The surrounding area today known as Huntington Lake was simply called "Basin", the name taken from Basin Creek, originally a grain and cattle raising area, at the bottom of today's lake. A post office was established there in 1913, with the community of Huntington Lake being established in 1916, after it was named for Henry Huntington. Two other resort communities were created; Cedar Crest in 1923 and Lakeshore in 1924.
Huntington Lake lies approximately 70 miles northeast of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 6,950 feet. Notable landmarks around Huntington Lake include Tamarack Ridge to the southeast at 7,582 feet, Kaiser Peak to the north at 10,320 feet; Black Point to the west; Red Mountain to the southeast; and Bear Butte to the east.