Lake Oroville

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

The second largest reservoir in California created by the largest earthen and tallest dam in the country, the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is a outdoor recreation paradise.

Lake Oroville was created by Oroville Dam, which the State Department of Water Resources completed in 1967 after 5 years of construction. When Lake Oroville is at its maximum elevation, it includes some 15,500 surface acres for recreation and 167 miles of shoreline. Recreation areas are spotted around the lake and boaters can land at any point to explore the surrounding country.

The lake offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming, boat-in camping, floating campsites and horse camping.

Boating & Floating

The lake contains 167 miles of shoreline, providing plenty of secluded coves and beaches for swimmers, snorkelers and picnickers, as well as adventurous boaters and fishermen to explore. The reservoir is also home to incredible house boating, waterskiing, paddle boarding and kayaking. Explore the upper arm of the reservoir to catch a view of 410-foot Feather Falls.

Looking to launch? Find the status of the launch ramps here.


Nationally renowned for its supreme bass fishing, Bassmaster Magazine called Lake Oroville the “best bass fishing spot in California.” In addition to both largemouth and smallmouth bass, the lake is also home to Chinook salmon, catfish, mackinaw, sturgeon, white crappie, rainbow and brown trout. Fishing is open all year but a California sport fishing license is required. Check at the park for "slot limit" regulations for black bass.

Swimming & Paddling

Looking to keep closer to shore? Southwest of the lake, the North Forebay features a day-use area with picnic tables, a swimming beach, and calm waters perfect for sailboats, canoes, and kayaks, which you can rent at the nearby Forebay Aquatic Center.

Hiking, Camping, and More

If you've never explored its shores, you're missing out on miles of well-groomed easy and moderate hiking trails around Lake Oroville, many of which have lake views and are equestrian-friendly (check out the horse campgrounds at Loafer Creek!). Many of the trails connect to the various campgrounds around the lake, so you can explore during the day and return directly to your tent in the evening.

And if want to learn more about the lake, the dam that creates it, their influence and impact on the city and Sacramento Valley, and more, a visit to the Lake Oroville Visitors center is a must.

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