Turlock Lake State Recreation Area

EFFECTIVE (Aug. 7, 2020) - Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. Due to the recent visitation surges at Turlock Lake State Recreation, camping has been temporarily closed again, effective Aug. 7, 2020, until further notice.

Press Release: August 6: California State Parks Closes Camping at Turlock Lake State Recreation Area to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some additional guidelines for locals visiting Turlock Lake Recreation Area:

What is open now?
  • Parking, day-use areas.

What is currently closed?
  • Boat and jet ski launching.
  • Campgrounds closed starting Aug. 7, 2020, until further notice.
  • Special events and public gatherings canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Some restrooms may be temporarily closed in order to keep up with cleaning schedules.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Due to extreme low water levels, launching of boats & jet skis is not advisable until after December 31, 2020.

Phone Number

(209) 874-2056

Park Hours

Year Round Day Use: 
Sunrise to Sunset

Year Round Camping:
If the kiosk is closed; please check with the Camp Host (site 32 or 66).

Dogs Allowed?

Dogs must always be on a 6-foot leash in both the campground and Day Use areas.

Driving Directions to Turlock Lake SRA

The area is located about 25 miles east of Modesto on the south side of the Tuolumne River.
From Modesto take Highway 132 East 14 miles to Waterford. In Waterford, turn right on Hickman Road (county road J-9) and drive 1 mile to Lake Road. Turn left on Lake Road and drive 10 miles to Turlock Lake SRA.
22600 Lake Road, La Grange CA 95329

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites (late March thru mid-September) six months in advance from the current date. For example, on April 1st a visitor will be able to reserve a campsite beginning October 1st through a maximum of 14 days.
Reservations stop and all sites are walk-ins from mid-September thru late March.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Boat Ramps
Family Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
Picnic Areas
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible

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.

About 25 miles east of Modesto on the south side of the Tuolumne River. From Modesto take Highway 132 East 14 miles to Waterford; in Waterford turn right on Hickman Road (county road J-9) and drive 1 mile to Lake Road. Turn left on Lake Road and drive 10 miles to Turlock Lake SRA.

22600 Lake Road
La Grange CA 95329

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
At elevation 250 feet, the recreation area boasts typical San Joaquin Valley weather, with warm summers and mild winters.

During the summer months nighttime temperatures usually drop to the high sixties and are comfortable for sleeping.

Facilities - Activities
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 lake with its 26 miles of shoreline and the foothill country leased from the Turlock Irrigation District in 1950. Picnicking, day-use, and boat launch ramps are offered at the lake. Overnight visitors are welcome at the 60 site campground located on the shady south bank of the Tuolumne River about 1 mile from the lake.

From several lookout point, 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.

Heaviest use period is Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. After Labor Day and through October are perhaps the most ideal times to camp with warm and golden days, cool and comfortable nights, and uncrowded campgrounds.

Additional Feature Information


  • RV Accessible (no hook ups)
  • Restrooms & Showers (Not ADA)
  • River Access
  • Swimming (No Lifeguard)
  • Fishing (Barbless, Catch & Release)


  • Designated Swimming Area (No Lifeguard)
  • Parking for vehicles & boat trailers
  • Restrooms (Wheelchair Accessible)

BOATING (No Rentals)

  • 2 Boat Ramps
  • Boats/Jet Skis (2 & 4 cycle motors)
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboard
  • Windsurfing
VISITOR INFORMATION From Approximately September 25 thru February 15 each year the lake, south of Latitude N 37.37.019, is restricted to Duck Hunters only. We ask that you do not go past our buoy line, to do so is at your own risk.

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