Stepping back in time… that’s how you’ll feel as you leave the city behind and make your way to Tulloch Reservoir as the scenery is reminiscent of the old west.
Located about 2.5 hours away from San Francisco, Tulloch Reservoir is surrounded by the beautiful oak-filled Table Mountain Range that surrounds the calm waters of one of California’s most stunning reservoirs. With fifty-five miles of shoreline and numerous coves to explore, this reservoir provides some of the best paddling opportunities in California.
What Makes It Great
The Sierra Nevada Mountains block wind providing calm waters that make paddling accessible for all ages and skill levels providing fun for the whole family. In addition, to the amazing scenery surrounding the reservoir, you’ll have an opportunity to view some spectacular wildlife as the area is home to osprey, eagles, foxes, bobcats, deer, otters, and many other species.
If you’re up for fishing off of your board, the reservoir has year-round fishing with a large variety of fish including trout, bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and salmon.
There are three boat launches that provide access to different areas of the reservoir. On the south shore you will find a campground, restaurant/store, boat rentals, and a beach to lay around at while not paddling. On the north side there is Copper Cove and Poker Flat that have restaurant and launches. If you’re up for a serious paddling session, the north side is much less crowded and has some amazing scenery. However, lacks the beach area of the south side, so it may not be ideal for paddlers with children.
Who is Going to Love It
The placid water makes this a fantastic place for a family weekend, though SUPers and kayakers looking to explore the area can give themselves a nice, long day. The fishing is good and the area is full of fun surprises.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Open daily year-round. From the Bay Area take 99 to 120 East towards Sonora. To hit the south shore is about 13 miles east of Oakdale and the entry into the grounds is about 4.5 miles down Tulloch Road. If you’re heading to Poker Flat or Copper Cove, head about 15 miles past the south shore exit and turn onto O’Byrnes Ferry Road. For more information, check out the campgrounds website on the south shore at: