This is a beautiful mountain lake community (3,500 ft. elev.) located on Bass Lake, which is near Oakhurst, California. (Oakhurst is about 40 miles east of Fresno on Highway 41.) Camping is popular in four area campgrounds (total of 239 camping units) in the Sierra National Forest, and there are 43 sites with picnic tables and fireplaces for day users (Call 1-800-280-CAMP). Bass Lake has cabin and home rentals, motels, hotels, and resorts. There is a spectacular fireworks disply on the 4th of July, which attracts thousands.
Bass Lake is a 4-mile-long lake on the north fork of Willow Creek, which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River. Its waters turn powerful, electricity-producing turbine engines for Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The water level in the lake was down about 30% when I visited.
The reservoir is drawn down by PG&E at various times of the year, but there is always plenty of water for water activities. You can rent any equipment you need (including jet skis, wave runners, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, paddle boats, houseboats, and speed boats) from the Bass Lake Water Sports & Marina located at Ducey's at The Pines Village. They also have boat launch facilities, overnight rental slips, seasonal slips, and boat drivers and lessons. (Contact www.BassLakeBoatRentals.com or 1-800-585-9283.) You may also enjoy a narrated 1-hour cruise on Bass Lake on a 50-seat tour boat, the Bass Lake Queen. Prices are: adults $12, seniors $6, children (4-16) $4. The cruises are available daily, Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, and Saturdays, only in April, May, September, and October.
The Pines Resort and Conference Center is a 50-acre resort located on the north shore of the lake and is across from the Bass Lake Post Office. (Contact www.basslake.com or 1-800-350-7463.) The Resort features 84 condo-like chalets with kitchens and fireplaces, 20 luxury suits at Ducey's On The Lake, 12 suites with in-room spa tubs, and 2 honeymoon suites. Ducey's has a fine dining restaurant with reasonable prices and a bar and grill, both overlooking the lake. There is also a full service market, gift shops, and a pizza place in the resort. There is an internet station in the lobby for public use (10 minutes for $1, 20 minutes for $2, etc.) It accepts bills. I put $2 in before I realized there was no external mouse, but I was able to get into my mail and one other site before the 20 minutes were up. It was very slow-going - definitely not high-speed internet.
Bass Lake's natural beauty has been used in major motion pictures and television commercials since the early 1930's. Some examples are: "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945); "Hiawatha" (1957); and "The Great Outdoors" (1987). Auto commercials have been produced in and around Bass Lake for Cadillac, Honda, Chrysler, and Isuzu; a Wells Fargo Bank Commercial was filmed just above Bass Lake, and Mark Harmon made two Coors commercials at Bass Lake. One in the popular series of Bud Light "I Love Ya Man" beer commercials was also shot at the lake.