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Jenkinson Lake is a hidden gem that features pristine paddling prospects for the entire family. At nearly 3,600 feet in elevation, Jenkinson Lake lies nestled among Ponderosa and Jeffrey pine near Pollock Pines, California, in the beautiful El Dorado National Forest. For kayak lovers, this is a “must-see” paddling retreat.

kayak Fishing California GuideDuring your trip to Jenkinson Lake, you'll feast your eyes on striking views of dense ponderosa forests bordering the water’s edge and sprinkled throughout the Sly Park Recreational Area. You can indulge in many water activities this lake has to offer. For instance, dive into the lake for a refreshing swim, jump into a kayak and troll for trout throughout the lake's eight miles of shoreline, or for a change of pace, paddle a stand up board and check out the picturesque coves.

Stunning views of the surrounding terrain can be captured on film when the water reflects mirror-like images of the colorful foliage along the shoreline. Jenkinson Lake is not only one of the most beautiful lakes in all of California; it also offers incredible kayak fishing possibilities.

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For the kayak angler, Jenkinson Lake holds a significant population of smallmouth bass, bluegill, mackinaw and rainbow trout. The best fishing action is in the early spring near the dam, or in the upper part of the eastern arm of the lake, which has a 5 m.p.h. boat speed limit. During the latter part of the spring and through the summer, your best bet is to troll for rainbow and brown trout from “the Narrows” on upstream. Good fishing for both cold and warm water species including rainbow and brown trout, black bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.

Located in the El Dorado National Forest District in the Sly Park Recreational Area, this lake offers a wide range of recreational activities for the outdoor lover. The park features miles of hiking and horseback riding trails around the lake, and picturesque campsite settings. Hiking Jenkinson Lake California Kayaing

Begin your day with a brisk paddle around the reservoir’s perimeter. Next take a walk along the several miles of well-groomed hiking trails. Follow your walk with a cool dip, relaxing on the red sandy beach between swims. And when you've worn yourself out, enjoy a picnic while relishing the gentle lap of the water and the chorus of birds in the trees.

Hiking in the High Sierras is always an adventure, and the opportunities around Jenkinson Lake are no exception. As you hike, get your camera out and keep your eyes peeled for the abundant species of birds and wildlife that make the park their home, including deer, raccoons, bears and bobcats. If hiking isn't your pleasure, consider exploring the park on horseback, as many of the trails are equestrian friendly.

The gorgeous terrain attracts outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate the beautiful surroundings in which they can make camp. Jenkinson Lake is a great place to bring the family and enjoy a day, weekend or week of sunshine and fresh air. Sly Park Recreational Area features eight family campgrounds that contain a total of 191 individual campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring, and barbecue. Vault toilets and water faucets are nearby. There are several camping facilities available suitable for tents, RV's, and group camping. Family campsites hold up to 8 people. Premium waterfront sites allow kayaks to be beached close to campsites. The lake is open year-round for both day use and camping. Reservations for individual campsites are accepted all year long and up to 14 months in advance. This is an extremely popular summer destination, so make your reservations far in advance if you plan to camp here.

Mountain biking and picnicking are inviting possibilities while visiting this sparkling crystal lake. Jenkinson Lake attracts an abundance of visitors, so plan to arrive early on summer weekends. Visitors also enjoy waterskiing, windsurfing, and boating. Jenkinson Lake allows two stroke motors, however jet skis are not permitted.

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