NOTICE: During the summer months the Camanche Recreation Area is a popular destination and park capacity limits can be reached. Vehicles may be turned away at the entrance until visitor capacity is reduced. Please plan your visit accordingly with early arrival in mind.
Welcome to the North Shore and South Shore Recreation Areas at Camanche Reservoir in the Sierra Foothills. You’ll find access to 12 square miles of lake and 53 miles of shoreline.
Popular activities include fishing, swimming, waterskiing, jet skiing, and windsurfing. Visitors can also play tennis and basketball, picnic, bicycle and hike. Boaters may rent open or covered slips year-round at both shores, and patio and fishing boats also are available for rent.
Both resorts offer comfortable campgrounds and rental cottages with kitchens. Recreational vehicles can hook up for one night or up to six months at South Shore.
Things to do
With over 500 campsites and 200 RV hook-ups, there’s sure to be one that fits your needs. Many sites offer immediate lake access while others are just a short walk away. Campsite amenities include barbecues, tables, water, hot showers, restrooms and laundry facilities.
Tent and RV sites are available year-round at both North and South Shores with RV hook-up sites at South Shore only. Self-contained RVs may camp at North Shore. Turkey Hill Equestrian Campground is available for equestrian groups.
For those who enjoy the outdoors but don’t want to rough it, cottage and motel rooms are available. These tidy, simple cottages have kitchens, barbecues, air conditioning and TVs. Only single-room units are available at South Shore, while North Shore units offer single or multiple adjoining rooms.
Numerous picnic sites are available at both shores, with tables and barbecues; some include shade canopies. Eucalyptus Day Use Area at South Shore is available by reservation. Both shores have a pair of children’s playgrounds to keep the kids busy.
Camanche is known for great bass fishing, but is also a favorite of trout anglers. Each year more than 50,000 pounds of trout (each more than a pound) are stocked between October and June. The large trout pond at South Shore is great for bank fishing for children or to drift your float tube. The bass population gets a boost from fingerling Florida-strain largemouth bass. Other species include smallmouth bass, catfish, crappie, kokanee, bluegill and sunfish.
The fishing access fee is $7.25 per angler, per day. Fees fund the fish stocking program. A State fishing license is required for all anglers 16 years and older. Both can be purchased at the marinas where you can get bait and tackle too.
Patio boats, deluxe patio boats, fishing boats, kayaks and paddle boats are available for rental every day. You can also rent fishing poles.
There are 8-lane launching facilities at both shores, open daily. All boats must be surveyed and are subject to inspection before launching to prevent invasive Quagga Mussels from entering EBMUD waters. Vessels from Southern California and out-of-state are prohibited from launching on Camanche Reservoir unless they have gone through a decontamination process.
Many miles of hiking/equestrian trails can be accessed from Camanche (permit required). At North Shore you can hike or horseback ride along the China Gulch trail, taking in the views of the lake along 10.2 miles of trail with an optional 3-mile loop. At South Shore you can access over 25 miles of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. See trail maps and guides below for more information.
Check the schedule at either marina general store for upcoming events. Bring a blanket or folding chair and enjoy a movie every Friday and Saturday evening in the summer at South Shore.
Bring your dogs
Dogs are welcome (fee required) in developed areas, but must always be leashed and controlled.
Try the North Shore Café for an early morning breakfast or afternoon lunch. Or get a burger and fries at the South Shore Marina Grill. Campers can pick up groceries and camping supplies at the marina stores.
See flocks of white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds along the water. On the trail, you may see wild turkey, quail and dove, plus predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. Be on the lookout for deer and bobcats.
The sheer number and species of water birds inhabiting local reservoirs is astounding. EBMUD has Eagle Tours every January. If you can't make the tour, you can still venture out on your own. Bring your boat, or rent one at the reservoir.
Tips for bird-viewing:
Keep your distance. It is important that birds and other wildlife remain undisturbed to ensure that these majestic birds will continue to inhabit local watersheds. Bald Eagles, for example, must conserve energy to hunt because only 1 in 18 attempts to secure prey is successful. It is best to quietly observe them from a distance of at least 330 feet.