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Nestled in the rolling foothills of eastern Stanislaus County, Turlock Lake State Recreation Area is an ideal place for day- or week-long outings. Open all year and featuring camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and clean country air, the area offers visitors an opportunity to see the wonderful variety of native plant life that once flourished alongside the rivers of the San Joaquin Valley. The mark of man can be seen by the dredger tailings and agricultural developments that date from the turn of the century.
Bounded on the north by the Tuolumne River and on the south by Turlock Lake, the recreation area provides an ideal setting for water-oriented outdoor activities. The recreation area features the 3500-surface-acre lake with it's 26 miles of shoreline and some 228 acres of foothill country leased from the Turlock Irrigation District in 1950. Picnicking, day-use, and boat ramps are offered at the lake. Overnight visitors are welcome at 66 acre campground located on the shady south bank of the Tuolumne River about a mile from the lake.
At elevation 250 feet, the recreation area boasts typical San Joaquin Valley weather, with warm summers and mild winters. During the summer months night-time temperatures usually drop to the high sixties and are comfortable for sleeping. Quick relief from even the hottest summer day is available in the cool waters of Turlock Lake.
From several lookout points, visitors can view the surrounding savannas and some of the cattle ranches and orchards nearby. And from Lake Road which separates the campground from the day use area, an excellent perspective is shown of the campground, the river and sloughs, and miles of dredger tailing piles - the by product of a half century of gold mining.
Check the State Parks website for additional information on the weather, suggested day hikes, or to see the park brochure, campground map, park photos, video, and more. Information available will vary from park to park.Click here