Pine Flat Lake is near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. It's a reservoir that was created by the Pine Flat Dam that was completed in 1954. The reservoir and dam were constructed primarily for flood control and irrigation. Today, the 20-mile long Pine Flat Lake is a recreational area, attracting many visitors each year who enjoy the water and activities the lake provides.
Boating and water skiing are just two attractions that are popular to lake visitors. With four boat launches in the vicinity, it’s quick and easy to access the lake water. Pine Flat Lake has an abundance of fish, drawing many anglers to the area. Fishing can be done by boat or from the shoreline and fish cleaning stations are located in some of the recreational areas. The lake is also appealing to those who want to view wildlife with many different species of birds and animals in the area.
There are two campgrounds at Pine Flat Lake. Each offers unique views and have their own amenities. A limited number of campsites have electric and water hookups, the remaining campsites are primitive. Reservations can be made online to secure a campsite prior to your stay. Pets are welcome at the lake and campgrounds but must be kept on a leash at all times. This is an ideal spot from which to explore the more well-known Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park.
Pine Flat Lake is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California. About 35 miles east of Fresno, Pine Flat Lake is a popular outdoor escape.
Once you've set up camp, you’ll find that there are many amenities at the lake, though you may need to drive a short distance to access them. Some amenities may be located in other recreation areas, such as the fish cleaning station or dump station.
There are ten dry campsites at Trimmer Campground, some of which can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet. There are no hookups at any of the campsites but each site has a fire pit with a grill as well as a picnic table. One of the main perks is the fact that the campsites overlook Pine Flat Lake.
This campground has restrooms with showers. There is a marina close by and a boat ramp and dock are adjacent to the campground.
Island Park Campground has 97 campsites, some of which have electric and water hookups. Parking your trailer shouldn’t be an issue at the spacious sites with some parking pads as long as 89 feet.
Every campsite has a fire pit and table for cooking or relaxing around. Amenities of Island Park Campground include restrooms with showers, a dump station, and a fish cleaning station.
Pine Flat Lake and the tree-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevadas are home to many different types of wildlife. If you're visiting during the wintertime, you may see bald eagles and ducks. Deer, coyote, hawks, and many other animals are often seen year-round.
Though rarely seen, bears do live in the area around the lake. Store food and trash when not in use to avoid attracting wildlife to you or neighboring campsites.
The Blue Oak Trail is a short, easy interpretive trail at Island Park Recreation Area. The quarter-mile long path can be accessed from the campground. Along the trail, you’ll see and learn about many of the plants and trees at Pine Flat Lake.
Keep an eye on the trees and you may spot an eagle or hawk perched high up in a branch or a deer grazing near the lake.
Pine Flat Lake is well-stocked with many different types of fish making it a popular spot for anglers. Those who fish may reel in rainbow trout, king salmon, crappie, and spotted bass. Anglers will have luck whether they fish from one of the docks or head further out onto the lake in a boat.
A special management area for rainbow trout in the upper King’s River makes it a desirable spot to cast a line. A state fishing license is required to fish on lakes and rivers in California.
In-season hunting is welcome at Pine Flat Lake. Hunting is not allowed in public use areas such as the campground or recreation areas, but there are many designated spots in outlying areas where hunting is permitted.
If you would like to hunt during your visit, you’ll want to ensure that you pick up any necessary licenses and are familiar with the state hunting rules and regulations.
During your visit to Pine Flat Lake, plan to join one of the weekly interpretive ranger programs. These programs run during the weekends in the summer months at the Island Park Amphitheater. The topics covered include the area’s wildlife and the dam. Group dam tours can be requested as well. If you're interested in planning a dam tour, contact the park headquarters. Tours must be scheduled at least a month in advance of the tour date.
Pine Flat Lake draws thousands of boaters each year. With a boat launch in four of the recreation areas, it isn’t difficult to find access to the water. If you're interested in renting a slip, there are two commercial marinas on the lake near the Deer Creek and Lakeview Recreation Areas.
Whether you want to spend the day leisurely exploring the lake or zip around on water skis, boating on Pine Flat Lake is the perfect way to spend the day.