One of the most significant geographical features of Lakeport California is the natural phenomenon that is nearby Clear Lake and the city is situated on its western shore. The lake’s geographical origins have proved to be something of a fluke as it sits over an immense stone block that tilts slowly at an angle in a northern direction, which means it moves at the same rate as the sediment that constantly fills it. This unique feature ensures that the water levels on this lake which measures around 31 km by 13km at its widest point stay consistently at the same depth. The deepest part of the lake is estimated to be around 18m however the average depths tend to be around just 8m. It is elevated to around 1,329 ft which make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists to the area during the hotter humid months when visitors flock to its shore to cool down from the intense heat of the summer sun. The lake temperatures can be quite warm during these periods and measure around 24 °C at the height of the season, dropping to around 4 °C during the coldest winter months.
The lake’s sediment has been frequently measured by geologists over the years and core samples taken in the seventies and early eighties have indicated that the lake is at least 480,000 years old which makes it one of the oldest in the US. This sediment occurs naturally and this material is broken down by climate conditions and erosion over the years until the particles are transported in this case, by the waters of the lake, however here, the sedimentary records are unusually consistent over the decades due to the distinctive geographical arrangement of Clear Lake’s positioning.
Due to the geological conditions synonymous with the state of California, Lakeport’s Clear Lake also has a rather chaotic history thanks to the numerous faults that are present, particularly at the south end of the lake and several ancient volcanoes that exist at the center of the lake towards the south shore. These volcanic eruptions and related landslides that have blighted the area have also changed the landscape dramatically over the centuries. At one point this lake included the now separate Blue Lakes before they were split and disconnected from the drainage that came via the Russian River. An abundance of fish, game and water birds ensured that Clear Lake was an oasis for early inhabitants of the otherwise harsh conditions in Northern California’s mountain regions and the Clear Lake basin still harbors a wide range of wildlife today. During the second world war the lake also found a new purpose as it was used an outlying seaplane base by the Alameda Naval Air Station and later used for landing flying boats during the early stages of the cold war when landing conditions in nearby San Francisco Bay were deemed hazardous. Today, visitors can find out more about the region’s history as regular exhibits and programs are operated by rangers plus there are two county museums in the area dedicated to the lake too.