Wouldn't You Rather Be (Fishing, Exploring, Relaxing)? It's at Shaver Lake

8 Things to Love about Shaver Lake, California

There are many things to love about Shaver Lake, California, certainly starting with the lake itself. Its clear, blue waters are hypnotic, beckoning you to a carefree afternoon of swimming, boating or fishing. Formed in the 1920s because of a hydroelectric dam project that brought power to much of Southern California, the lake has long been a local favorite. It recently received some national exposure when it was featured on Discovery Channel’s show Endurance, so maybe its 15 minutes of TV fame gave the world a peek in to the many things to love about Shaver Lake, California.

boating on shaver lake1. Boating

You’ll Love: The Sierra Marina

If You’re
: Anyone that wants to get out on the water and sail, fish, jet-ski or just chill

Season to Visit

Shaver Lake is tailor-made for water-play of all kinds, and the nearby Sierra Marina can take care of all your watercraft needs, whether you want to spend a quiet day sailing or race jet skis. The Marina offers fourteen-foot fishing boats, twenty-foot ski boats (equipped with 315 HP engines), and for the adventure-minded, jet skis! They also have boats that are suitable for day trips out on the water with parties of eight to twelve people. These boats are perfectly set up for fishing, cruising or just relaxing, although barbecuing on the boat is not permitted (fortunately, there are barbecue pits on the beaches surrounding the lake).

shaver lake fishing trip2. Fishing

You’ll Love: Dick’s Fishing Charters

If You’re:  An angler

Season to Visit: Spring through autumn

Shaver Lake is well-stocked with fish of many kinds, and if you’re an experienced angler you’ll have no problem catching your share. If you’re a novice fisherman, fear not—Dick’s Fishing charters is available to take you out on the lake and help transform you into the Old Man of the Sea you’ve always dreamed of being. Dick is a licensed fishing guide, and his twenty-two-foot boat is both safe and comfortable. The abundant Shaver Lake can be home to at least 80,000 trout during the season.

cross country skiing and winter sports in shaver lake3. Hiking and Cross-country Skiing

You’ll Love:  China Peak Trail

If You’re
: A thrill-seeking winter-sportsman (or woman)

Season to Visit
: Winter (for skiing)
Year-round (for hiking)

Shaver Lake’s cross-country skiing trails are as suitable for beginners as they are for expert skiers. The more challenging China Peak Trail goes all the way to the Huntington heliport, from which there is a stunning view of Huntington Lake. The three-mile Willow Hill Trail, which is suitable for novices, passes through Cold Storage Meadow and intersects Huntington Lake Road. In the springtime this trail allows access to the west side of the lake. All the trails around Shaver Lake offer access to scenic vistas of nearby natural features such as Bear Butte, China Peak, and Huntington Lake.

fireworks in shaver lake4. Independence Day Celebration

You’ll Love: The fireworks and boat parade

If You’re:  A patriotic American… or anyone that enjoys great fireworks displays!

Season to Visit: Summer

Every year, usually on the third of July, Shaver Lake celebrates Independence Day with a boat parade and a huge fireworks display. The boat parade begins at the Sierra Marina, and features boats decorated with patriotic colors and themes. As the boats pass near the shore, a DJ works the crowd to make sure everyone is in a celebratory mood.  The fireworks display that follows is funded each year by donations, so if you visit Shaver Lake at this time, please kindly consider pitching in to help make the following year’s festivities possible.

shaver lake art gallery5. The Shaver Lake Art Gallery

You’ll Love: The nature-inspired art

If You’re: A lover of local art and like meeting the artists

Season to Visit: Year-round

In February of 2008, a group of local artists founded the Shaver Lake Art Gallery. The gallery is cooperatively run and staffed by the artists themselves, who can often be found on-site working on new projects. Visitors can purchase original oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, photographic prints, woodcuts and craft art inspired by the beautiful surroundings that make this such a perfect environment for creativity, including not just Shaver Lake itself, but also the greater Sierra Nevada Mountain region. The gallery hosts a number of annual events, including the Dogwood festival on Memorial Day and October’s Fall Festival.

solitude in shaver lake, CA6. The Quiet

You’ll Love: The solitude

If You’re: Getting away from it all

Season to Visit: Year-round

One of the less-frequently mentioned things to love about Shaver Lake, California is how different it is from a busy, crowded resort destination. While visitors will always have plenty of opportunity to interact with the community as much as they want, there’s no need to be bothered by anyone at all. Fewer than 700 people call the town of Shaver Lake home, and the remoteness of the lake—and the town that sits on its southwest shore—lends an unbeatable serenity to any Shaver Lake vacation. Shaver Lake vacation rental homes are easy to find, so you can find all the solitude you desire, which makes Shaver Lake a perfect place to relax, meditate, contemplate changes in your life or even write a novel.

wedding in shaver lake7. It’s a Great Place to Get Married!

You’ll Love: Your spouse—forever!

If You’re: Engaged

Season to Visit: Year-round, but always, always, consult your bride-to-be

Few settings on Earth are as romantic as the shore of a beautiful, wooded lake, which makes Shaver Lake ideal for weddings. The wedding suitability of their town and lake is not lost on the people of Shaver Lake, and they have a number of businesses devoted to making your wedding one to remember. You can celebrate your union at Shaver Lake Chapel, which holds 157 people, or Big Creek Community Church. For your reception, many people use the Shaver Lake Community Center, which can hold up to 225 guests.

history of shaver lake8. History

You’ll Love: Shaver Lake's evolution

If You’re: A history buff

Season to Visit: Year-round

In addition to being an idyllic setting and water destination, Shaver Lake is a fascinating treasure-trove of historical information. The man-made lake was formed, first as a small pond, in 1893, when logger C.B. Shaver built a small dam to create a body of water to support his logging operation. Further dam construction by Southern California Edison in 1927 made the lake what it is today. To this very day the lake serves as part of the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project, which provides electricity to millions of California homes. Be sure to visit the Central Sierra Historical Society just north of town. It is a wellspring of Shaver Lake history, down to its walls made from "sinker logs" from the lake's logging past reclaimed from the lake bottom.


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