Lake Yosemite

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Lake Yosemite
Lake Yosemite Merced California.jpg
Location Merced County, California, United States
Coordinates 37°22′35″N 120°25′44″W / 37.37639°N 120.42889°W / 37.37639; -120.42889Coordinates: 37°22′35″N 120°25′44″W / 37.37639°N 120.42889°W / 37.37639; -120.42889
Type Reservoir
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 5 mi (8.0 km) east of Merced, California, in the rolling Sierra Foothills. UC Merced is situated approximately 0.5 mi (0.80 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.


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.[1] Recreation on the lake is managed by the Merced County Parks and Recreation Department.[2]


All boating is permitted, including jet skis and water skiing. The lake is equipped with boat launches and a full service marina. Swimming is allowed only in certain designated areas. Swimming outside of these areas is strictly prohibited and could result in a citation.

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

Lake Yosemite Sailing Association[edit]

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.[3][4]

Alleged paranormal phenomena[edit]

The lake's tower is said to be haunted by the "Lady of the Lake". 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 catwalk 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.[5][6][7][8]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]