The 4 Best Boating Lakes Near Sacramento
Updated: Apr 13
Spring is just around the corner here in the Greater Sacramento Area, which means we’re hard at work helping customers prepare for the upcoming boating season. As boating enthusiasts ourselves, we wanted to share our favorite picks for the best boating lakes near Sacramento.
Regardless of whether you’re new to the area or lived here all your life, there’s always a new nook or cranny to explore each season. Take a look at our list, and let us know if there are any other hidden spots that you think are worth mentioning.
1) Lake Tahoe
Widely known as the “Jewel of the Sierra”, Lake Tahoe is the premier boating destination in the greater Sacramento area. The lake boasts 72 miles of pristine shoreline and 191 square miles of surface area.
Boaters will find no shortage of activities and amenities to enjoy and take advantage of at Lake Tahoe. It’s important for all boaters to know the Lake Tahoe boating rules and follow them at all times.
The lake is located about two hours east of downtown Sacramento. There are over two dozen boat launches and marinas scattered around the lake, so boaters should have no problem finding a place to put in.
2) Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake is located just 25 miles east of downtown Sacramento and offers boaters and outdoor enthusiasts a wealth of options.
Folsom Lake covers approximately 11,450 acres. There are about 75 miles of shoreline, and the maximum elevation is 466 feet. The average water temperature during the summer is a very pleasant 75 degrees, and the maximum water depth is 250 feet.
In addition to boating, Folsom lake is sought after for its amazing hiking, camping, and fishing spots located throughout the area.
Take a look at our Folsom Lake Water Level Watch
3) Lake Berryessa
Lake Berryessa is the water skiing and wakeboarding mecca of Northern California. Located in the world-famous Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa is located about an hour and a half drive west of Sacramento.
Locals and visitors can take advantage of the popular Pleasure Cove Resort and Marina. Pleasure Cove offers boat and cabin rentals, launch ramps, and all the amenities boaters need for an epic day on the water.
The lake itself is long and narrow, measuring about 15.5 miles long but just 3 miles wide. Those interested in fishing at Lake Berryessa will find a wide variety including largemouth, smallmouth & spotted bass, brown and rainbow trout, catfish, Chinook salmon, bluegill, catfish, and carp.
4) Clear Lake
If you’re an angler, this is the lake for you. Known as the "Bass Capital of the West," Clear Lake is famous for its large populations of bass, crappie, bluegill, carp, and catfish.
Warm water and easy accessibility make Clear Lake a popular choice for visitors from all over Northern California. Sailboating is also a popular activity at clear lake, with a number of regattas held at the lake every year.
Clear Lake is the furthest lake away from Sacramento on our list, clocking in at about a two-hour drive west, depending on where you want to put in. The lake itself is 19 miles long by 8 miles wide, with a surface area of about 68 square miles.
Preparing For Boating Season
As boating enthusiasts, part of our responsibility is to ensure that we’re not polluting the lakes we visit or damaging any of the delicate marine life and ecosystems that exist in these beautiful locations. With that in mind, it’s important that we all do our part to make our vessels as clean and safe as possible before getting in the water.
Additionally, all of the lakes we’ve listed have an assortment of rules and guidelines about what can and cannot go into the water. One of the best and easiest ways to stay compliant with many of the local boating rules is to keep your boat well maintained and have it regularly serviced.
Regular service and maintenance ensure your craft will not leak fuel or other harmful pollutants into the lake. It also ensures that your vessel will always be in top condition. Few things are more frustrating for boaters than being sidelined by mechanical failures.
Taking a poorly maintained craft on any lake also presents a safety hazard to both you and other boaters.