Lake Don Pedro is a Californian oasis perfect for a weeklong getaway! Enjoy a low-key houseboating trip across the cool, blue lake waters with friends and family. Pack up the essentials and head down to the lake for a relaxing stay filled with boating, hiking, and fishing in the warm, sunny outdoors.
About The Lake
The original Don Pedro Dam was completed in 1923, however, due to its size, it was not fully capable of supplying enough water for more than one growing season. After decades filled with dry winters, the dam was replaced. Construction on the new dam began in 1967 and was completed within four years.
If you’re staying at Lake Don Pedro in the summer, one of the best times to go is over Independence Day weekend. A spectacular annual fireworks show is held around July 4th as long as water levels permit. Imagine lying back on your houseboat deck, softly swaying side to side on the calm waters, while bright red, white and blue sparks light up the dark, velvety sky.
TRAILS FOR HIKING AND BIKING
Blue Oaks Shoreline Trail
You can ride or hike among the water’s edge when you take Blue Oaks Shoreline Trail. A 3.5 mile trail, it begins in the Blue Oaks Campground and eventually leads to Buzzard Cove where the trail runs along the water’s edge. In the spring, elegant wildflowers bloom along either sides of the trail alongside Quartz outcroppings. The trail also features breathtaking views of Lake Don Pedro and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Blue Oaks Shoreline Trail is also a great place to spot Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Ospreys, and Red-Tailed Hawks.
Moccasin Point Lakeview Trail
For a quick and relaxing hike, take the Moccasin Point Lakeview Trail. This shade-covered trail is only about 1 mile round-trip and provides serene views of Moccasin Bay. It also includes the short loop of the Manzanita Lookout Trail. Here, the trail winds through twisted red trunks of Manzanita and Oak trees.
At Lake Don Pedro, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding are some of visitor’s favorite pass times! Explore hidden coves on a sleek canoe or race across the water’s glassy surface next to friends in your kayaks. There are three different launch sites at Lake Don Pedro in Fleming Meadows, Blue Oaks, and Moccasin Point. You can rent any of kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, along with sailboats, rowboats, speedboats, wakeboards, and rafts from a number of Lake Don Pedro Marina vendors.
There are three different recreation areas at Lake Don Pedro. Blue Oaks is cradled up in the foothills near the lake. It’s the starting point for numerous hiking trails as well as the setting of a few group picnic areas. Moccasin Point, another recreation area set near the Tuolumne River arm, is a great spot for fishing and exploring walking trails. Fleming Meadows is built for fun, featuring horseshoe pits, a ball field, and volleyball court as well as a 2-acre swimming lagoon, complete with a sand bottom.
Fishing is allowed year round at Lake Don Pedro! Fishermen can catch plenty of different fish in these calm waters. Smallmouth and spotted bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish, bluegill, carp land-locked Kokanee and Chinook salmon are known to be found in the Don Pedro Reservoir. The Don Pedro Recreation Agency also stocks Florida strain Black Bass in the lake. Some fishermen have even caught bass weighing over 18 lbs.! From March through July, there are an abundance of Fishing Tournaments held at Lake Don Pedro for skilled fishermen to test and display their skills!
Hunting is allowed at Lake Don Pedro, but only in non-developed area, some of which must be accessed via boat. However, firearms are not allowed in the campgrounds. Some of the game animals present in the area include deer, black bears, grey squirrels, black-tailed hares, valley quail, mourning doves, and wild turkeys. Contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for information on hunting regulations.
You can choose from 6 marvelous different houseboats when you stay at Lake Don Pedro. For comfort, convenience and value for the smaller group (2-6 people), choose the 50’ Forever or the 50’ XT for a bit more room with a dining table that turns into a bed. For a boat with upgraded features such as a flat screen TV, upper deck and waterslide, choose the 56’ Getaway boat that sleeps a maximum of 10 people. A similar option for the same group size is the 60’ Eagle, offering a few more rooms. For groups of 12, it’s best to go with the 70’ Titanium or the 70’ Silver with large, open layouts. The 70’ Silver comes with a few additional features such as high ceilings and a wrap-around kitchen.
Lake Don Pedro is a fantastic place to relax with your closest friends and family. Whether you come with a group that’s small or large, this cool, blue lake is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy yourself. The good times are waiting for you at Lake Don Pedro!