Lake Oroville Houseboating and Activities

California’s Lake Oroville is the perfect place to kick back and relax! The lake was created by the Oroville Dam, constructed in the 1960’s, and can include up to 15,500 acres of water when it reaches peak elevation. Located in the Western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Oroville is perfect for both adventurous water sports and a peaceful fishing trip. Vacation at Lake Oroville on a houseboat and leave the rest of the world behind!

The Seasons
Located in Northern California, Lake Oroville is a fun, rejuvenating experience to enjoy during any season. Winters are cooler, getting as low as 30 degrees. There are warmer temperatures in the Fall, but be ready for some chilly nights. Vacations planned during the Springtime, be ready for perfect weather and vibrant flowers in bloom, while in the Summer it gets hot, temperatures ranging from 80-100 degrees. Good thing there’s always the water to cool off in!

Water Levels Rise
Good news is in store for lake lovers! After being affected by the California drought, water elevation hitting a record low in December of 2015, Lake Oroville is now bursting with cool, crisp H2O. As of March 2016, water levels have increased dramatically, rising 20 feet in just 6 days!


North Forebay
The North Forebay is reserved for non-motorized use only. A great day spot where you can come enjoy the sun, the sand and the water! The turf on the ground is well-groomed, making this a great place for a game of football. Lay out on the sandy beach in the morning, beneath the toasty, golden sun. Then, gather around one of the picnic tables for a satisfying lunch. There are tall trees that provide plenty of shade for when you get tired. The North Forebay is known for its exceptional sailing and windsurfing, popular for its easy-going wind.

South Forebay
Get in on the action at the South Forebay! This is a hot spot for hydroplaning, jet skiing and speed boating around!

Forebay Aquatic Center
For water-sports and boat rentals, the Forebay Aquatic Center is the place to go! They rent out everything from standing paddle boards to hydro-bikes to canoes. Also offered are boating lessons and water safety instruction. Fun events are offered throughout the year like a sunset or moonlight paddle around the lake while stories of history and local folklore are shared. Join the Paddle board yoga classes held at the center and test your balancing skills while floating on the waters. You can take plenty of other classes too and learn new skills like wake boarding!


Hit the Trails
Take a break from the water and go hiking along Lake Oroville’s scenic trials. Visitors can also enjoy an afternoon of horseback riding. Bicyclists can champion the 41 Mile Freeman Bicycle Trail, where they can enjoy magnificent panoramic views and a good workout too!

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Tired of lying around beneath the sun? There are plenty of water adventures just waiting for you! Spend a morning scuba diving or snorkeling so you can dive a little deeper into the sparkling waters and explore the marine life beneath.

Lake Oroville is an exceptional spot for bass fishing! Fishermen can also expect to catch coho salmon, brown trout and other fish species. If you’re in search of a fish cleaning station head to the South Forebay. Then, take your catch and grill it up for dinner! Enthusiasts can also enjoy the Feather River Fish Hatchery that can hold up to 10,000 fish.

Nearby Attractions
Don’t confine yourself to the water every day! There are so many spectacular attractions to visit around Lake Oroville. Stop by the Visitors Center where you can learn all about the history of the California water projects and the progression to today’s modern dams. There are also exhibits on the Maidu Indian Culture, local wildlife, and the Gold Rush as well as a viewing tower which offers an unparalleled view of the magnificent lake and mountains.

The Oroville Dam
Standing at almost 800 feet, the Oroville Dam is the tallest in the U.S. It was built in the 1960’s in order to create an artificial lake to provide water to Californian fields through the California Aqueduct. Bring your bicycle or take an evening stroll around the dam for an epic Northern California sunset. The Oroville Dam has some of the best views in the house. On a clear day, you can get a spectacular view of the Sacramento Valley as well as three different mountain ranges.

Visit the Chinese Temple & Museum to learn about the life of a Chinese gold-rush worker. The Temple was built in the 1860’s as a place for Chinese workers to worship. Check out the meditation garden, featuring plant life that originated in China. The Bolt Tool Museum showcases tools that were made during or before World War II. The nearby Butte County Pioneer Memorial Museum, a replica of a 49er cabin, displays many fantastic antique pieces from back in the day like the original Oregon City School organ and a doll from the Donner Party. Don’t forget to visit the Ehrmann home, where Freda Ehmann lived. She is known as the mother of the modern olive canning industry. Her original olive orchard still stands today!

Houseboating on Lake Oroville
When visiting Lake Oroville, there’s no better place to stay than on a houseboat! When you’re traveling with family or friends, this can be the easiest and the funnest way to spend time together. Head off across the water in the morning and enjoy a day of fun activities and gather together at night for dinner or ghost stories!

Visitors can choose from a wide variety of houseboats from 56’ to 70’. The 70’ houseboats come with upgraded modern amenities like large, flat screen TVs, a wet bar, and gourmet kitchen, and are great for a long vacation! The 56’ to 60’ houseboats are perfect for a long weekend, and can fit the whole crew in one place.

What are you waiting for? Get your houseboat ready and cruise out onto the lake where you can swim, fish, and relax all day! Lake Oroville has something for everyone. Sandy shores for relaxing and rentals of every kind for those with an adventurous spirit!

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