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Lake Almanor
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Situated in the northwestern corner of California, the Lake Almanor Destination is characterized by several national parks and nature preserves. Lassen Volcanic National Park, Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and a portion of Plumas National Forest are a few of the national parks that can be found in the region. Hydrothermal areas dot the surrounding land in many different places as well, namely the Lassen National Park. Honey Lake, Eagle Lake, Lake Almanor, and the majority of Goose Lake in the north, also occupy land in the destination. Outdoor recreation including kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and other water-based activities are typically the main draw for tourism in the area. The lack of humidity in certain parts of the destination can also appeal to a number of individuals who plan on spending time outdoors. July tends to be the hottest month of the year in Lake Almanor West, with temperatures generally reaching between 80 and 90 degrees.[5] For tourists who take interest in learning about the history of Lake Almanor and the surrounding towns, the Chester Museum offers tours, exhibits, and collections of Native American artifacts that visitors can view.[11]

What Lake Almanor is known for

The Lake Almanor Destination is located in the northwestern corner of California. Lake Almanor, the geographic feature which the destination is named after, derives its name from the combination of the names Alice, Martha, and Eleanor, all of which were daughters of an individual known as Guy C. Earl. Guy Earl became the president of the Great Western Power Company, also known as Pacific Gas Electric. From 1926 to 1927, the dam that is currently in the lake was constructed, progressing the development of Lake Almanor.[1] The northeastern corner of California makes up the northern and eastern borders of the Lake Almanor Destination. A portion of the Plumas National Forest makes up over half of the southern borders of the destination, and desertlands and rural areas expand across the western borders. A few of the notable cities that are located in the Lake Almanor Destination are Mineral, Susanville, Leavitt, Herlong, Bieber, and Alturas, among several others. Sacramento, one of California’s most prominent cities, can be found outside of the Lake Almanor Destination, about a three-hour drive from Lake Almanor itself.

Lake Almanor, the namesake of the destination, can be found south of Lassen Volcanic National Park in the southern region of the destination. Outdoor recreation is one of the most well-known aspects of Lake Almanor as a fair amount of tourists visit the area annually for such purposes. Water-skiing, boating, fishing, sailing, wakeboarding, kayaking, sail boarding, paddle boarding, and wave running are just a few of the potential activities that one can participate in at Lake Almanor.[1] The months of June and July are typically when fishermen visit the region to catch fish including salmon, smallmouth bass, and rainbow trout, to name a few.[2] A number of beaches and picnic areas can also be found along the shorelines.[1] Nearly 52 miles of shoreline extend along the perimeter of the lake. Lassen Volcanic National Park plus the Caribou Wilderness are comprised of 1.2 million acres of land in total, containing about 300 campsites.[2]

Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge occupies land in the northern parts of the Lake Almanor Destination. The Clear Lake Reservoir, which functions as a water storage facility for the Klamath Reclamation Project, can be found in the wildlife refuge as well. Public access is unavailable at Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge with the intent to protect the wildlife that resides in the area and their habitats. Despite this, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center is still open for tourists to visit.[3]

Lassen Volcanic National Park contains all four types of volcanoes, namely, cinder cone, composite, shield, and plug dome. A view of Lassen-Peak can be seen from the trail that runs along Manzanita Lake. Lassen-Peak reaches a height of approximately 10,457 feet. Another notable trail in the Lassen Volcanic National Park is Bumpass Hell, which was named after Kendall Bumpass, who had broken through a thin layer of crust and fell into scorching water. There, visitors may find boiling pools in the hydrothermal area. When it gets dark at night in the national park, it allows for opportunities to participate in astronomy programs that a number of park rangers provide for tourists during the summer. Additionally, in August, the annual Dark Sky Festival is hosted, featuring constellation tours each night and presentations by professional astronomers.[4]


Lassen National Park, located in the Lake Almanor Destination, is characterized by a number of “hot water areas” or hydrothermal areas. The water from the mud pots, fumaroles, and boiling pools is heated by the molten rock that is found beneath Lassen Peak. The hydrothermal system is fed by the rain and snow that falls to the highlands. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park. Tourists may find that easier access is available to those visiting the Sulphur Works area, as sidewalks are provided.[6]

Each year, Lake Almanor West, an area just below Lake Almanor, receives 41 inches of rain and 121 inches of snow. December is the wettest month of the year, with about 7.3 inches of rain. The hottest month for Lake Almanor West, and the surrounding environment, is during the month of July with an average high temperature of 83.9 degrees. Typically, the months with the most relatively decent weather tend to be September, June, and August. The coldest nighttime temperatures occur in January with an average of 22.3 degrees. Humidity is significantly lower in Lake Almanor West compared to other parts of California, causing a generally dry climate in the region.[5]

An abundance of wildlife resides in the namesake of the destination, Lake Almanor. There is a wide range of migratory waterfowl and duck species such as wigeons, teals, and mallards which can be found in the region, as well as Canadian geese. Other birds found in Lake Almanor are ospreys and herons, plus bald eagles, though they tend to be a rarer sighting. The Peninsula and West Shore are typically where these bird species build their nests. During the summer, in late June and early July, insects, which the fish feed on, hatch on the lake. At this time, oftentimes local fly fishermen come to the lake to use imitation flies to catch the fish.[7] Comparatively, another national park in the destination that is home to various wildlife is Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Approximately 20,000 acres of open water plus 26,000 acres of upland bunchgrass, low sagebrush, and juniper plants create the habitat for varying species. Double-crested cormorants, American white pelicans, and other similar colonial nesting birds inhabit the small islands that are scattered throughout the lake. As for the mammals that reside in the wildlife refuge, species such as antelope, pronghorn, mule deer, and sage grouse, may be living in the area.[8]

Honey Lake and Goose Lake are a couple of the biggest lakes in the Lake Almanor Destination. A little over a third of Goose Lake expands across the California border into Oregon in the northern region of the destination. This particular lake was formed from melted glaciers and precipitation during the Pleistocene epoch. Goose Lake is the heart of a semi-closed drainage basin. Its water occasionally flows into the Pit River; however, its water drainage is typically endorheic. Even still, recreational activities including kayaking, canoeing, and hunting are available to tourists in the area.[9]


With the construction of the dam on the north fork, Lake Almanor’s development was advancing. This, in turn, caused flooding in the Big Meadows area, which had previously been heavily forested land that tourists would often visit.[1] The dam itself is composed of hydraulic fills and reaches a height of nearly 130 feet. The Great Western Power Company was what created the dam in 1914, which, at the time, was a part of the Upper North Fork Feather River Project. Maidu families were still inhabiting the land when the Big Meadows (or Nakam Koyo) were flooded, and the families were displaced. In today’s time, the dam is currently owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and the lake now functions as a recreational area. Fishing, water skiing, boating, camping, and swimming are a few of the commonly participated activities at Lake Almanor.[7]

It wasn’t until 1905 that Lassen Peak Preserve was first created. The lands were being managed under the Department of Agriculture by the U.S. Forest Service. This caused the reserves to officially become national forests. Lassen National Park had been formed from Lassen National Forest in 1916 after it was approved by congress. The national forest was named after a man known as Peter Lassen, who had a hospital, street, mountain, college, and county named after him, in addition to the national park and national forest. He was murdered in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada Territory by an unknown individual.[10]

The Chester Museum is one particular place where tourists to the area can go to learn more about the historical significance of original pioneer communities and settlers of the pre-Lake Almanor era of Big Meadows. The original cabin was built in 1929 for the Chester Library which is joined with the Chester Museum. Various photographs and exhibits that encompass Native Americans, gold mining, and dairy and cattle ranching can be found within the museum.[11]

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Quincy Feather Bed Inn is located in Quincy, California, which is a city near the northern side of the state. Quincy is typically known for being an ideal place for people to spend time doing outdoor recreational activities including fishing, hiking, and more. There are a total of seven units that visitors can reserve, five of which are rooms in the main building, and two of them are stand-alone cottages. The main house was built in 1893 and has been run as an inn since the 1970s. Children, babies, and pets are not allowed on the property to help maintain a level of cleanliness and quietness. Quincy Feather Bed Inn is open year-round and is found near the downtown area, making many restaurants and other places of interest within walking distance. The motto for the inn is "historic hospitality."

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