Success Lake, California, USA

Also known as:  Lake Success, Success Reservoir

Feeding America’s families is just one of the quiet duties of Success Lake in California’s fertile Central Valley region. Since the Tule River was dammed in 1961 just outside Porterville, Success Lake has stored water for release to the valley farms that grow grapes, citrus, nuts, olives, apricots, plums and that raise dairy cattle. The lake also acts as a reservoir to store excess spring run-off from the nearby Southern – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Success Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Success Lake 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 Success Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Success Lake 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 Success Lake

Lake Locations: USA - West - California - Central Valley -

Feeding America’s families is just one of the quiet duties of Success Lake in California’s fertile Central Valley region. Since the Tule River was dammed in 1961 just outside Porterville, Success Lake has stored water for release to the valley farms that grow grapes, citrus, nuts, olives, apricots, plums and that raise dairy cattle. The lake also acts as a reservoir to store excess spring run-off from the nearby Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, thus avoiding flooding downstream. Since 1989, the Success Dam has also been generating electrical power. All of this occurs in the background as campers, boaters, fishermen and wildlife lovers come to enjoy the expanse of water. Success Lake is the perfect example of putting water to work to serve multiple needs.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers does an exceptionally good job of assuring public recreation at the lakes they create. Success Lake offers two separate camping areas. The Tule Campground provides sites with electricity, grills, dump station, restrooms, showers, playground and boat launch. Campfire programs are presented here at the amphitheater on Saturdays throughout the summer months. These campsites are so popular that reservations are recommended. Rocky Hill Campground offers only non-electric sites, but has another boat launch ramp and a picnic area. Day-use Bartlett Park has picnic shelters and a playground. All three sites provide a lovely view of the lake against a backdrop of the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills. There are no designated beach areas, but informal swim areas are located nearby.

A 1,499-acre wildlife refuge protects a portion of the northwest shoreline and is considered to be one of the best bird-watching sites in Tulare County. American pelicans and Canada geese are often seen on the lake, while mallards, grebes and coots shelter closer to the shore. Bald eagles soar over the lake, while migratory shorebirds wade in the shallows. Wetlands along the shoreline provide habitat for herons, egrets and kingfishers. The surrounding grasslands and pothole ponds are a fine place to view blacktail deer, California quail, cottontails and jackrabbits. Some areas are open for hunting in season. Trails make access to the wildlife area easy for hikers and add considerably to the natural experience.

Boating is a favorite activity at Lake Success. All types of watercraft are allowed, so on hot summer weekends the waters are a beehive of activity with water skiers, jet-skiers, power-boaters and sailboats sharing space with fishing boats, canoes and kayaks. A 5 mph boat speed limit is imposed from dusk to dawn, and water skiing and jet-skiing are forbidden during those hours. The quiet waters of the many coves along the irregular shoreline make canoeing and kayaking especially popular. The lake is considered one of the best lakes in the Valley for largemouth bass, and tournaments are often held here. The bass aren’t usually lunkers but are plentiful. In addition, bluegills, crappie, channel catfish and occasional trout are caught. Until recently, a floating marina was available on Success Lake. Due to a safety-imposed drawdown of the water levels, the marina was moved to another lake. The lake has since been refilled as the dam has passed all inspections, but the marina has not yet been replaced.

Success Lake is only eight miles from Porterville, so camping supplies are never far away. Porterville is also the location of the Sequoia National Forest headquarters. The Southern Sequoia National Monument area is just a few miles beyond Success Lake. Although there is primitive camping available within the National Forest, the lake can offer improved campsites as a base camp for forays into the ‘big trees’. The City of Porterville holds a variety of sights of interest to visitors, including the historic Main Street with a wide variety of shops, galleries and restaurants. The Porterville Historical Museum holds artifacts of both the miner-pioneers who settled the area and the Yokuts Indians. Historically significant Zalud House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The arts are well represented through the Porterville Multicultural Art Center and the Barn Theater. Throughout the year, Porterville hosts a Cinco de Mayo Celebration, a local fair, and a community festival.

Success Lake faced an uncertain future in 1999 when surveys indicated that Success Dam might fail in an earthquake. The lake level was drawn down to 28,000-acre-feet in 2004, contributing to the loss of the marina and seriously interfering with water recreation. Later study proved those fears to be unfounded, and the reservoir has since been refilled to 65,000* acre feet. The public is slowly starting to realize that Lake Success is back in all its glory. There are hopes that another marina will soon fill the gap left by the loss of dock space and fishing bait and supplies. Until that time, the lake likely will get a bit lighter boating use. There is no real estate available directly along the shoreline, although some properties overlook the lake and its buffer zone of public property. Real estate can be found away from the lake, and plenty of alternative lodgings are available in the area, from motels to cabins, bed-and-breakfasts and private rentals. So grab the fishing tackle and the binoculars, and come spend some time at Success Lake.

*The reservoir can hold up to 82,300 acre-feet of water, but the normal level is set at 65,000 acre-feet.

Things to Do at Success Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Success Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Trout

All About Success Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Success Lake

The Success Lake 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 Success Lake 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 Success Lake 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 Success Lake 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 Success Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Success Lake 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: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 2,450 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 652 feet

Water Volume: 82,300 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1961

Drainage Area: 393 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Success Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Success Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Success Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Success Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Success Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Success Lake forum?

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.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

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

The former Success Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Success Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Success Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Success Lake 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.

Looking for the old Success Lake forum group? Click Here

New Success Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi