12 Most Gorgeous Lakes In And Near Sacramento, California - Updated 2024

lakes in sacramento
| 6 min read
0 K+
54.4K+ readers and counting!

Known as the capital city of the state of California, Sacramento is one of the destinations you shouldn’t miss when in the states. Famous for its richness in culture, history, and countless things that will surely impress you – it’s no wonder that a lot of travelers from different cities rave about this remarkable destination. There’s a popular saying in Sacramento, which states that California begins here and, after spending your time exploring the city, you’ll understand why. Whether you’re traveling solo or with your group of friends, there are a lot of fun activities you can indulge in, be it for relaxation or thrills. Find the best campsites and cabins in Sacramento to easily make your way to such promising lakes. Keep reading to be acquainted with the most gorgeous lakes in and near Sacramento, California.

1. Lake Greenhaven

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Developed in the 1970s, Lake Greenhaven boasts a dimension of 59 square acres (23.88 square hectares) and is popular with fishing enthusiasts. If you’re planning to spend a day by the lake, be sure to check the weather in the area, as the temperature can be pretty unpredictable.

You can spend some serene time boating at the lake and later enjoy delicious food and drinks from one of the nearby restaurants, such as Bodega Kitchen & Cocktails and The Trap, with your loved ones.

Lake Greenhaven

Address: Sacramento, CA 95831, USA

Website: Lake Greenhaven

Visited this place?

2. Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake 6108 - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user UncleVinny used under CC BY 3.0

Situated within Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento Counties, Folsom Lake is a reservoir at the base of the Sierra foothills. The lake and its surrounding area offer travelers almost endless opportunities for recreation. From hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping to water-skiing and boating – there’s so much that waits for you in Folsom Lake.

Fishing in the lake offers catfish, trout, and mouth bass, so if one of your hobbies is fishing, you will surely love taking a trip to Lake Folsom. And if you’re after striking views, Lake Folsom will give you so much to marvel at.

See the best Outdoorsy rentals around Folsam Lake here!

Folsom Lake

Address: Folsom Lake, California, USA

Website: Folsom Lake

Here are some great vacation rentals near Folsom Lake

Visited this place?

3. Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake refills 2016
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Florence Low, Cal... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Dubbed as the largest reservoir in California, Shasta Lake has plenty of room to enjoy while in the area. The ideal season to visit the lake is during the summer when the crystal water is sprinkled with jet skis, fishing boats, and almost anything that floats.

One experience you’ll surely love is staying in one of the available for rent houseboats, which will allow you to feel the rippling of the water and its refreshing vibes. Apart from scenic views of the lake, there are also other worthwhile stops around it, including a free tour of the Shasta Dam, the second-largest dam in the country, at 602 feet (183 meters).

Enjoy Shasta Lake’s views from one of these RVshare rentals

Shasta Lake

Address: Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Shasta County, California

Website: Shasta Lake

Here are some great vacation rentals near Shasta Lake

Visited this place?

4. Lake Natoma

Lake Natomas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user The Oaked Ridge used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lake Natoma is a magnificent lake that offers so many things to do alone, including water activities like boating and hiking. Enjoy a wonderfully tranquil vacation while traveling solo. While here, ride a bike and explore the sights or experience horseback riding - if you are a beginner, this will surely be an interesting new skill to learn. There is just so much to see and do here, so when you do visit, you might want to allot your whole afternoon at Lake Natoma.

Lake Natoma

Address: Folsom, Sacramento County, California

Visited this place?

Nearby lakes

5. Mather Lake

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Mather Lake, constructed in the 1950s, is a beautiful 37-square-acre (14.97-square-hectare) lake that receives its water from the wells of a former Air Force base and Morrison Creek.

The lake is stocked every year with catfish between between June and October and trout between November and May. Other fish species that can be found in this lake are mosquito fish, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Naturally, this area is pretty popular for fishing among individuals with a State of California Fishing License​.

Moreover, the lake is located in Mather Regional Park, and activities, such as golfing and lakeside picnics, can be enjoyed here.

Mather Lake

Address: California 95655, USA

Visited this place?

6. Lake Clementia

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the best lakes near Sacramento, Lake Clementia is ideal for outdoor pursuits such as swimming, kayaks, and picnics. Everything about the area, from its campground to the lake itself, is clean and completely a sight to behold. Lake Clementia is perfect for both adventure seekers and nature lovers. For those who prefer to spice up their water experience, the south side of the lake is a mixture of rugged rapids and calm coasting, excellent for daring jumps to the white water. But if you prefer to stay on the safer side, there’s a strap in the middle of the raft you can use.

There are also tours and group activities you can enjoy here, like paddling through the current. A captain will guide you through your water experience, so you won’t have to worry.

Bask in the beauty of Lake Clementia from these Outdoorsy rentals

Lake Clementia

Address: Lake Clementia, Rancho Murieta, CA 95683, USA

Here are some great vacation rentals near Lake Clementia

Visited this place?

7. Lake Clementine

2013, North Fork Dam and Lake Clementine - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris English used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Standing on a thin boulder in the North Fork American River, Lake Clementine is one of the natural wonders in California worthy to visit. Whether you want to indulge in some water activities, like paddling or boating, or want to relax and cool off, you’ll surely find this wondrous lake perfect for what’s on your mind.

This lake is divided into two parts: Lower Lake Clementine and Upper Lake Clementine, with each offering different experiences, you’ll have a lot of entertainment here. Aquatic sports are available on the lower lake, while swimming and white sandy beaches are offered at the upper lake. If you want to see something magical, be sure to visit the lake before sunrise.

Book an RVshare rental to visit Lake Clementine

Lake Clementine

Address: Lake Clementine, California 95603, USA

Website: Lake Clementine

Here are some great vacation rentals near Lake Clementine


Visited this place?

8. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Colors
Source: Photo by Flickr user Romain Guy used under CC0

Dubbed North America’s largest alpine lake, Lake Tahoe is a breathtaking natural beauty surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. Known for its deep, bluer-than-blue water, the lake is something that can’t be described by mere words. Imagine an alpine paradise and a winter wonderland from November to April, then a striking spring, summer, and fall. Whichever season you decide to visit, it won’t matter. The spectacular views and delightful activities such as kayaking and swimming at this lake near Sacramento make it worth visiting.

See Lake Tahoe from one of these great Outdoorsy rentals

Lake Tahoe

Address: The Sierra Nevada, California, U.S.A.

Website: Lake Tahoe

Here are some great vacation rentals near Lake Tahoe


Visited this place?

9. New Melones Lake

New Melones Lake, California
Source: Photo by user Sharon Hahn Darlin used under CC BY 2.0

A favorite destination among boaters and fishers who like to explore long deep and secluded bays, New Melones Lake is one of the most prominent lakes in California, offering all kinds of recreation. From waterskiing and boating to camping, there are a lot of things travelers can do during their visit.

Since New Melones Lake is the fourth largest lake in the state of California, there’s ample space for visitors to spread out. Facilities available in the area are budget-friendly, which makes this spot popular for locals, especially those who live in Central California. Guests can also enjoy camping in the campground while taking in all the beauty of the place.

Book one of these RVshare rentals near New Melones Lake

New Melones Lake

Address: New Melones Lake, California, USA

Website: New Melones Lake

Here are some great vacation rentals near New Melones Lake


Visited this place?

10. Clear Lake

Bass boat at Clear Lake, Lake County, California.
Source: Photo by Flickr user California Depart... used under CC BY 2.0

When in need of a breather and time away from the hectic schedule of your daily life, Clear Lake in Northern California’s Lake County is always a good place to go. Known as the largest freshwater lake in the state, Clear Lake offers travelers from different places a memorable vacation, brimming with exciting and relaxing activities.

From kayaks and fishing to sightseeing and food, there’s so much that awaits your arrival. You can even indulge in some camping, a picnic, or a morning dip in the legendary waters. This lake around Sacramento is an astounding destination for families looking for a place to create happy memories.

Explore Clear Lake from one of these superb Outdoorsy rentals

Clear Lake

Address: Clear Lake, California, USA

Website: Clear Lake

Here are some great vacation rentals near Clear Lake


Visited this place?

11. Lake Sonoma

lookout view, Lake Sonoma,
Source: Photo by Flickr user David McSpadden used under CC BY 2.0

Tucked in the impressive foothills of Northern California, Lake Sonoma is a marvelous lengthy narrow reservoir that offers a plethora of activities in the surrounding area and nearby. Surrounded by the enchanting vineyards of Sonoma County and historic spots, Lake Sonoma is the perfect setting for an abundance of leisure ventures. One fact about it – the Warm Springs Dam, which forms the lake, plays a vital role in preventing disastrous floods, storing water for locals’ everyday use, and creating a lake for recreation.

If you want to have a better understanding of this place, you can head to the Visitor Center And Fish Hatchery, which is open every day. Outdoor thrills, including camping, horseback riding, and mountain biking, are only a few of the things to expect during your visit.

Book one of these RVshare rentals when in Lake Sonoma

Lake Sonoma

Address: Sonoma County, California

Website: Lake Sonoma

Here are some great vacation rentals near Lake Sonoma


Visited this place?

12. Donner Lake

Donner Lake (Goodbye to Highway 49)
Source: Photo by user buffdawgus used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in the charming district of the Sierra Nevada, a few miles from Sacramento, Donner Lake is a high alpine lake, featuring fabulous views. Surrounded by cabins and public piers, Donner Lake is quite a sight to behold. Offering summer vacationers wondrous opportunities for picnicking, fishing, camping, and boating, it’s a complete package kind of destination.

During the winter, cold season lovers can indulge in some cross-country skiing on the trails nearby the lake and enjoy the season’s charms. If your goal is to see all the wonders of California, make sure to include Donner Lake on your list of must-visits and have a fun holiday.

Marvel at Donner Lake’s beauty from these Outdoorsy rentals

Donner Lake

Address: Nevada County, California, United States

Website: Donner Lake

Here are some great vacation rentals near Donner Lake


Visited this place?

Nothing beats the summer heat more than a refreshing dip

The best season to visit Sacramento is during the summer season when the city’s lakes are waiting for you. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, boating, camping, shopping, or swimming, these lakes in and near Sacramento are sure to fill your hearts desires.

Sacramento is also home to some amazing restaurants. In case you decide to make a quick stop, don’t forget to check out our list above of the most gorgeous lakes in Sacramento, California, for the most exciting trip.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Michelle, a devoted writer and travel enthusiast, endeavors to make a living through her love for words. Her objective is to explore the world, connect with diverse individuals, and motivate others...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Sacramento
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.