Lake of the Pines, California, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - California - Gold Country -

Also known as:  Main Lake, Entrance Pond, Huck Finn Pond, Hazel Lake

Located in the foothills of northeastern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake of the Pines is a 232-acre private lake surrounded by a gated community. Opened in 1967, the community also includes four-acre Hazel Lake, three-acre Huck Finn Pond and the half-acre Entrance Pond. Of the 1,999 homesites in Lake of the Pines, nearly 15 percent have direct waterfront access to a lake or pond. Surrounding homes have lake and pond access through seven parks offering five beaches, a boat launch ramp and a marina. All residents have access to their clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, fishing, waterskiing, swimming, boating and beautiful country setting of California’s Gold Country.

Lake of the Pines’ four lakes are the shared property of Lake of the Pines (LOP) residents managed by the LOP Association. Each water body is impounded by earthen dams, technically making them reservoirs. The Entrance Pond, or Gate Pond, sits on association land near the community’s main gate. This one-half acre pond is an impoundment of Ragsdale Creek and has a maximum depth of eight feet. The two-acre-feet of water have been stocked with redear, largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish creating an ideal location for young anglers to develop their fishing skills.

Huck Finn Pond is located inside the main entrance of Lake of the Pines. This three-acre pond is a remnant of the ranch that first occupied the land. Originally used as a stock tank, Huck Finn Pond is also an impoundment of Ragsdale Creek. The pond has a shoreline of .4 miles and a maximum depth of eight-feet. The eastern and southern shore accommodates 12 homesites. Acreage along the western shore provides a common area where residents may launch float tubes and pedal boats. The LOP Association has built a fishing pier on Huck Finn Pond dam where anglers may hook a largemouth bass or bluegill sunfish.

Hazel Lake’s four-acres lie on the north side of a dam that separates Hazel Lake from Lake of the Pines Main Lake. Constructed as another early livestock water supply, Hazel Lake has a maximum depth of 17 feet and is fed by winter precipitation and water from the Main Lake. The north shore is home to family-friendly Hazel Lake Park. Here you will find all the amenities for family and friends to enjoy a day at the park. Within the park you will find a restroom, drinking fountain, lawn area and picnic tables. For entertainment the park offers a sand volleyball court, half-court basketball, horseshoe pits and parcourse fitness trail. Non-motorized boats and float tubes may be launched from the park shore for a day of fun on the water or fishing largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish.

The Main Lake, or Lake of the Pines, is an impoundment of Magnolia Creek. Magnolia Dam was built by Boise Cascade Corporation in 1967 when the company was interested in real estate speculation and recreational land development. Today Magnolia Dam and 232-acre Lake of the Pines is the property of Lake of the Pines Association. During the winter, Main Lake’s 60-foot maximum depth is maintained by Magnolia Creek and tributaries entering along the eastern shore. From mid-April to mid-October Lake of the Pines maintains its 4,150 acre-foot volume by receiving water from nearby Lake Combie owned by Nevada Irrigation District. Water leaves the Main Lake through the golf course irrigation system and siphoning to maintain water levels in the other three lakes and to irrigate the community golf course and common areas and parks.

With Lake of the Pines maintaining four lakes, water sports are naturally the focus of activity in this popular community. Main Lake is open to swimming with community access found in five surrounding parks. The main beach is near the Lake of the Pines clubhouse at the northern shore. Beachgoers will find a lawn area, restrooms, outside beach shower, vending machines and parking nearby. A slalom ski course is maintained for residents and members of the community’s water-ski club. A swimming pool with children’s wading pool is open to residents and guests.

If you don’t find residents in the water, you will likely find them on the water. At the north end of Lake of the Pines paddlers will find a public pier and rental slips for kayaks and canoes. A marina with rented boat slips is open nearby. The demand for slips exceeds availability, leaving residents facing a five-year waiting list before a slip may become available. For those towing a boat, a launch is available at South Shore Park. No boat fuel is available on the lake so boats must be towed to service stations or hand filled. All boats must be inspected and registered with Lake of the Pines Administration. The peace and tranquility of the lake is maintained through observance of “quiet time.” Discussions are under way to extend the time that power boats cannot exceed 5 mph giving sailboats, windsurfers, kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats more time to sail calm waters.

Whether you access Lake of the Pines in a float tube or sailboat, Main Lake is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Warm water game fish found within the lake include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, redear, bluegill sunfish, black crappie and catfish. Before casting a line into the water residents and guests over 16 must purchase a state fishing license. Bass anglers willingly practice “catch-and-release” but the policy is not part of the rules which limit largemouth bass to a minimum of 14 inches and daily catch of two; bluegill and redear sunfish have no size limit but have a daily catch limit of 10 total; catfish also have no size limit but are restricted to a daily catch limit of 10. With over 250 private properties located along Lake of the Pines’ five-mile shore, anglers will want to become familiar with designated fishing areas scattered around the shore.

When residents and guests of Lake of the Pines are ready for more challenging outdoor activities, they need only drive about 15 miles southeast to the Auburn State Recreation Area. Covering 40 miles of land along the North and Middle forks of the American River, rafters will enjoy the challenge of Class II, III and IV whitewater runs. Additional activities include trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding through the Sierra Nevada foothills. Space is provided for off-highway motorcycle riding and there is always swimming, boating, fishing, gold panning and camping along the rivers.

Drive approximately 15 miles south of Lake of the Pines on Interstate 80 and you will enter the lovely community of Auburn. Once considered the crossroads of the Mother Lode, Auburn is steeped in mining history. A walk through Old Town will take you past historic architecture; a delightful selection of antique stores, restaurants and gift shops; or a refreshing break at the soda fountain at the Auburn Drug Company in operation since 1896. If you stay through the change of seasons Auburn offers local fare at the Wild West Stampede in April and Gold Country Fair in September.

With a population estimated at 5,000, Lake of the Pines has become a well established rural community set in scenic Nevada County. Designed to provide a relaxed recreational environment where neighbors co-exist with river otters, muskrats, turtles, egrets and eagles, life at Lake of the Pines is to be experienced and enjoyed. With a wonderful selection of Lake of the Pines vacation rentals and available real estate properties, you too can come home to your own vacation spot every day.

Things to do at Lake of the Pines

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Lake of the Pines

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish

Lake of the Pines Photo Gallery

    Lake of the Pines Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Lake of the Pines Association

    Surface Area: 232 acres

    Shoreline Length: 5 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,507 feet

    Maximum Depth: 60 feet

    Water Volume: 4,150 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1967

    Lake Area-Population: 5,000

    Drainage Area: 4 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is 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.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. 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.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's 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".

    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.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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