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San Luis Obispo County, California

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Lopez Lake Recreation Area

Lopez Lake Logo

Located ten miles northeast of Arroyo Grande Lopez Lake is the ideal year-round recreational destination for everyone. Whether you want to come out and play for the day or camp there is plenty to do at one of the Central Coast's premier camping facilities.  There is 22 miles of shoreline providing plenty of boating activities. The area has over 175 species of flowering plants, and more than 150 species of birds have been identified within the park. Once covered by the sea, the surrounding hills of Lopez Lake are rich with relics of ancient days and studded with oak trees. Lopez Lake is definitely the place where you'll want to play outside!   

Lopez Lake Recreation Area
6800 Lopez Drive
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Office Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (PST)
Office & Reservation Line:
(805) 788-2381

Mustang Water Slides (805) 489-8898
Lopez Lake Marina & Store (805) 489-1006

View Larger Map

Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. There are 354 campsites with many overlooking the lake, and others nestled amongst picturesque oaks. There are primitive, electrical and full hook-up campsites available as well as hot showers at several campgrounds.

Lopez Lake Campsite Areas & Map

Make A Reservation

Lopez Lake Campsite

Quagga Mussel and the California Department of Fish & Game links will provide you with information regarding invasive species that could affect Santa Margarita Lake and Lopez Lake.

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Equestrian
  • Water Skiing
  • Wake Boarding
  • Kayaking
  • Windsurfing

View of boat on Lopez Lake

Lopez Lake windsurfer

View of Lupine flowers and oak tree on a hill

  • Interpretive Nature Hikes
  • Outdoor Discovery Festival
  • Friends of Lopez Lake Fun Runs
  • Free Kid's Fishing Clinics
  • Scott Tinley Triathlon
  • Summer Camp Fire Shows

The naturally beautiful canyons were once hunting and fishing grounds for the Chumash Indians. Later homesteaders and ranchers inhabited the area and harvested grain crops for Mission San Luis Obispo.

Then in 1969 Lopez Lake was created to provide domestic water for the Five Cities area of the Central Coast. Memorial Day weekend marked the opening of what was known at the time to be California's "instant lake.' While it was projected the lake would take between 2 - 3 years to fill, 49" of rain during the months of January and February filled the lake to capacity and on March 1969, water cascaded down the spillway for the first time, creating new recreation opportunities for visitors from all over the state.

Lopez Lake Cottonwood Cove Swim area

The lake was funded by grants through the Davis Grunsky Act, a statewide program that provided financial assistance to local public agencies for the development, control and conservation of the water resources in Calfornia. The $4 million dollar facility included 350 campsites, a full service marina, launch ramps, day use picnic areas, restrooms with shower facilities and a state of the art sewage treatment plant. Over 20,000 people visited the newly opened recreation area on May 16 and 17, 1969 and enjoyed a barbeque, square dancing and a public dedication. At the time, the most popular activities at the lake were fishing, water-skiing, sail boating and picnicking.


Last revised: June 28, 2012