Stately ponderosa pines surround Central California's Bass Lake, which is tucked away in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, just outside Yosemite National Park's southern entrance. The lake—named one of the best in the West by Sunset magazine—is just a stone's throw from the chalets and suites of The Pines Resort. A short hike brings you to a private marina where you can rent boats or cast out a line for rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and the abundant bass that gave the lake its name.
Lake and mountain views: In lakefront suites and two-story chalets; the latter feature full kitchens and rustic wood furnishings
Waterfront dining: At Ducey's on the Lake, where you can redeem your breakfast credit for blueberry stuffed french toast and other offerings
Spa services: the Tranquil Getaway treatment includes a foot pampering and a one-hour massage; other services include herbal-infused Thai massages, reflexology, and more
Take a dip: In the resort's jacuzzi
Adventures on the lake: Rent a boat, jet ski, or paddleboat from the onsite private marina.
Bass Lake, California: Ponderosa Pines and Waterfront Fun near Yosemite
Bass Lake is roughly a half-hour drive from the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park. The lake has appeared in several films, including The Great Outdoors starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. You can take in the scenery on hiking and mountain biking trails that go past waterfalls, pine trees, and sequoias in the surrounding Sierra National Forest. The changing leaves are dazzling in autumn; wintertime brings snowmobilers to the Sierra Nevada foothills. When the weather's warm, the lake's water temperature hovers around a pleasant 75 degrees—ideal conditions for fishing, tubing, and waterskiing.