360° VR Panoramas of El Camino Real
San Luis Reservoir, west of Pacheco Pass
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, near Los Banos, California

San Luis Reservoir was created in 1967 as part of the California Water Project. Almost all the water in it is pumped up from the California Aqueduct via O'Neill Forebay - its role is to provide off-line storage for the water transport system.

Though the entire shoreline is open to the public there is relatively light use because of the unpredictable strong winds that sweep the lake. High wind warning beacons are located at three points around the lake's perimeter.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area
Wikipedia: San Luis Reservoir

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Dinosaur Point on San Luis Reservoir

Dinosaur Point on San Luis Reservoir

Low water level in San Luis Reservoir viewed from Dinosaur Point.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

Romero Visitor Center at San Luis Reservoir

Romero Visitor Center at San Luis Reservoir

The view from the Romero Visitor Center varies dramatically with the level of the reservoir.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

Romero Visitor Center at San Luis Reservoir

Romero Visitor Center at San Luis Reservoir

Inside the Romero Visitor Center at San Luis Reservoir, an information and propaganda center mainatined by the California Department of Water Resources.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

San Luis Reservoir and Dam

San Luis Reservoir and Dam

San Luis Reservoir and Dam in a low water year. This is an off-line reservoir, filled by pumping water up from the California Aqueduct.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

Basalt Campground at San Luis Reservoir

Basalt Campground at San Luis Reservoir

A pleasant campground in winter and spring, but this area can be very hot in summer.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

San Luis Reservoir drawn down

San Luis Reservoir drawn down

San Luis Reservoir is shown drawn down 200 feet from its capacity of 652 billion gallons (2.5 billion cubic meters).

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

Boat launch ramp at San Luis Reservoir

Boat launch ramp at San Luis Reservoir

A long boat launch ramp is needed at San Luis Reservoir to reach water levels which are often drawn down hundreds of feet.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 1, 2013
See location in Google Maps

Launch ramp with reservoir full

Launch ramp with reservoir full

Through six years of drought the boat launch ramps at many California reservoirs came nowhere near the waterline. The wet winter of 2016-17 changed that.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 30, 2017

San Luis Reservoir with full water level

San Luis Reservoir with full water level

Brimful San Luis Reservoir. This is an off-line storage reservoir -- the water is pumped south from the Sacramento Delta, then pumped again up over the dam to fill the lake.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 30, 2017

Fishermans Point on San Luis Reservoir

Fishermans Point on San Luis Reservoir

San Luis Reservoir has several developed access points, such as here at Fisherman's Point next to the dam.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 30, 2017

Dinosaur Point with full water level

Dinosaur Point with full water level

On the western end of the reservoir Dinosaur Point provides access for boats. The state recreation area surrounding the lake adjoins Pacheco State Park.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 30, 2017

Previous locality: Pacheco State Park Next locality: O'Neil Forebay