) Hell

    So you like going to all the hot spots when you visit places? Well, in Lassen Volcanic National Park there’s a place so hot it gets downright steamy. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park, with sputtering mud pots, sulfur vents, and boiling pools. It’s California’s Yellowstone.

  2. Bucks Up!

    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.

  3. Starcrossed Stairway?

    Built into the hillside next to the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heights delights with historic homes, steep and narrow (mostly carless) streets, and enchanting city views. Best of all, it features a network of walkways and staircases that makes it super fun to wander and explore.

  4. Lunch at the Lakes

    Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead. Follow it all up with a visit to Manzanita Lake on the other side of the park.