Day Use Information 

Nestled in the western San Joaquin Valley near the historic Pacheco Pass, this centrally located oasis is 64,000 acres of heaven for outdoor enthusiasts! 

Use one of four launches to put your boat in the water for a day of world-class fishing, skiing, or tubing. Take a dip in the designated swim area at North Beach. Bring a picnic lunch and your ATV to the Jasper Sears OHV area. O'Neill Forebay is the perfect spot for windsurfing!


Angelers love this spot for the variety of species found in the area. San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay are home to Largemouth black bass, striped bass, crappie, shad, perch, and occasionally salmon and sturgeon are caught here. Los Banos Creek Reservoir offers crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish, and trout. All anglers 16 and over must carry a valid California fishing license. See fishing regulation details at

Events & Programs

Spring is the perfect time to explore this coastal foothill area. The explosion of wildflowers, cool breezes, and blue skies make for lovely hikes. This is when you can join staff for an adventure on the Path of the Padres guided hike. Learn more about the Yokuts, as well as Spanish missionaries, Californios, miners, and ranchers who traveled this area beginning in the early 1800s. Visit the Path of the Padres page for information about how you can join this popular park adventure.

Visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends enjoy evening programs at the campfire center. Check with park staff during your visit. 

Junior Lifeguards

The San Luis Reservoir SRA Junior Lifeguard program’s goal is to educate the community’s youth about aquatic safety and high quality outdoor recreation. Through extensive aquatic interaction, exploration, and recreation, the San Luis Reservoir SRA Junior Guards gain a well-rounded education that can be utilized on and off the beach. To learn more about the program and register visit the Junior Lifeguard Page.

Group Picnic Sites

Five group picnic sites are scattered along the O'Neill Forebay shoreline throughout the North Beach and South Beach day-use areas at San Luis Creek. Both day-use areas have plenty of shade and grass. Each site has a large shade ramada, a large BBQ grill, and several cement tables. Group picnic sites 1 through 4 are located on North Beach. North Beach has a designated swim area. Dogs are prohibited on North Beach. Boats are not allowed to beach. Group picnic area 5 is located on South Beach, where boats can be beached. Dogs must remain on a leash and under immediate control of its owner at all times. Flushable toilets and drinking water are available on both beaches. Each site is available by reservation. Reservations and cost inquires can be made by calling the park office at (209) 826-1197.

San Luis Creek Day Use Area

North and South Beach day-use areas have about 200 picnic sites with shade ramadas, tables, and BBQ grills. Both day-use areas have plenty of shade and grass. North Beach is the only designated swim area within San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. Lifeguards are not on duty.

Jasper Sears OHV Area

A perfect spot for beginners riding dirt bikes and ATVs. Visit the page for details!


San Luis Creek Accessible, 5 miles
Basalt Campground      Easy, 1/2-mile 
Lone Oak Difficult, 2-miles, roundtrip


Visitors can add to their adventures by visiting concessions in the park.

  • Find Helados Ice Cream on a hot, summer day. Jose wonders the park with his cart offering cool, delicious treats to beat the heat!
  • O'Neill Forebay Rentals offers water sport equipment rentals. Visit their website for more info.  
  • Looking for a guide to take you trophy fishing? Contact Roger George Guide Service. Visit for info.


Know Before You Go 

The area around San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay is often very windy, and winds can come up quite suddenly. Watch the wind warning lights at the Basalt entrance station, Quien Sabe Point, and Romero Visitor Center. On the forebay, wind warning lights are located at the Medeiros boat ramp and above the South Beach picnic area at San Luis Creek.

Climate/recommended clothing: Summer temperatures here average in the mid-90s and occasionally exceed 100°; but evenings are usually cool and pleasant. Rainfall averages eight to nine inches a year, mostly between November and April. In winter, temperatures seldom go below freezing, and tule fogs are frequent. In the spring, the golden-brown hills are coated with a fleeting green, highlighted by bursts of wildflowers colors.

Location and Directions 

On Highway 152, 7 miles West of I-5, or 33 miles East of Highway 101 from Gilroy.

Address for Park Headquarters
31426 Gonzaga Road
Gustine, CA 95322

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm. Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays. 

 Park Partners 

In addition to working with the non-profit association, California State Parks partners with state and federal agencies:

For nearby fishing and hungting opportunities, please visit California's Department of Fish and Wildlife page. If you're looking for information about the Romero Visitors Center, check in with California's Department of Water Resources. This agency also manages water resources and dam safety at the state level. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation manages water resources at the federal level. Learn more about the agency by visiting


Camping Information 

Boating Information