Bass Lake Chalet in the Winter

When the weather turns cold, nothing beats a cozy cabin surrounded by evergreen forest and a scenic lake. If you’re looking for a rustic setting in California that hasn’t been overrun by the Tahoe sprawl, check out Bass Lake about 200 miles South in the Sierra Foothills.

The Piones Resort at Bass Lake California



A Groupon led us to the Pines Resort on the North East shore of Bass Lake in late February. We chose a Chalet, a two story duplex cabin tucked back from the lake in the pine trees.

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 Chalets at The Pines Resort range from 600-700 square feet and can sleep five guests across a separate bedroom. a loft and a sleeper in the living room area. At the time of this writing the average nightly rate was $129. Kitchens include a full size stove, refrigerator, and minimal pots, pans, and utensils. Bring your own spices and butter

We visited in late February 2015 during a drought. The lake was very low and most docks were on dry land.

Our check in was simple, and Louis was all business, not even looking up for most of the registration process. The front desk graciously allowed us to register a few hours before normal check in time. A few minute’s drive on steep one lane roads got us to our Chalet #127 “West Wind Lodge”

Parking is easy and a short walk up a few steps put us at the front door. Our door handle wouldn’t work unless we pulled “up” on the handle. The chalet was very clean and was warmed into the mid 70 degrees — a welcome temperature from the outside.

The squeaky floor, pine paneling, and open beam vaulted ceiling added to the charm and ambience. A 60s style fireplace and 30 inch flat panel TV filled out the living room.

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We could see a peek of the lake water through the trees, but most of the view was of trees and neighboring cabins.

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The kitchen was stocked with plenty of small plates, mugs, small classes, and stainless steel pots and pans. One lid was missing and the flatware was ‘camp’ style at best. Soap and a brillo-type pad was included. Ice cubes were already in trays in the freezer. however these melted when the refrigerator stopped working overnight.

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 Down a set of narrow steep stairs we found the master bedroom, bathroom and another exit door.

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One small window leaves the paneled room dark, but this is cabin living and there are plenty of lights

Back upstairs we explored a large loft over the kitchen area. Plenty of room for kids in sleeping bags. There were no mattresses in the loft, just a spacious wood floor.

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 Be prepared to hear every nuance of your neighbor’s conversations, including their intimate times in the bedroom. The walls between the units seem paper thin. The decks are semi private, meaning that your neighbors will see you through the slats when out on the deck.

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The deck was pleasant and included a small barbeque.

Besides the failed refrigerator, some other details suggested maintenance could be improved. The bathroom fan was very loud. The bathroom door squeaked loudly on the hinges. Both faucets leaked. The sliding door was difficult to latch and the security pin fell on the floor the first time we opened the door.

Five pieces of wood (split pine) costs $8 at the market.

There are several places to get meals. Ducey’s Bass lake Lodge edges towards finer dining with a view of the lake. The service was excellent and the food was good. We did not get a chance to try the upstairs bar and grill. The market at Pines Resort sells sandwiches and is very well stocked with groceries and supplies. Prices were reasonable compared to supermarkets eight miles away in Oakhurst. We skipped the Mexican restaurant, the bar, and the pizza place. Perhaps next time.

Yosemite National park is half an hour’s drive in good weather.  We found a gentle four mile (round trip) hike along North Fork Willow Creek, past Angle Falls to Devil’s Slide.  Start at the Willow Creek Trail Head at Road 222.

In summary, this is a decent off-track cabin chalet experience. With improved maintenance and better insulation between chalets, we’d return to enjoy lake again.

54432 Road 432,
Bass Lake, California 93604
Phone: 559-642-3121

Michael Stebbins

About Michael Stebbins

Michael is an entrepreneur, world traveler, and tech geek.
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