Explore Vail Lake

FISHING, PADDLING, & PICNICKING AT VAIL LAKE

Since the early 1950’s Vail Lake has been the favorite fishing spot and recreational lake for residents in and around Riverside and San Diego Counties as well as guests of Vail Lake Resort. Nestled at the base of Oak Mountain, Vail Lake covers 1,000 acres with more than 28,000 feet of shoreline. After being closed for the last 5 years, we are excited to announce that road access to Vail Lake is restored and the lake will reopen in November 2022.

The lake level is managed by the Rancho California Water District and mother nature. With the on-going drought in California, the lake level has dropped to historically low levels which limits the activities that are currently allowed. Vail Lake is a limited body contact lake because it is a water storage reservoir for drinking water for Riverside County. This means that no swimming is ever allowed, but there are plenty of other great ways to enjoy the lake.

 

Allowed Activities

  • Shoreline Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Bird Watching

Not Allowed Activities

  • Paddling: Kayaks, Canoes, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Flat Bottom Fishing Boats
  • Power Boats
  • Waterskiing

VAIL LAKE CONDITIONS

Updated OCT 1, 2022

GENERAL STATUS UPDATE

Lake levels are currently at an all time low.  The water levels are below the end of the boat ramp and no paddling is currently allowed on the lake. Rancho Water manages what is allowed on the lake, see their current Vail Lake water report for more information. 

Lake Activities

Whether you are staying at the Temecula KOA campground or just planning to visit the lake for a day of fun, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Vail Lake is well known as one of southern California’s premier trout and catfish lakes. After being closed for 5 years the fish are biting!  A valid California fishing license is required for all campground guest and day use visitors. We suggest purchasing a fishing license before you arrive to Vail Lake Resort. Access to the shoreline for fishing is included with your camping fees at the Temecula KOA. For non-overnight camping guests, day use passes cost $5 Mon-Friday and $10 Saturday and Sunday.


Valid California Fish and Game Licenses are required and are available online or buy in person at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Temecula, CA.

 

Kayak, paddle board and boat rentals will be available when the lake level reach the required minimum lake level for these activities.

Coming soon – stay tuned.

Answers To Your Questions

Vail Lake is approximately 1.6 square miles or 1,000 square acres.

No, swimming is not allowed in Vail Lake because it is a drinking water reservoir for Riverside County.

As of September 2022, the lake level is below the required minimum to allow human-powered boat activities.

Vail Lake is located in Temecula, CA. Access to the lake is through the Temecula KOA.

Yes, a vaild CA Fish and Wildlife Inland Sportfishing license is required. Currently licenses must be purchased prior to arrival. We anticipate selling licenses on site in early 2023.

Vail Lake Hours Of Operation

SUMMER: JUNE - AUGUST
EVERY DAY, DAWN TO DUSK
FALL: SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
DAWN TO DUSK
WINTER: NOVEMBER - MARCH
DAWN TO DUSK
SPRING: APRIL - MAY
DAWN TO DUSK

Vail Lake In Action

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