|Location||Merced County, California|
|Primary inflows||Main Canal|
|Primary outflows||Fairfield Canal
Le Grand Canal
|Basin countries||United States|
|Max. length||0.899 mi (1.447 km)|
|Surface area||500 acres (200 ha)|
|Average depth||53 ft (16 m)|
|Water volume||7,425 acre·ft (9,159,000 m3)|
|Surface elevation||253 ft (77 m)|
Lake Yosemite is an artificial freshwater lake located approximately five miles (8 km) east of Merced, California in the rolling Sierra Foothills. UC Merced is situated approximately half a mile (0.8 km) 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.
In 2007, a myth featured in the Mythbusters' James Bond Special 1 episode was filmed and tested at Lake Yosemite. The experiment consisted of a speed boat making a jump over an obstacle and continuing to operate safely. The lake was said to be a "secret location", while the term was used with a "Lake Yosemite" sign in plain view.
Lake Yosemite is a reservoir built in 1888 for irrigation purposes. It is currently owned and operated by Merced Irrigation District, which supplies irrigation water to farms in Merced County. Recreation on the lake is managed by the Merced County Parks and Recreation Department.
All boating is permitted, including jet skis and water skiing. The lake is equipped with boat launches, full service marina, and boat rentals (paddle boats, kayaks, and jet skis). Swimming is allowed only in certain designated areas where life guards are present. Swimming outside of these areas is strictly prohibited and could result in a citation.
Onshore, shaded picnic areas are available which feature picnic tables, barbecue pits, restrooms, and a small playground.
Lake Yosemite Sailing Association
The lake is home to the Lake Yosemite Sailing Association (LYSA), which was founded in 1988 and currently has more than 90 members. The LYSA hosts sailboat races at Lake Yosemite Thursday evenings during the summer months and also organizes sailing trips to nearby lakes and bays in California.
Alleged Paranormal Phenomena
The lake's tower is said to be haunted by the "lady in white". According to the horror stories, the ghost has long flowing white hair and wears a long white gown. She is said to walk around the tower cat walk and on the lake's surface looking for her lost child or lover. The ghost has also been reported to walk along Old Lake Road, occasionally stepping into the path of oncoming traffic.
- FishersNet Fishin' Maps - Lake Yosemite
- Merced Irrigation District - Irrigation Facts
- Merced Irrigation District - Water Shed Map
- USGS/Trails.com - Topographic Map Reservoir Features in Merced County, California
- Find Lakes - Lake Yosemite
- Merced County Parks and Recreation Department - Lake Yosemite
- LYSA History
- LYSA Activities and Events
- MercedNet - Lake Yosemite (Untitled Document)
- Ghosts of America - Merced, California Ghost Tales Page 2
- Weird Fresno: Is Merced's Lake Yosemite haunted?
- Shadowlands Haunted Places Index - California 2