Nestled between Blue Ridge and Cedar Roughs east of Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa provides ample public recreation opportunities. Popular activities on and around the large, yet uncrowded lake include fishing, boating, water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking and picnicking. The Dufer Point Visitor Center offers year-round interpretive events and exhibits highlighting natural and cultural resources. Lake Berryessa is a Federal reservoir managed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region (Central California Area Office).
Reclamation Managed Day Use Areas offer more than 200 picnic sites which are equipped with picnic tables, barbeque grills, restrooms and drinking water. There are six covered group picnic sites that can be reserved or can be used on a first-come, first-served basis.
Reclamation and Napa County temporarily ban ash-producing fires at Lake Berryessa
NAPA, Calif. – At the request of Napa County, the Bureau of Reclamation is banning the use of charcoal and other ash-producing fuels at Lake Berryessa’s recreation areas starting Sept. 3, 2021. The ban will remain in effect until conditions and available resources significantly change; Reclamation will coordinate with Napa County and local fire agencies to make that decision.
This ban improves public safety during an already severe fire season. Cooking fires using charcoal briquettes and wood campfires create embers that can easily be blown into dry vegetation, igniting wildfires. Reclamation requests visitors use propane-fueled stoves and grills at Lake Berryessa.
Park rangers or campground hosts, and posted signs, will inform visitors of the temporary ban upon entrance to recreation areas.
Call the Lake Berryessa Administration Office for questions at 707-966-2111, ext. 0 (TTY 800-877-8339).
Learn more by visiting this website: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/index.html.
Parking at Oak Shores during busy summer weekends is limited. Parking spaces are not guaranteed, even for groups with shade shelter reservations.
During summer, holiday weekends, we are not able to accomodate large groups and events at Oak Shores Day Use Area. Shade shelter reservations are not available during holiday weekends.
The Bureau of Reclamation is increasing fire restrictions at Lake Berryessa during Red Flag Warnings. Reclamation is prohibiting the use of charcoal or wood fires, even in established fire rings and grills, during Red Flag Warnings at Lake Berryessa. A Red Flag Warning, the highest wildfire alert, means that potentially dangerous weather conditions (hot/dry/windy) may result in extreme fire behavior within 24 hours.
Lake Berryessa is more than just a great place for water recreation. The blue oak woodlands covering the surrounding hills are home to a wide variety of plants and animals, all dependent on each other to survive. Visitors can experience the beauty of Lake Berryessa by hiking the Smittle Creek Trail. The climate is Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. For those who wish to venture outside the main recreation areas, there are many unique places to visit. Overall, the geography is quite varied and provides many opportunities for recreation.
Nearby areas including Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area and Knoxville Recreation Area offering extensive backcountry and hiking opportunities. Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, operated by the University of California at Davis, is a high-quality hiking experience near the Monticello Dam that provides great views of Lake Berryessa.
Oak Shores and Smittle Creek Day Use areas offer free day use, beach activities, swimming, shoreline fishing and wildlife viewing. The 2.6-mile long Smittle Creek Trail connects the two areas. Commercial Concession Areas also provide a variety of recreation opportunities for a fee at the lake. These include camping, lodging, marina services, boat rentals and retail stores. Contact the concession areas directly for information about amenities and fees. For more information on concessions, visit: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/visitor-info.html
5520 Knoxville Road Napa CA 94558
For campground inquiries, please call: 707-966-2111
Take I-80 west toward San Francisco, and take Exit 113 towards Woodland. Travel about 1.5 miles until you see the sign for Winters. Exit here and turn left at the light. Follow this road into Winters. This road turns into Highway 128. Continue on 128 til right hand turn on Knoxville Road. It is approximately 8 miles north on Knoxville Road.
From San Francisco:
Drive north on Interstate 80 and take the Napa turnoff onto Highway 29. Then turn onto Highway 121, following it to Highway 128. Continue on 128 til right hand turn on Knoxville Road. It is approximately 8 miles north on Knoxville Road.