San Pablo Reservoir is an East Bay gem, which offers opportunities to get on the water or view the lake from hiking trails and picnic spots.
Things to Do
Near the children’s playground, lawn and visitor center/café, San Pablo’s picnic sites have great lake views. Sites have tables and barbeques, and a few have gazebos. There are 9 group picnic sites (4 with gazebos) which can be reserved for $60 to $260.
San Pablo Reservoir is stocked regularly with trout and catfish, and is known as one of the finest fisheries in the East Bay. Pick up a fishing license, bait and tackle at the visitor center, and talk with knowledgeable staff who can give you tips on the best fishing spots. California fishing license and EBMUD fishing permit required.
From the first day through the last day of the month, buy your $5 monthly ticket, submit your largest catch and be entered to win either a Rod & Reel, a six pack of PowerBait, a 3-month Season Pass or a gazebo rental. State License & Daily Permit required, tickets available at the Visitors Center. Call (510) 223-1661 for more information.
Patio boats, deluxe motor boats, kayaks and rowboats are available for rental every day. Aluminum fishing boats have a four-stroke motor, great for fishing and cruising. SPECIAL: Rent a boat six times and receive a free 1/2 day weekday rental.
San Pablo’s six-lane boat launch facility is open daily (including holidays) for motor boats, kayaks and canoes. All boats must be inspected before launch to prevent Quagga Mussels from entering EBMUD waters. To further preserve high water quality, only four-cycle engines and 2-stroke engines equipped with direct fuel injection that are rated 2 stars or greater are allowed to launch at the reservoir. All engines must have star labels that meet the exhaust emission standards set by the California Air Resources Control Board. No paddle boards or personal watercraft are allowed at San Pablo.
You’ll find some of the best flat water kayaking and canoeing in the East Bay at San Pablo. Rent tandem and single kayaks for the day or a just few hours, and paddle along 14 miles of shoreline. You’ll discover sandy beaches, great fishing, and interesting wildlife.
See trails map below for information on trails near San Pablo Recreation Area, including the Old San Pablo Dam Road trail which connects to Kennedy Grove and Briones Reservoir trails. More information on EBMUD trails available here.
See flocks of white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds, and along the trails, upland species like wild turkey, quail and dove, plus predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. Also be on the lookout for deer and bobcats.
Bring your dogs
Dogs are welcome at San Pablo Recreation Area in the west side parking lots, picnic areas and paved roads. Dogs are not allowed in any boat or in the reservoir. Please keep dogs on a leash (6 foot maximum) and no more than three dogs per person.
This is a drinking water reservoir; no swimming is allowed.