Lake McClure

Mariposa County

Lake McClure, Mariposa County, California
Lake McClure, Mariposa County, California

Lake McClure

Mariposa County

Lake McClure

Lake McClure is a great family lake with water skiing, fishing, and camping. Warm summer weather. Clean, fresh water, miles of shoreline and long inlets -- all without the big crowds.

Lake McClure is located east of Modesto, hardly a stone's throw south of Don Pedro Lake. Lake McClure is owned and operated by the Merced Irrigation District, which also owns Lake McSwain a few miles downstream from McClure. The reservoirs are fed by the Merced River, which flows out of Yosemite National Park.

2023 Lake McClure Fees

  • Day-Use per Vehicle - $8 (senior & military $7)
  • Boat - $7 (senior & military $6)
  • Annual Vehicle Decal - $125 (senior & military $85)
  • Annual Boat Decal - $100 (senior & military $75)


Lake McClure is big enough for boaters to spread out, with lots of nice coves and inlets and a wide body of open water near the dam. Water skiers and Wakeboarders mingle easily with recreational boaters, sailors, and anglers. A modest entrance fee and launch fee make it an affordable place to visit time and again. Launch ramps are situated around the lake. Houseboating is popular at the lake.


Lake McClure has three marinas, two on the west side of the lake and a third on the north shore. Services vary at the marinas. Barrett Cove Marina offers the most services and rents a variety of boats such as ski boats, patio boats, houseboats, and personal watercraft.


Lake McClure is a strong fishing lake with salmon, trout, bass, and other species. Fishing tournaments are held at the lake. Fishing boats can be rented at Barrett Cove Marina. Shore fishing is good around the marinas and campgrounds and at some of the more remote coves and creek inlets.


There are three four campgrounds at Lake McClure, most of them offering RV hook-ups, and all of them having hot showers, and other great amenities. Although there are no specific group campgrounds, guests can reserve clusters of sites to create a group area.


Cabins are available at Barrett Cove Recreation Area on Lake McClure's western shore. The cabins are close to each other, making them ideal for get-togethers with family and friends. In nearby Coulterville there are a few places to stay.


Among the foothill reservoirs, Lake McClure is one of prettier ones. Rolling hills and stately oaks give the lake a warm, friendly ambiance. Because there is not a lot of development around the lake, it has a relaxed feel to it.

Nearby Communities

Coulterville is the only town close to Lake McClure. Modesto lies 42 miles to the west while the charming community of Mariposa is only 17 miles southeast of Bagby Campground. Thirty miles to the south is Merced. Yosemite National Park is only about 50 miles to the east. Only an hour to the northwest is the grand city of Stockton.

Stockton is home to beautiful shaded parks, professional sports, the Stockton waterfront, art and music, and the University of the Pacific and Delta College. Discover it all on our sister website Stockton Treasures.

Bagby Boat Launch, Lake McClure, Mariposa County, California

Bagby Boat Launch

San Luis Obispo County Hikes

Lake McClure Facts
Lake Size: 7,000 surface acres
Maximum Depth: 200+ feet
Length: 26 miles
Shoreline: 80 miles
Exchequer Dam: 1924-1926
New Exchequer Dam: 1968
Maximum Lake Elevation: 867 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 72 degrees
  summer: 92 degrees
  fall: 84 degrees
  winter: 56 degrees
Summer Surface Water Temperature: 80 degrees

More Attractions Near Lake McClure

Lake McClure is close to a number of attractions worthy of a day-long outing.