Pyramid Lake Recreation
Note: Pyramid Lake and Los Alamos Campground in Los Angeles County are reopening on September 23. They were temporarily closed per a United States Forest Service Order to protect public safety due to widespread wildfires in California. Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County has a danger algal bloom advisory. Keep yourself and pets away from algal blooms and do not eat fish. For more information about algal blooms, go to our algal bloom webpage.
Pyramid Lake, located in the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests, is a reservoir formed by Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek, near Castaic, California. It is a hot spot for outdoor recreation and attracts thousands of visitors each year who soak up the sun and take in the lake's scenic beauty.
The 386-foot-tall earth and rock dam was completed in 1973 and named after a pyramid-shaped rock carved out by engineers building the Old Highway 99. Pyramid Lake spans 1,360 acres with depths of 700 feet and 21 miles of shoreline.
The lake provides storage for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Castaic Powerplant. Additionally, it offers a number of outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Vista del Lago Visitor Center is located off Interstate 5. The center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day) admission is free. The building offers a viewing deck with a panoramic view of Pyramid Lake and the surrounding mountains.
For more information about the Vista del Lago Visitor Center, call 661-294-021.
For more information about the Pyramid Dam Modernization Program, visit our web page.
Pyramid Lake is a hub for a variety of recreational activities including camping, picnicking, hiking, boating, and swimming.
Visitors can access the lake at Emigrant Landing by using the Smokey Bear Road off-ramp from I-5. Emigrant Landing is the largest recreation area in Pyramid Lake and has a marina with boat rentals, an eight-lane boat launching ramp, a beach, and several picnic areas.
Vaquero Beach, a day-use area, is an easy access point for non-motorized boat launching.
For more Pyramid Lake recreation information, call 661-295-7155.
The lake is open year-round to boating and offers unique beaches and picnic sites that are only reachable by boat at Spanish Point, Tin Cup, Bear Trap, Yellowbar, and Serrano. These beaches provide courtesy docks and remarkable views of the lake. They are first-come, first serve, so it is best to get a spot early.
Boating speed limits differ throughout the lake. In the canyons, where canoes, rafts, and rowboats are often seen, lower speed limits prevail. Higher speeds for water skiing are allowed on the main body of the lake.
Los Alamos Campground, in lower Hungry Valley, contains 90 tent and RV sites and three group sites. Each group site accommodates up to 40 guests and 10 vehicles. These sites are the closest campgrounds to Pyramid Lake.
The campground amenities include drinking water, toilets, a dump station, volleyball courts, and a camp store. Sites also come with picnic tables and grills. There is both paved and gravel parking.
Reserve a campsite at Recreation.gov or call 661-248-6725.
All campers with a valid camp tag have priority to enter Pyramid Lake, but arriving at the marina early is recommended.
Fishing is available at every location on Pyramid Lake.
The lake is stocked regularly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Some common fish you may find at Pyramid Lake are large-mouth and small-mouth bass, striped bass, trout, catfish, bluegill, and crappie. At times there are trophy-sized trout planted in the lake for trophy fishing tournaments.
For more information, view the Fish Planting Schedule.
Fishing at Emigrant Gap is also accessible to wheelchair users.
Vaquero Beach, the most popular area on Pyramid Lake, is located just below the Vista del Lago Visitor Center. The area offers a wide sandy beach for swimming and fishing. It offers kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats for rent on an hourly basis. Amenities include close parking, shaded picnic areas, and restrooms.
Emigrant Gap, Vaquero Beach, Spanish Point, Bear Trap, Yellowbar (when open), Tin Cup, Piru Creek, Lost Mine, Glory Hole, Posey, and Serrano all have picnic areas.
For more information about picnic areas call 661-295-7155.
For more information. contact the Vista Del Lago Visitor Center at Lake Pyramid at 661-944-8740.
The Pyramid Lake Vista del Lago Visitor's Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Click the image above to view an expanded version of the map.