Castaic, California

Paddle Castaic Lake State Recreational Area

6 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Spencer Williams

Explore hidden coves and discover your own private beach as you paddle along the uniques shore of Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake is a man made reservoir located 41 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, CA in the town of Castaic. Made up of two bodies of water, separated by a 425-foot dam, Upper and Lower Castaic Lakes have a combined 29 miles of shoreline forming the Castaic Lake State Recreational Area. The small “lower lake”, also known as Castaic Lagoon, is open seasonally and reserved for swimming, and small non-powered boats; kayaks, canoes, SUPs, etc. While the much larger “Upper” Castaic Lake has two large boat ramps one seasonal (west) ramp and the year round main (east) ramp.

The “Upper” lake takes the shape of a large letter V comprised of the reservoir dam on the bottom and two large arms, Ski Arm (west) and Fish Arm (east), jutting north. From the main (east) ramp it is possible to reach both arms, however Ski Arm tends to get crowded with speedboats, sailboats and personal watercrafts making Fish Arm a safer bet. Fish Arm is about 3 miles long and has many large canyons jutting off. These canyons each have uniques feature to explorer like secluded beaches and shallow calm lagoons.  

To get to the Castaic Lake main ramp from the Los Angeles area head north on Interstate 5, exit on Lake Hughes Rd. and head east for 3 miles. This will take you past Castaic Lagoon and toward the top of the damn, turn left and head down to the ticket office. It costs $11 a day for a car pass and if you bring your own kayak $7 a day for non-motorized boat fee. Please be advised that your watercraft must be dry upon arrival and will be subject to an inspection.     

For more information on fees, hours of operation or rentals please visit the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area Home Page or California State Parks Website

Maps of Castaic

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Stand Up Paddle
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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