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Best Times: April-October

Lake Yosemite is an artificial freshwater lake located approximately 5 mi. east of Merced, California, in the rolling Sierra Foothills. UC Merced is situated right outside the gate (approximately 0.1 mi.) south of Lake Yosemite. The university is bounded by the lake on one side, and two canals (Fairfield Canal and Le Grand Canal) run through the campus.


Lake Yosemite is on a tributary of the Merced River in Merced County, California and is used for irrigation purposes. Construction was completed in 1888. At normal levels it has a surface area of 500 acres. It is owned by Merced Irrigation District.


The lake is rock fill. Its height is 53 feet with a length of 4750 feet. Normal storage is 8101 acre feet. It drains an area of 4.95 square miles.


All boating is permitted, including jet skis and water skiing. The lake is equipped with 2 boat launches and multiple docks. Swimming is allowed only in certain designated areas. Swimming outside of these areas is prohibited.


Onshore, shaded picnic areas, which feature picnic tables, barbecue pits, restrooms, and a small playground, are available.


The Fish and Game building, Veteran's cove and Rotary cove are all on site and available for reservation.


Best Times: All Year

8044 Lake McClure Rd, Snelling, California Call (855) 800-2267


Lake McSwain Recreational Area One of the area’s best kept secrets. It has all the great features of the other recreation areas including a marina, store and food service. It is located just six miles from the town of Snelling and offers great fishing, and family-friendly picnic spots and campsites.


Lake McSwain hosts a large variety of trout species, and offers an excellent opportunity to catch daily bag limits and large trophy fish. Trolling and shore fishing are popular successful methods for pursuing fish species. Whether you enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking or just relaxing under a tree, there are many good times to be had by spending the day at the lake. Ask our reservations staff about reserving a Pavilion for your special event.

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