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Locations: Lake del Valle

woman windsurfing two men riding bicycles group of kids fishing off shore sailboat in the water two boys waving and swimming campsite in the cool afternoon

Lake del Valle provides regulatory storage for South Bay Aqueduct, flood control for Alameda Creek, fish and wildlife enhancement, and recreation. and is located in Arroyo del Valle, about 11 miles south of Livermore Valley (Alameda County).

Directions: Take Highway 580 to North Livermore Avenue exit in Livermore. Drive south though Livermore. Livermore Avenue becomes Tesla Road. Turn on Mines Road to Del Valle Road (the right fork) and follow to the park entrance.

Activities: camping, picnicking, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, windsurfing, boating, and fishing. Sailboards may be available to rent at the East Side Boat Launch area. The East Bay Regional Park District, the concessionaire that operates the recreation activities, also invites visitors to participate in their naturalist-led programs. While touring the lake, they learn about the natural and cultural history of the reservoir.

More Information: Lake del Valle is operated by East Bay Regional Park District, which is located at 2950 Peralta Oaks Court; P.O. Box 7; Blairsden, CA 96103; 1-888-327-2757.

Fishing is best during the winter with the California Department of Fish and Game regularly planting trout from October through May. Planting of trophy-sized trout is supported by the East Bay Regional Park District fishing permit program. There are also large- and small-mouthed bass and a variety of pan fish. Anglers, 16 or older, must have state fishing licenses with appropriate stamps and Park District daily fishing access permits.

Boating and swimming are permitted in designated areas only. Any size boat is allowed (and must be registered), but no personal watercraft are allowed. Speed limit on the lake is 10 mph. Due to its regulatory storage purpose, water level at Lake del Valle fluctuates seasonally from a high of 703 feet during summer to a low of 678 feet in winter. These fluctuations can cause boating hazards due to considerable variation in shoreline.

Miles of scenic trails are available for bicylists, and hikers are permitted in all areas of the park except restricted sites around the dam.

Swimming is permitted south of the East Side Boat Launch Area. Lifeguards are on duty as posted.Visitors can also swim north of the ramp, but do so at their own risk, since no lifeguards are available at that location.

Children should not swim or wade without adult supervision.

About 150 family campsites and three group sites are available year-round. Picnic sites with barbecues are provided in many park areas, and includes restrooms, showers, connections to park trails, and some hookups for water and sewage (no electrical). Organized group camping must be reserved at least two weeks in advance by calling (510) 636-1684. Ardillo, Venados, Hetch Hetchy, and Cedar Camps are hike-in only; no vehicles are allowed to transport equipment. Wild Turkey and Punta Vaca are family campgrounds.