Bass Lake Recreation Area

Bass Lake Recreation area is located at the 3400-foot elevation in the Sierra National Forest, about a one hour drive North of Fresno via State Highway 41.  The primary recreation attractions of the area include camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing and hiking.  The recreation area, which is open all year, serves as an excellent location from which to explore the high country attractions of the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park. 

In 1895, a plan was devised to use the waters of willow Creek to generate hydroelectric power for the residents of the great San Joaquin Valley. The first earthen dam was built in Crane Valley in 1901. The dam was enlarged in 1905 and the present Dam was built in 1910.  The lake was called Crane Valley Reservoir for many years, but the name was eventually changed when a small Bass Lake lumber operation polluted the lake, killing all the fish that were in it. The lumber company was ordered by the government to replace all the fish that were lost. The chosen fish was Bass, hence the new name-Bass Lake.

Bass Lake generates 27 megawatts of power through 5 downstream power houses and is owned by Pacific Gas & Electric. It has developed into a major resort and recreational facility.  

Reservable campgrounds in the Bass Lake Recreation area include Forks Campground (FRKS),  Cedar Bluff (CEDF), Lupine (LUPE), Spring Cove (SPCO) and Wishon Point (WISN).  Crane Valley (CRVA) and Recreation Point (RECR) are the Group campgrounds.  Picnic Areas are all lake front and are acquired on a first come first serve basis.  Reservations can be made by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777, or you can log on to

Lupine and Cedar Bluff campgrounds are open year round as well as the two group campgrounds,  Recreation Point and Crane Valley. The Day Use areas have tables, cooking areas, restrooms and some have paved walkways and picnic sites that are handicap accessible. Boat launching at Bass Lake is available. Campsite shade is created from a mixed forest of Pine, Oak and Cedar trees.  

Recreation includes swimming and boating at the lake, hiking trails, bicycling, fishing, photography and more. Nearby the campgrounds you can rent boats, plan a day visit to Yosemite National Park and the big trees, go horseback riding, or ride a logger train. Come have fun and an outdoor adventure at Bass Lake!  

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Latitude: 37.3243192 Longitude: -119.5796489 Elevation: 3398 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jack Moore

Number of Camp Sites

10 group sites 250 single sites

Campground Style


Maximum Campsite Spur Length

40 feet

Maximum Number of People Cabin or Fire Lookout May Accommodate

6 people per single site and group sites can accommodate up to 50 people

Nightly Fee

$26 for single site; $55 to $102 for group sites per night

Maximum Length of Stay Allowed

14 days

Direct Link to Reservation Site

Driving Directions

From Fresno, California, take Highway 41 north through Oakhurst. Turn right on Road 222 toward Bass Lake. Travel 3 miles, turn right to stay on Road 222. Travel 3/10 of a mile and turn right again to continue on Road 222. Follow Road 222 for half a mile to reach Bass Lake Ranger Station. 

Pet Friendly Notes

Yes, dogs are welcome. 2 pet limit per site.


Are there any Ranger led campfires? We are bringing grandchildren ages 5-10. I grew up in Reedley and am looking forward to exploring my childhood memories.

Trudy Boyer, 3/15/2018

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