Turlock Lake State Recreation Area

Last updated
Aerial view, with Turlock Lake State Recreation Area in upper left area of reservoir Turlock lake.jpg
Aerial view, with Turlock Lake State Recreation Area in upper left area of reservoir

Turlock Lake State Recreation Area is regional park and recreation area at Turlock Reservoir in Stanislaus County, central California, United States. [1]



The park is in the San Joaquin Valley foothills at 250 feet (76 m) in elevation, on the south side of the Tuolumne River and along the north shore of Turlock Lake. [2] It is part of the California State Parks system. [1]

It is located near La Grange, 25 miles (40 km) east of the city of Modesto, and east of U.S. Route 99 and Turlock. [1]

The recreation area features Turlock Lake with its 26 miles (42 km) of shoreline and the surrounding foothill country leased from the Turlock Irrigation District in 1950. [1]


Turlock Lake at the Turlock Lake State Recreation Area Turlock Lake.jpg
Turlock Lake at the Turlock Lake State Recreation Area

Recreation activities in the park include fishing, swimming, boating, and water skiing in Turlock Lake; picnicking; birdwatching; bicycling; hiking; and camping. [1] There are also boat launch ramps. The day use areas are open from 8:00 AM to sunset. [1]

The park offers visitors an example of the diverse variety of riparian zone native plants that once flourished alongside the rivers across the San Joaquin Valley.

There is a $12 day use fee to enter Turlock Lake State Recreation Area. [1]

The campground is spread over 66 acres (27 ha), shaded by large trees along the Tuolumne River. [3]

See also

Nearby state parks

Related Research Articles

Stanislaus County, California County in California, United States

Stanislaus County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 514,453. The county seat is Modesto.

Merced River body of water in California

The Merced River, in the central part of the U.S. state of California, is a 145-mile (233 km)-long tributary of the San Joaquin River flowing from the Sierra Nevada into the San Joaquin Valley. It is most well known for its swift and steep course through the southern part of Yosemite National Park, where it is the primary watercourse flowing through Yosemite Valley. The river's character changes dramatically once it reaches the plains of the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, where it becomes a slow-moving meandering stream.

Tuolumne River watercourse in the United States of America

The Tuolumne River flows for 149 miles (240 km) through Central California, from the high Sierra Nevada to join the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley. Originating at over 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level in Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne drains a rugged watershed of 1,958 square miles (5,070 km2), carving a series of canyons through the western slope of the Sierra. While the upper Tuolumne is a fast-flowing mountain stream, the lower river crosses a broad, fertile and extensively cultivated alluvial plain. Like most other central California rivers, the Tuolumne is dammed multiple times for irrigation and the generation of hydroelectricity.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area surrounds Folsom Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. It is located near the city of Folsom, California, about 25 miles (40 km) east of Sacramento.

Cosumnes River river in the United States of America

The Cosumnes River is a river in northern California in the United States. It rises on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and flows approximately 52.5 miles (84.5 km) into the Central Valley, emptying into the Mokelumne River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Lake Oroville reservoir in California

Lake Oroville is a reservoir formed by the Oroville Dam impounding the Feather River, located in Butte County, northern California. The lake is situated 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of the city of Oroville, within the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Known as the second-largest reservoir in California, Lake Oroville is treated as a keystone facility within the California State Water Project by storing water, providing flood control, recreation, freshwater releases assist in controlling the salinity intrusion Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and protecting fish and wildlife.

Central California Place in California, United States

Central California is generally thought of as the middle third of the state, north of Southern California. It includes the northern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, the Central Coast, the central hills of the California Coast Ranges and the foothills and mountain areas of the central Sierra Nevada.

Don Pedro Reservoir reservoir in the Stanislaus National Forest of Tuolumne County, California

Don Pedro Reservoir, also known as Lake Don Pedro, is a reservoir formed by the construction of the New Don Pedro Dam across the Tuolumne River in the Stanislaus National Forest of Tuolumne County, California, United States.

Stanislaus River river in the United States of America

The Stanislaus River is a tributary of the San Joaquin River in north-central California in the United States. The main stem of the river is 96 miles (154 km) long, and measured to its furthest headwaters it is about 150 miles (240 km) long. Originating as three forks in the high Sierra Nevada, the river flows generally southwest through the agricultural San Joaquin Valley to join the San Joaquin south of Manteca, draining parts of five California counties. The Stanislaus is known for its swift rapids and scenic canyons in the upper reaches, and is heavily used for irrigation, hydroelectricity and domestic water supply.

Area code 209 Area code of north Central Valley, California

Area code 209 is the California telephone area code that was split from area code 415 on October 26, 1957. It covers Stockton, Modesto, Turlock, Merced, Winton, Atwater, Livingston, Manteca, Ripon, Tracy, Lodi, Galt, Sonora, Los Banos, San Andreas, Mariposa, and Yosemite, the northern San Joaquin Valley, and the Sierra Foothills.

Fresno River river in the United States of America

The Fresno River is a river in Central California and a major tributary of the San Joaquin River. It runs approximately 68 miles (109 km) from the Sierra Nevada Range to the San Joaquin River. Although called the 'Fresno' River, it is one of the largest and longest river systems in Madera County.

Folsom Lake Reservoir on the American River in California, United States

Folsom Lake is a reservoir on the American River in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, United States.

New Melones Lake

New Melones Lake is a reservoir on the Stanislaus River in the central Sierra Nevada foothills, within Calaveras County and Tuolumne County, California.

Cherry Lake

Not to be confused with Cherry Lake, Florida

The Turlock Basin is a sub-basin of the San Joaquin Valley groundwater basin which occupies approximately 13,700 total square miles, making it the largest groundwater basin in California. The Turlock Basin makes up 542 square miles of this total. This aquifer is located within Merced and Stanislaus counties in the Central Valley bounded by the Tuolumne River to the north, the Merced River to the south and San Joaquin River to the west. The Sierra Nevada foothills bound the sub-basin to the east. Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley occurs mostly in younger alluvial material. The Turlock Basin lies to the east of the city of Turlock. Groundwater in the Turlock Basin occurs in older alluvial deposits. Large portions of the San Joaquin Basin have experienced overdraft of water and infiltration of agricultural water pollutants, resulting in poor water quality.

There are 45 routes assigned to the "J" zone of the California Route Marker Program, which designates county routes in California. The "J" zone includes county highways in Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Inyo, Mariposa, Merced, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties.

New Don Pedro Dam dam in Tuolumne County, near La Grange, California

New Don Pedro Dam, often known simply as Don Pedro Dam, is an earthen embankment dam across the Tuolumne River, about 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of La Grange, in Tuolumne County, California. The dam was completed in 1971, after four years of construction, to replace the 1924 concrete-arch Don Pedro Dam.

Stockton–Los Angeles Road, also known as the Millerton Road, Stockton–Mariposa Road, Stockton–Fort Miller Road or the Stockton–Visalia Road, was established about 1853 following the discovery of gold on the Kern River in Old Tulare County. This route between Stockton and Los Angeles followed by the Stockton–Los Angeles Road is described in ITINERARY XXI. From Fort Yuma to Benicia, California, in The Prairie Traveler: A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions by Randolph Barnes Marcy. The Itinerary was derived from the report of Lieutenant R. S. Williamson on his topographical survey party in 1853, that was in search of a railroad route through the interior of California.

Lake Tulloch, located in Copperopolis, California, is one of the few lakes in California that has private shoreline houses. At roughly 504 feet in elevation the lake covers 1,260 surface acres. Lake Tulloch provides water needs to downstream users and hydroelectricity to users throughout the state.

North Fork Tuolumne River

The North Fork Tuolumne River is a 35.7-mile (57.5 km) long river in the central Sierra Nevada of Tuolumne County, California and is a major tributary of the Tuolumne River. It originates above the Dodge Ridge Ski Area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Pinecrest, in the Stanislaus National Forest. From there it flows generally southwest, past Long Barn, Twaine Harte, Soulsbyville and Tuolumne. Below Long Barn the river flows through a narrow canyon on its way to join the Tuolumne River, at the head of Lake Don Pedro Reservoir, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Groveland.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 California State Parks: Turlock Lake State Recreation Area
  2. Hipcamp.com: Turlock Lake State Recreation Area
  3. Parks.ca.gov: Camping at Turlock Lake State Recreation Area

Coordinates: 37°37′38″N120°34′57″W / 37.62722°N 120.58250°W / 37.62722; -120.58250