Highest elevation lakes & reservoirs in California by altitudeWhile lake levels can flucuate frequently based on several circumstances, the altitude/elevation of a lake is based on its normal water level, measured by the lake’s surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as “full pond” or “full pool”.
Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation. Some lakes’ minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet – according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more. When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access – and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.
A lake’s highest water level, measured by the lake’s surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake’s highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake’s dam or spillway. At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake’s maximum elevation.
You can find many of the world’s highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list. Note: For some lakes, "Altitude/Elevation" data is unknown, so this table may display fewer lakes than the total 75 articles we have published for California lakes.
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Search results: Sort lakes by elevation
Below are lakes within USA > US West Region > California > Compared by highest altitude/elevation in feet. This list does not represent all lakes in California, only the 75 California lake articles we have published on the LakeLubbers website.