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Lake Clementine Professional Review and Guide
"Easy access makes this canyon lake a great place to relax and enjoy Sierra Foothills wildlife. In 1939 the Army Corps of Engineers created Lake Clementine when they built North Fork Dam. They built the dam to stop gold-mining debris from clogging the Lower American River. Later slated for inundation by the unbuilt Auburn Dam, popular Lake Clementine is now a part of the Auburn State Recreation Area."
--Charlie Pike, Paddling Northern California (Falcon Guides).
Access to this lake is a little bit challenging if you do not have an SUV type vehicle. There is limited access at the dam for entry. If you are kayaking, it is best to go to the upper lake access and make an entry at this point.
The only drawback is that it is a dirt road and your kayak will be very dirty.
The kayaking part is flat and peaceful. The camping facilities for kayakers is good. So, if the access does not deter you, you will have fun.
We had 3 canoes. We put in @ the lower lake by the dam and parked @ upper lake. There were only a few boats - but never a problem. We had a great time. However, since it's a lake, there's no current. A three and a half mile lake seems a lot longer with out a current. Everything was beautiful though. Upper lake is the best part. The water is crystal clear perfect for swimming and the scenery just wonderful! There are several big rocks we found with water deep enough for us to jump into from them. And a tree swing @ upper lake that was alot of fun also. The fishing was just ok, we only caught the little guys - no biggie. We lucked out and were able to stay & camp @ site #10 due to a cancelation- small and nice, very shaded. Overall it was pretty good. Watch out for the night crew, the skunks raided our garbage while we were asleep! :)
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