Clear Lake, Iowa, USA

Clear Lake is located in Cerro Gordo County in northern Iowa. At 3,684 acres it is one of the largest natural lakes in the state. Clear Lake is one of thirty-four naturally occurring glacial lakes in the state of Iowa and was formed by the movement and melting of huge sheets of ice approximately 14,000 years ago. Today, the lake is home to a thriving community of nearly 8,000 residents – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Clear Lake IA! Article topics include:

Looking for Clear Lake IA cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Clear Lake IA! Article topics include:

Looking for Clear Lake IA cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Clear Lake IA

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Iowa - North Central -

Clear Lake is located in Cerro Gordo County in northern Iowa. At 3,684 acres it is one of the largest natural lakes in the state. Clear Lake is one of thirty-four naturally occurring glacial lakes in the state of Iowa and was formed by the movement and melting of huge sheets of ice approximately 14,000 years ago. Today, the lake is home to a thriving community of nearly 8,000 residents and is a popular destination for fishing, sailing, and camping.

Local residents long ago discovered the appeal of Clear Lake, and homes have been built on the lake’s shores since the late 1800s. The Des Moines Register has awarded the town of Clear Lake the title “Best Iowa Lake Town.” The population of Clear Lake nearly doubles during the summer months with the influx of tourists and seasonal residents looking to enjoy the cool lake waters. The town of Clear Lake is also known for being the site of the 1959 plane crash that claimed the lives of rock-and-roll greats Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The three performed their last concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, still in operation as a musical venue and reception hall.

Boating is a popular pastime at Clear Lake. The elevation of the lake, which is the highest point in Cerro Gordo County, provides the lake with plenty of wind and makes it one of the best spots for sailing in the Midwest. The Clear Lake Yacht Club regularly hosts events at the lake, and in the summer months races are held each weekend on the five-mile long lake. The lake is also a great place for windsurfing, water skiing, and jet skiing. And what would a day at the lake be without fishing? Clear Lake is home to 30 species of fish and is stocked regularly with walleye, channel catfish, northern pike, muskie, and flathead catfish. The lake has a total of fifteen public docks, as well as commercial marinas providing boat rentals, so visitors have no shortage of ways to take to the water. Visitors can even take a scenic tour of the lake on the local double-decker ferry boat.

Adjacent to Clear Lake are two state parks that are perfect places for camping, hiking, picnicking, and swimming. Clear Lake State Park, on the southern shore of the lake, offers 55 acres of grassy hills dotted by majestic oak trees. There are 10 acres of dedicated picnic areas equipped with tables and grills. Campers can take advantage of the 215 campsites with restrooms, showers, and electric hook-ups. The 900 foot sandy swimming beach is a perfect place to take a dip when the weather is hot. Nature lovers will appreciate the park’s undisturbed woodland areas, home to owls, squirrels, rabbits, songbirds, and deer. The 3 acre Woodford Island is a dedicated wildlife area and is also a scenic spot for fishing. On the northwestern end of the lake, McIntosh Woods State Park is one of the most-used boating accesses for the lake. This park also has designated areas for camping and swimming, as well as a one-mile nature trail. A unique feature of this park is the availability of two yurts for rent. These dome-like structures are patterned after those of nomads in Central Asia and provide campers with an alternative to the traditional tent.

In addition to lake related activities, the town of Clear Lake offers its visitors several venues for golfing, shopping, and dining. Residents here are proud of their town, and extend a warm welcome to those who come to visit. With its family-friendly activities and Midwestern charm, Clear Lake is sure to captivate all who travel there.

Things to Do at Clear Lake IA

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Clear Lake IA

  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Walleye

All About Clear Lake IA

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Clear Lake IA

The Clear Lake IA map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Clear Lake IA Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Clear Lake IA Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Clear Lake IA Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Clear Lake IA Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Clear Lake IA lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,684 acres

Shoreline Length: 14 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,227 feet

Average Depth: 10 feet

Maximum Depth: 19 feet

Water Volume: 34,800 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 4.7 years

Drainage Area: 14 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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More Clear Lake IA news from LakeLubbers.com

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LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

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Click here to advertise your Clear Lake IA vacation rental or local business.

The former Clear Lake IA forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Clear Lake IA photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

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Explore local Clear Lake IA vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Clear Lake IA photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi