Lake Cuyamaca



Lake Cuyamaca


Lake Cuyamaca and the surrounding area is a one-stop, all-inclusive, natural resource that families love. Depending on where you are in San Diego, you can drive northeast towards Julian and then south on highway 79 to the Cuyamaca. Or you can drive east on highway 8 and then head north on highway 79. It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to drive there, but it is certainly worth the trip. Bonus: sometimes in the winter, you can even find snow at Cuyamaca!

Lake Cuyamaca



Before I talk about the lake itself, I would like to point out that the drive to the Cuyamaca is quite wonderful: once you've past the major highway, the road weaves through forests with over hanging branches. It's a scenic drive that includes forests, open meadows, and rocky mountainsides.

Equally interesting, but in a Gothic sort of way, are the charred, blackened tree stumps left over from the Cedar Fires of 2003. In October of 2003, forest fires raged across California devastated 25,000 acres of the Cuyamacas. Locals are humbled by the dramatic change in landscaped; however, are also pleased to see new growth returning quickly.





Lake Cuyamaca
Lake Cuyamaca


Lake Cuyamaca is a wonderful facility for family fishing. The lake is stocked with trout all year round: in fact, it is stocked with over 44,000 pounds of fish! These include Florida bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill and sturgeon. Whether you catch one of these depends on your skills and patience, but it's not unusual to see anglers walking away with a batch of 4 or 5 fish on a line. Most are 1 or 2 pounds but it is not unheard of to catch something 14 pounds or more.

Lake Cuyamaca

In order to fish at the lake, you need a license and a permit (which can be purchased at the Tackle Shop at the lake). Licenses cost $12 (for a day) or $37 (for the year); permits are $6. Children 8 and over need to have a permit ($3.50) and need to be with an adult who has a license. Children under 8 can fish with no permit, but still need to be with an adult with a license.

You can fish along the lakeside, on the T-shaped fishing-floats, or on a boat. Lake Cuyamaca rents motorboats ($45), row boats ($15), pontoon boat ($150) and paddle boats ($15/hour; available in the summer only)






Lake Cuyamaca

The lake itself is 110 acres in size and averages 10 feet deep. You approach the lake on the west side: this is where the Tackle Shop, the full-service restaurant, and the parking lot is located. This side is easily accessible and many families enjoy the day here. There's an artificial waterfall / creek which is picturesque. Ducks, geese and other waterfowl enjoy this side of the lake as much as the kids.

The east side of the lake is more secluded and in many respects more beautiful. You can get there by boat or by walking around the lake (this would take at least an hour). The shore is lined with sea grass which houses herons and other birds. A small sandy beach area (called MacGregor Cove) is a great place to dock your boat and enjoy a picnic. This side of the lake is called Flethcher Island; thought, it is not a real island. Picnic tables and porta-potty available here.






Lake Cuyamaca

The lake is open 7 days a week from 6:00 AM until sunset. There is a restaurant on site. There is a Tackle Store where you can buy bait, tackle, fishing rods, T-shirts, licenses & permits, and rent boats. Caught yourself some fish? There is a a scale to weigh your prize and a sink to clean your fish. Surprisingly clean and sufficient public bathrooms are available here.

The facility also offers free fishing classes every Saturday at 10 am, youth programs, nature walks, and - get this - a GPS Fishing Guide to tell you exactly where the secret fishing spots are located. Please note: "catch and release" is not allowed, and there are limits as to how many fish you can take away. See schematic of lake here

Interested in staying longer? Lake Cuyamaca also has 40 RV sites, 14 tent sites, and two cabins. Note: much of the private cabins in and around the lake were destroyed during the 2003 Cedar fire; however, the lake remains beautiful as ever.




Address.....
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15027 Hwy. 79, Julian, CA 92036
(760) 765-0515 or
(877) 581-9904
(760) 765-1749
georgia@lakecuyamaca.org
Lake Cuyamaca
and schematic of lake




Lake Cuyamaca