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Lopez Lake
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For central and southern California sailors looking for lake sailing, Lake Lopez used to have it all, but, in my opinion, it has lost its appeal as windsurfing destination until we get more rain. As of June 13th, 2017, lake elevation is about 25 feet below the full line, . There still is somewhat of a sandy beach at the launch site, but its a longer hike down from the road. More important, this week, even strong winds were not killing off all of the green stuff in the water.

The weather is often warm and sunny and the water is a welcome respite from the cold coastal waters. Add the frequent thermal winds and excellent camping and you have the basic ingredients for great sailing alas currently on a drought induced short tack.

The weather conditions likely to produce winds at Lopez are classic. If the fog moves over the coast shutting down coast and the valley is warm, the lake is likely to blow. The lake is steadily gaining in popularity and weekends can coax over 100 sailors onto the water. Although the lake only covers 950 acres it is packed with sailing and recreation opportunities.

Lopez Lake is located 10 miles off Highway 101 east of the town of Arroyo Grande. Exit the 101 at Grand Avenue and follow the signs. If returning to the park after dark, be prepared for darting deer as you approach the dam. When traveling to Lopez Lake from points south of Santa Barbara, be aware that Santa Barbara has a morning and evening rush hour that can slow traffic on US 101 to a crawl for several miles to the south.

There is no shortage of recreational opportunities at Lake Lopez. The kids will enjoy the two giant water slides. If the wind is tardy, you can rent canoes, ski boats, and boats for fishing. For thrills there is the giant 600' water slide and for exercise there is swimming and miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. For the fishermen in the family there trout, catfish, and other pan fish.
For those seeking more tranquil experiences there are hot spas located near the water-slide area, and they are included in the cost for the waterslides.

Camping facilities are extensive and are located in oak shaded lakeside facilities. There are 148 primitive sites for tents and over 200 sites with electrical hookups for RVs. Camping reservations for weekends must be made well in advance however. Weekday camping is usually available. There is a small sail-board fee. Payment of the overnight camping fee entitles one to stay on the lake until late in the afternoon of the following day. They take credit cards.

Bait and tackle, early morning coffee, breakfast grill items, lunchtime sandwiches, snacks, gasoline, and a Laundromat are available nearby. Coin operated HOT showers make for delightful clean-up at the end of the day. The General Store reportedly has discontinued public WiFi access; on 6/13/2017 it was not working. The is no meaningful Verizon cell telephone reception in the park. People with AT&T phones get voice and data service at the launch site.

Because of its proximity to the ocean, Lopez Lake receives good westerly thermal winds. Wind sensor reads way high (+3). 20 at Lopez means 17 and a 6.5 or larger sail. Wind forecasting is usually based on projected temperature differential between Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande. A 20 degree temperature difference means 6.5 sail. A 30 degree temperature difference means 5.0 or smaller.

As of March 28, 2009....No Kiting. Hot tubs closed at water-slides.
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Shops, Schools, Clubs, Events, Food, Lodging, More,
 Season: Spring, summer, and fall 
 Water: warm in summer 
 Ability Level: Beginner to intermediate + freestyle 
 Wetsuit: yes unless you never fall in, air is often 70 oF 
 Familiness: Lots to do! 
 Parking: It is a zoo 
 Launch: Sand to mud 

Go to the town of Arroyo Grande near Pismo Beach on Hwy 101. Then go northeast Hwy 227 to Lopez Drive. It's 10 miles to the front gates at Lopez Lake. Continue on Lopez Drive and follow the signs to the lake.

This sensor is a solar powered, wireless installation that's got a great fetch and should therefore give a very accurate representation of wind conditions on the water Sensor reads way high (+3). Pay particular attention to direction. Anything other than WSW is very gusty


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