Castaic Lake

Los Angeles County

Castaic Lake, CA
Castaic Lake, CA

Castaic Lake

Los Angeles County

Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake is a favorite boating, fishing, and camping destination for people in the greater Los Angeles area. The lake is open to water skiing, personal watercraft, and a variety of other water-oriented activities. Castaic Lake Lagoon, just downstream from the dam, is surrounded by campgrounds and is limited to non-motorized boating (except electric motors).

Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is located 41 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Although Castaic is a State Recreation Area, it is operated by Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.

Entrance Fees

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee:   $11 per vehicle, RVs $14;   Annual Pass $150
  • Motorized Boat Launch Fees:   $13, Annual Passes $135
  • Non-Motorized Boat Launch Fees:   $7, Annual Pass $105

Castaic Lake does not accept California State Park Passes. The Entrance Kiosk accepts cash only and no bills larger than $20.

Annual Passes may be purchased with check or cash at the gate, or at the main office with check, cash or credit card (Mastercard, Discovery Card, or Visa). Purchase of an annual pass does not guarantee entry to the park if the park has reached its maximum capacity.

Current Water Level at Castaic Lake


Castaic Lake offers a wide variety of boating. Because it is so close to Los Angeles and draws a great number of people, the number of boats allowed on the lake at one time is limited and the flow of boat traffic is regulated. Personal watercraft are provided with their own area as are wakeboarders and water skiers. Trolling is not allowed in the water ski areas. A 35 MPH speed limit covers most of the lake, while 5 MPH areas are found in coves and around launch ramps. The Castaic Lake Lagoon, separate from the main lake, is set aside for small wind and hand powered vessels such as canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards (electric motors allowed).


There is one marina at Castaic Lake. The only boats offered for rent are 14-foot aluminum crafts with small outboards. The marina has a store with fishing tackle and snacks. All fueling of vessels must be done on land to protect the quality of the lake's water. There are no slip rentals nor dry storage spaces at the marina. The main launch ramp has 18 lanes.


Castaic Lake is home to largemouth bass, striped bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, bullhead, channel catfish, and crappie. There is an ADA compliant fishing pier at the lake.


Castaic Lake has about 60 campsites located at the Lagoon below the main lake. Most of the sites are intended for RVs or trailers, but some are designed for tents. A limited number of National Forest campgrounds are in the area. Immediately outside the Castaic Lake recreation area is a large RV park with excellent facilities.


There is no lodging at Castaic Lake. Lodging must be found in the neighboring areas.


Castaic Lake spreads in a Y shape behind its dam. Its twin arms offer varied shorelines dotted with trees, while rolling hills and jagged peaks rise on the flanks of the lake to create an unusually beautiful skyline.

Nearby Communities

The small community of Castaic is just to the south of Castaic Lake, while a little farther to the south the City of Santa Clarita offers lodging, restaurants, and a wide variety of services.

Friends of Castaic Lake

Friends of Castaic Lake is a volunteer, nonprofit group formed in 1983 to support and enhance the operation of Castaic Lake. The organization has sponsored numerous events at the lake such as 4th of July fireworks, fishing days for children, events for disabled children, and their "Winter Magic" lighted boat parade.

Friends of Castaic Lake maintain a comprehensive website about the lake with up-to-date information about events and conditions at the lake: Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake, California

Castaic Lake

Land the Big Ones

Castaic Lake Facts
Lake Size: 2,230 surface acres
Current Maximum Depth: 330 feet
Length: 6 miles
Shoreline: 29 miles
Dam Construction: 1973
Lake Owner: California Department of Water Resources
Maximum Lake Elevation: 1,515 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 76 degrees
  summer: 95 degrees
  fall: 87 degrees
  winter: 64 degrees
Summer Surface Water Temperature: 78 degrees

Recreation around Castaic Lake

  • Swimming: Swimming is only allowed in the Lagoon at designated beaches when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Hiking, Horseback Riding, and Mountain Biking: A number of trails are available for hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking. PDF Trail Map for Castaic Lake
  • Bird Walks:   Led by trained naturalists on the first Saturday of every month.

Castaic Lake Junior Lifeguards

Castaic Lake Junior Lifeguards program is operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation Lake Lifeguards. They offer a variety of activities for children from ages 9 to 17. Among the activities are training in lifeguard skills, snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Participants are also given instruction in basic lifesaving, first aid, CPR, and search and rescue.

For more information about the Junior Lifeguard Program at Castaic Lake, visit their website: Castaic Lake Junior Lifeguards