Del Valle Lake Swimming


Del Valle Swimming Hole

08.2.12

From the issue Dip In!

Lake Expectations

Livermore's most popular form of liquid may be wine, but its waterfront also earns excellent ratings. Pack a picnic and head out on a day of boating and beaching at Livermore’s Lake Del Valle, a 5-mile long, multi-use reservoir surrounded by golden hills. The beauty begins even before arriving at the park; a scenic drive along the valley ridge offers excellent views of the burnt yellow and oak-speckled landscape. The valley walls block Bay Area breezes, so expect the bump in heat to linger (and bring sunscreen). As the centerpiece of the blue oak peppered, 5,000-acre Del Valle Regional Park, the namesake lake offers two swimming beaches, 16 miles of shoreline, and boat rentals galore. Hop on a 10-person pontoon with pals, or pedal a two-person paddleboat. The water keeps things cool. Dunk away, but keep a toe out for the trout, bass, and catfish beneath the surface. If you're lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle swooping for a snack in the lake. Post up at a picnic table or spread a blanket at one of the two large, rock-sand beaches equipped with Baywatch-conjuring lifeguard stands (the lifeguards themselves are only on duty at certain hours). The west beach, located near the park’s marina, is more bustling than the east beach, which is a calmer place to recline and take a dip. Nice way to Livermore it up!

TIP: Del Valle Regional Park runs 90-minute boat tours around the lake four times daily. Join them for a Naturalist Tour to the Del Valle Dam, which breaks down the plant and animal life of the area. Or, hop on the history-filled Scenic Tour.

Del Valle Regional Park is located at 7000 Del Valle Rd. in Livermore, CA. Parking is available for $6. Boat tours run May through September on weekends only. Scenic tours are offered at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. Naturalist tours run at 1:00 p.m. For more information on boat tours, swing by Lake Del Valle’s Rocky Ridge Visitor Center or call (925) 272-0432. Tours cost $5 for adults and $3 for seniors over 65 and children under 12. Naturalist tours run on weekends. Dogs are welcome for $2/each.

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