Lopez Lake – Beyond the Beaches of San Luis Obispo


Central California is filled with lots of fun activities. If you are like us, you think of beaches and sun filled days! Trust me, those Cali beaches are beautiful! But there is more to see just beyond the coastlines!

We are always looking for something off the beaten path, with less traffic and crowds. Driving around one day, we decided a picnic and a paddle on the lake sounded like a perfect afternoon! Lopez Lake near San Luis Obispo is a great spot to hang out for the day or camp!

Lopez Lake Reservoir

There is something for everyone at the lake: fishing, boating, wakeboarding, sailing, windsurfing, picnicking, hiking, and camping. We even had fun surprise, a waterpark!

I was sad we only went for the afternoon because we didn’t even get to the hiking trails. The camping looked fun too – a huge area with over 300 camping spots!

Mustang Water Park Slides Aerial Photo

We had to do a double-take with the waterpark, thinking someone hung up the sign for a joke! It was a super fun waterpark with a few long slides, a huge pendulum slide, pools, and splash pads!

Double Water Slides

Big Pendulum Slide at Water Park

What a great addition to the lake area that even makes it fun for kids! We adults sure had fun too!

Pools with Lifeguard Stand

A little further along is a zip-line adventure center where you can zip along with a scenic lake view for miles! We didn’t get a chance to do that but we were wishing we had time! We could easily fill up a whole week of exploring around the lake! 

Low water during Drought in California

As we were enjoying our lunch with a view of the lake, we saw a gorgeous young deer munching away not far from us. The wildlife were very calm and enjoying their surroundings! This park and lake would be the perfect summer vacation getaway for camping and exploring the outdoors!

Deer in the Trees

Boating on Lopez Lake

After lunch we headed down to the Lopez Lake Marina to check out the lake from the water. The folks at the marina were very helpful in finding us a boat that would be a good fit for the three of us. They have everything from kayaks and paddleboats to fishing baitwaverunners, and big speedboats. (Click the links for a picture of their prices) It was so fun to be out in the water!

Landon and Alyssa in Paddling Canoe

Swan pedal boat

Check out the Marina on Facebook for weather, tips, and weekend specials! The little store in the marina is well stocked with all the camping necessities, just in case you forget your toilet paper or need a few extra snacks.

Lopez Lake Marina Docks with Boats

With the warm weather we were excited to get in the water to cool down. Some of the shore areas had a few leech issues because of the warm weather and super low water level. We just swam out in the middle of the lake from our canoe. It was so refreshing! We enjoyed the exercise out on the water. A perfect way to spend the afternoon! 

Fishermen Cleaning Fish from the Lake

Currently, the lake is only at 37% capacity because of the California drought! It was sad to see how low the water level was. It was a great reminder to be water wise! There is nothing more drastic then to see the effect of the drought first hand! Bring on the rain to California! We really need it! 

Sign Showing Reservoir at 37 percent full during drought

A special thanks to the folks at the Lopez Lake Recreation ParkLopez Lake Marina for an awesome afternoon at the lake & canoeing! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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