Pure Liquid Fun! Our lakes and rivers are full

OUR REGION’S LAKES AND RIVERS, including Lake Tahoe, the Yuba and American rivers, are at their highest levels in years this summer, thanks to El Niño weather.

Though the prolonged drought is not over, the wet winter sets the stage for a stellar season for water sports: motor boating, sailing, water skiing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, white-water rafting, swimming, fishing, camping and outdoor recreation.

Lake Tahoe rose to its natural rim for the first time in 10 months, and more than 60 billion gallons of water have flowed into the lake. Donner Lake, Oroville, Folsom, Scotts Flat and Bullards Bar Reservoir, and Rawlins Lake have had large infusions of water. Dozens of small, natural lakes in the High Sierra are full for high-country summer recreation.

Paddle boarders and kayakers will find plenty of turquoise, tranquil waters to explore. Lake Tahoe and Scott’s Flat have been named among California’s top 10 spots for stand-up paddle boarding, according to SUP magazine.

Kayakers can enjoy the Lake Tahoe Water Trail (LakeTahoeWaterTrail.org), which offers more than 72 miles of shoreline with 41 public launch-landing sites and 16 day landing sites.

Donner Lake also is popular for paddle boarding, kayaking and other non-motorized watercraft. Paddle boarding yoga classes also are taught at the lake.

The North Fork of the American River attracts kayakers and white-water rafters, and the swimming holes of the South Yuba River are world famous for their emerald pools.

“West Shore, Best Shore”

On Lake Tahoe’s West Shore, paddlers and kayakers can experience mirror-flat waters, views of Sierra peaks and historic sites, including Ehrman Mansion and Vikingsholm.

West Shore Sports rents the latest kayaks and paddle boards from three locations: Sunnyside/Tahoe Park, Homewood and Sugar Pine Point State Park. The knowledgeable staff also offers itineraries for a memorable outing. West Shore Sports also rents bicycles. WestShoreSports.com

(“Cat’s Eye” on the Yuba River by David McKay)

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