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Location and Directions:
Lake Hemet is located in the San Jacinto mountains, approx. 25 miles East of the city of Hemet in Riverside Co. From I-10 in Beaumont, exit on hwy 79 south (Lamb Canyon Road). Turn Left on Romona Expressway, then turn left at the end at hwy. 74 (Florida Ave.). Continue on Hwy. 74 18 miles to the lake.
Lake Hemet consists of 420 surface acres and has 4.5 miles of shoreline set at an elevation of 4,340 feet. It is part of the San Bernardino National Forest. Lake Hemet is a very beautiful lake with crystal clear water and the surrounding mountains provide spectacular scenery. The lake is open year round. Entrance fee is $8.00 per car for 1 or 2 persons. Additional for extra adults, children, pets. There is a free parking side but you need to have a Forrest Adventure pass displayed. There are six campgrounds with 900 developed sites for tents or RV's. Camping rates begin at $17.00 per night. There are also picnic areas, horseshoe pits, a kid's playground and hiking trails. There is a lake store for tackle and supplies. Swimming and wading are prohibited. (909) 659-2680.
There is a launch ramp available for $4. Boats must be over 10 feet and obey a 10 mph speed limit. Rental motor boats are available in summer season for an all day charge of $45.00 (or $30.00 for 1/2 day) and row boats rent for $20.00 and 15.00 respectively. Lower rates in winter season are available (-$5). Float tubing is not allowed.
Rainbow trout are stocked year-'round here by the DFG and county hatcheries. During the summertime, they like to congregate in the deeper holes near the dam. Channel catfish are also planted here during the summer months. There are also some Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill here.
- Rainbow Trout: 7-pounds
- Largemouth Bass: 11-pounds
- Read and Post Lake Hemet Fishing Reports Here
Comments and Tips:
A boat is recommended here since not much of the shoreline is accessible. Free fishing is allowed from the US Forest land on the North side of the lake.
I was reading your site on Lake Hemet with some interest. My family used to spend two weeks vacation at Hemet lake which it used to be called. I was a young lad of about 3-4 when I first started going there about 1936. We camped in the campground on Herkey Creek as there was no camping allowed at the lake which made virtually every mile of shoreline accessible. The campground at Herkey Creek surrounded a meadow of pine needles with posts in the ground with a large cable through the posts so no one would drive onto the meadow. we had sing-a-longs every evening at the far end of the meadow with a big campfire blazing. We could walk from the campground to creek through a zig-zag entrance through barbed wire fencing. We would then hike up the creek to some excellent fishing holes and swimming holes. You could catch perch in the lake with just about any kind of bait. Some fantastic bluegill were caught too. My brothers and I would hike up to the dam and when the lake receded, it left pools with some of the biggest carp I have ever seen.
Now I read that there is very little space accessible and you need a boat to fish. When we went there, almost everyone fished from the bank and if you got hot, you could take a dip.
I would like to add, the campground had no fees, just a two week stay and then you could extend that if the campground wasn't too full. There were pit toilets and a water faucet located every few campsites. These were fed off of a spring, gravity flow.
We camped there right up into WW 2 and by this time, both of my brothers were in the service and my twin sisters married so it was just my mom, dad, and me and occasionally one of my brothers girlfriends.
Sadly, dad decided he wanted to start going to Lake Henshaw for the fantastic crappie fishing that abounded there. I might add, we caught those Crappie right out in the lake, drifting, with feathered jigs called Go Getters. Some of these crappie were huge.
Just wanted to let someone know of the really good times my family had at Hemet Lake or Lake Hemet and I really do believe it was better in those days. Lots of space and no fees!!
I would like to add that one of the biggest thrills we had at Hemet Lake was watching Gene Autry, Smily Burnette and other actors making a movie right at the lake and all of the steers used in the film were owned by Mr. Autry. we got to sit on a log with him and Smiley and they were so nice to us "kids".
Thank you for listening. Don Canada, Anderson, Ca (Home Town Azusa)
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