Canyon Lake reservoir is a truly unique resource in Southern California, providing a beautiful amenity for the community of Canyon Lake. Residents and their guests are able to enjoy year round fishing, water skiing, wake boarding, pleasure boating and other water sports. Created in 1927 by damming the San Jacinto River, Canyon Lake has long been a recreational paradise and is the main attraction for people moving to the community. This 383 acre lake has 15 miles of shoreline and averages 30-40 deep in most areas and nearly 80 feet deep near the dam. As Canyon Lake is shallow, it generally warms up fast in the summer time with water temperatures sometimes reaching 85 degrees in August.
The lake is actually divided in two by the main causeway separating what is known as the Main Lake from the East Bay. Boating up to 35 mph is allowed on the main lake as well as waterskiing and wakeboarding in a clockwise fashion around the lake from one end to the other. You’ll often see hydrofoils also performing their high flying stunts and occasionally sailors come out during the strong afternoon winds that are so prevalent in the summer time. Boats are allowed on the water at all times but the speed limit is 5 mph from dusk until dawn.
The East Bay is a 5 mph “no-wake zone” perfect for cruising on the boat. It’s also great for kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing or just swimming at Indian Beach or one of the many coves. Only property owners are permitted to have a boat on the water and all boats pass a multi point inspection and must measure under 21′. No jet skis or pulling of inner tubes are allowed on the lake. The Marine Patrol monitors lake activity, enforces lake use rules, and provides first response for boaters in need.
Anglers are often surprised at how good the fishing is in Canyon Lake. With large mouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish, there is ample opportunity to reel in a big catch. Fishing is allowed by boat or in designated areas along the shore. The Bassmasters club is active in the community and sponsors that annual Kid’s Fishing Derby. Many tournament anglers live in the community and hone their skills on the waters here.
Boats can be launched from the main boat ramp at Holiday Harbor or at the ramp at East Port Park. Rental slips are available near the Lodge at Engler’s Landing Marina for those that want to keep their boats in the water.
There are two additional lakes within the community – the North Ski area located on Vacation Drive and the Ski Jump Lagoon located on Longhorn Drive.
The North Ski Area has a full time slalom course set up for competitive skiers and most morning will find early morning skier out carving up rooster tails. The North Ski Are is also host to many tournaments and special events including “learn to ski” days and “learn to wakeboard” days. There is a separate launch ramp for the North Ski Area and rules are posted by the Ski Club regarding area use and etiquette. Beyond the slalom course is an area known as the backwater where many competitive level wake boarders practice. The Ski Jump Lagoon is reserved for the many competition jumpers and trick skiers that live in Canyon Lake.
Homes dot the shoreline all around the lake and range from little weekend cottages all the way up to mini mansions. Waterfront homes are allowed to have a dock on the water to keep their boat on as well as the ability to install a seawall. Main Lake property owners enjoy grand views, great sunsets, and lots of activity from boaters and anglers. East Bay property owners enjoy a quieter pace with slower boat traffic.
Many great events are enjoyed on the lake including the Christmas Boat Parade, the 4th of July Fireworks, Polar Bear Day, and the Pedal / Paddle Regatta. Families for many generations have created unforgettable memories in Canyon Lake and a new generations of lake enthusiasts is growing up in Canyon Lake now. No matter where you live in the community, the lake is always close by and accessible through it’s many parks and beaches.
The lake is owned by the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association lease the surface and recreation rights. The association and the water district jointly care for and maintain the lake and monitor the water quality regularly.