Napa County, Northern California

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

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Lake Berryessa Interpretive Programs

A number of Park Ranger Interpretive programs are scheduled each year at Lake Berryessa. All events are free. Check Bureau of Reclamation Ranger Programs for a current list of activities. Past schedules of programs have included the following:

  • C.A.S.T. for Kids - a special fishing opportunity for disadvantaged children or children with disabilities.
  • California Coastal Clean Up Day - Annual lake and shoreline clean up.
  • Nature Hikes - Join a ranger for a nature walk.
  • Water Education Program - Students join a park ranger to learn about the importance of water in their lives.
  • Paddle with a Park Ranger - Ranger led paddling tours of the lake. Boats are not provided.

Photo of Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

In the summer Lake Berryessa is above all else, a water skiing and wake boarding mecca. But fishing is right there in a close second place.

Located in the Pacific Coast Range, 55 miles north of San Francisco, Lake Berryessa draws people from all over the region. The lake rests among low hills covered with oak and manzanita. Lake Berryessa and the surrounding area are managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.

In recent years many of the concessions at the lake have changed hands when their contracts expired. The Bureau of Reclamation has been managing many of the lake's facilities during the transition period. New concessioners have been selected to operate some of the facilities. Forever Resorts, which owns Pleasure Cove Marina, now manages some of the campgrounds.

Several day-use areas are now open under the Bureau of Reclamation's supervision. They are proposing day-use fees in the near future to be used to improve facilities. For the latest information on changes at Lake Berryessa, see
Bureau of Reclamation - Lake Berryessa.

Note: Vehicle gasoline is not available at Lake Berryessa.

Boating Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa is a favorite destination for water skiing, jet skiing, pleasure boating, houseboating, sailing, canoeing and kayaking. Warm summer temperatures make it a great playland for water sports. One free boat launch ramp is located at the southwest end of the lake and a number of others are spread along the shore.


Lake Berryessa has two full service marinas. Forever Resorts, which owns marinas at other California lakes, operates the Pleasure Cove Marina at the southern end of Lake Berryessa. Markley Cove, also at the southern end of the lake, continues to serve as a popular marina for lake visitors.


Lake Berryessa is home to a wide variety of fish, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, brown and rainbow trout, catfish, Chinook salmon, bluegill, catfish, and carp. Anglers have success fishing both from boats and from shore.


Lake Berryessa has a number of campgrounds situated around the lake. Several are operated by Pleasure Cove Marina and another by Royal Elk Park Management. All the campgrounds have facilities for tents and RVs. Some have RV hook-ups. At least one campground does not have running water.


Lake Berryessa has limited lodging available. A few cabins can be rented at the two marinas. Otherwise, lake visitors should look east or west of the lake for overnight lodging.


Oak and manzanita cover the hills around Lake Berryessa. Many long inlets and boys give the lake an interesting shoreline.

Visitor Center

The Lake Berryessa Visitor Center has cultural and natural information about the lake and the surrounding area. Rangers at the Center are happy to answer questions and to provide visitors with free maps and other materials about the area. Several good hiking trails are available along the lakeshore.

Nearby Communities

Twelve miles east of Markley Cove is the small town of Winters with shops, restaurants, and lodging. A little farther east are the large communities of Davis and Woodland. To the west lies the Napa Valley with its string of well-known, wine country towns: Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, and Napa.


Lake Berryessa Facts
Lake Size: 18,500 acres
Maximum Depth: 275 feet
Length: 20 miles
Shoreline: 165 miles
Dam Construction: 1957
Maximum Lake Elevation: 440 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 75 degrees
  summer: 96 degrees
  fall: 80 degrees
  winter: 56 degrees
Summer Surface Water Temperature: 78 degrees

Other Recreation Destinations near Lake Berryessa

  • Bothe-Napa Valley State Park:   in Calistoga, Visitors Center, Swimming Pool, Camping, Redwood Trail, Fishing,
  • Skyline Wilderness Park:   850 Acres near Napa, Disc Golf Course, Hiking Trails, Equestrian, Mountain Biking, Martha Walker Native Habitat Garden, $4 Entrance Fee
  • Old Faithful Geyser:   in Calistoga, the Geyser erupts about every 30 minutes, shooting 60 - 100 feet in the air, Entrance Fee, Old Faithful Geyser.

Lake Berryessa Fishing Map

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