HUNTINGTON LAKE, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the heat of summer pushes Central Valley residents to try to find a cool getaway, one of our local lakes promises a quiet and socially-distant escape - especially if you're into sailing.
Huntington Lake can be found just over 70 miles from downtown Fresno and serves as a peaceful destination for anyone willing to drive an extra 30 minutes past Shaver Lake. It's also known to avid sailors as one of the best sailing lakes on the west coast.
"Huntington Lake is the best sailing lake in all of California, and probably one of the best in the United States," said Bob Comstock with the Fresno Yacht Club. He and his wife Monika live in Fresno and spend most of their summer at Huntington. "Consistent winds, very challenging place to race, so it's very popular for sailboat racing," Bob said.
The area usually hosts multiple annual regattas, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the events to be canceled this year. Still, Huntington has its shares of regular sailors.
"If you ask anybody in the western United States who has raced sailboats, and you mention Huntington Lake, there's zero chance they're not going to know what you're talking about," said Tim Cohee, owner of China Peak Landing.
The lake is less than 2,000 feet higher in elevation than the nearby Shaver Lake, but the vibe and attractions differ. Shaver Lake is a popular place to relax away from the Valley heat, but Huntington Lake is generally less crowded. Sailboats don't work well at Shaver, but Huntington's consistent winds make it an ideal place.
"I doubt there are many places you can go right now within 2 hours of Fresno where you'll find cool air, water, hiking, and not have to worry about somebody being around you," Cohee said. "It's pretty remote and I think right now that's a pretty big deal."
Cohee and China Peak recently purchased a marina at Huntington that rents out kayaks, fishing boats and more. They also plan to add a lakeside restaurant in the future.