Lake Elsinore Information

Lake Elsinore lies in far western Riverside County, California, 20 miles south of Riverside, California, and east of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is a natural lake fed by the San Jacinto River. The Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) manages the lake. The town of Lake Elsinore, California, lines Lake Elsinore’s northern, southern, and western shores.

Lake Elsinore is Southern California’s largest natural freshwater lake. Lake Elsinore covers 3,000 acres, is six miles long, and 1.5-miles wide, and has a maximum depth of 42 feet. While it is a small lake, Lake Elsinore provides 19 parks with hundreds of acres of recreation opportunities. The Santa Ana Mountains border Lake Elsinore’s entire western border and palm trees dot the sandy shores encircling it. 

Lake Elsinore is situated at the end of the 780-mile square mile San Jacinto Watershed and depends on rainfall and watershed runoff. Because of the LESJWA and its supporting agencies, Lake Elsinore has benefited from fishery studies, carp removal, pump station improvements, bass stocking, destratification, recycled water delivery and habitat enhancements.

Lake Elsinore History

The first record we have of Lake Elsinore comes from Spanish Franciscan padre Juan Santiago, exploring eastward from the Mission San Juan Capistrano in today’s Orange County in 1797. He named the lake Laguna Grande, and the town of Lake Elsinore, established in 1888, renamed it Lake Elsinore. 

Lake Elsinore varies 50 to 80 miles from the Los Angeles metropolis. In the early1900s, it was a popular destination for celebrities escaping Hollywood to find some fun and relaxation. Lake Elsinore dried up in 1930 and refilled in 1938, and the stars abandoned it. During WWII, the Douglas Aircraft plant, making wing assemblies for B-17 bombers, built a plant in Lake Elsinore, and used the lake to test sea planes. 

Heavy rainstorms hit Lake Elsinore in 1980, and the ensuing flood destroyed homes and businesses around the waterfront. The LESJWA created a new system that allowed water to be released from Canyon Lake Dam and flow into Lake Elsinore. Residents always considered Lake Elsinore a volatile lake. The Island Well Pump Station produces one million gallons of water a day to help stabilize Lake Elsinore’s water level.

In 2007, The LESJWA made two more improvements and installed the Lake Elsinore Destratification and Mixing System that mixes lake water to increase oxygen levels, improve water quality, and decrease dangerous algae growth. Hybrid striped bass stocking reduced the overpopulation of carp that affected the lake’s water quality, but it was not enough to control the carp population. Those bass only eat the carp fry. 

In 2010, the Carp Removal Program took over one million pounds of carp out of Lake Elsinore. Carp stir up nutrients on the lake bed that cause harmful algae blooms in this particular lake. Two years later, the LESJWA established the Lake Elsinore back basin wetlands to increase biodiversity and also improve the water quality. Lake Elsinore’s watershed covers 45-square miles. 

Today, Lake Elsinore and the town of Lake Elsinore are thriving with homeowners and tourists. Even though it is a small lake, around 2010, Lake Elsinore reported it began to bloom as the fastest growing town in California for a decade. It has approved the construction of many more single and multiple homes in Lake Elsinore Village. Lake Elsinore has a population of 70,265 as of the 2020 census. 

Lake Elsinore Fishing

Predominant game species include hybrid-striped (wipers) and largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, blue and channel catfish, black and white crappie, and green and redear sunfish. Lake Elsinore is a warm water fishery. The four public fishing beaches are Davis Street Fishing Beach, Launch Pointe Recreation Destination & RV Resort (fees apply), Lowell Street Fishing Beach, and Whisker's Fishing Beach.

There are several bait and tackle stores, boat rental services, and fishing license retailers around the lake in the town of Lake Elsinore. Five miles of shoreline fishing access points, three boat launches, and one marina, the Lake Elsinore Marina and RV Park, surround the lake. There is more pleasure boating traffic in warm weather that can disturb anglers. 

Lake Elsinore bass fishing is most productive after spawn in early spring and summer, and five-pound bass are common catches. Anglers take crappie and catfish in great numbers, and catfishing is best in the summer months. Artificial fish cover structures have been placed around the lake beds. Call around to the bigger lakes and the Los Angeles areas to find Lake Elsinore fishing guides. The lake is too small to support fishing charter services. 

Lake Elsinore is subject to the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Anyone 16 years and older must have a valid California State Fishing License.
  • Every person, while engaged in taking any fish shall display their valid sport fishing license by attaching it to their outer clothing, at or above the waistline so that it is plainly visible.
  • Fishing from shore is only permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in designated areas.
  • No fishing is allowed in the Inlet Channel.
  • Cleaning fish is only permitted on the shoreline in designated cleaning areas.
  • Riverside County Sheriff’s Department strictly enforces all Fish & Game Regulations on the Lake.
  • Please refer to the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations for bag and size limits.

Get ready to land 'em with our Lake Elsinore Fishing Guides page.

Lake Elsinore Boating 

Boaters must buy a Lake Use Pass to boat on the lake and can be purchased from all boat launch facilities. You may be charged a separate fee for boat launching and day use areas, which will vary for each facility. You can also purchase annual Lake Use Passes, good for the calendar year, at the cashier at Lake Elsinore City Hall. You must keep your pass on your boat when in operation.

There are three boat launches around the lake and one marina, the Lake Elsinore Marina & RV Resort on the north side of the lake. The marina has multiple boat docks and a 233-foot-wide paved boat launch and tons of amenities for all boating needs. There is a high boating traffic on Lake Elsinore in warmer weather. 

There are several boat rental services, for fishing boats, jet skis, party boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, and yachts. The no wake zone is marked by buoys and circles the Lake Elsinore shoreline, and the speed limit is 35 mph in the middle of the lake from May 1 to September 30. The rest of the year it is 150 mph, and operators must be 16 to go over 35 mph. 

The following are general Lake Elsinore boating regulations. See the full list or regulations here for personal watercraft, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing:

  • All power vessels must carry a fully charged Type B-1 or equivalent fire extinguisher that is READILY  accessible.
  • All boats/vessels must have on Type I, II or III (wearable) personal flotation device for each person onboard and on READILY accessible.
  • All gasoline powered motorized vessels shall have at least two ventilator ducts fitted with cowls (except outboard motors).
  • Inflatable towables are permitted in accordance with LEMC Section 9.96.200.
  • Non-directional, personal watercraft course zones are permitted in accordance with LEMC Section 9.96.170.
  • No anchoring is permitted outside the No Wake Zone.
  • Sheriff’s Lake Patrol monitors Marine VHF Channel No. 68.
  • No mooring of vessels is permitted to any navigational marker, buoy or axial flow pump station platform.

Get ready for your day on the water with our Lake Elsinore Boat Ramps Map, Lake Elsinore Marinas page and Lake Elsinore Boats For Sale.

Lake Elsinore Real Estate

Lake Elsinore homes for sale sell for a median home value is $568,000. Over 2,500 single family units and 128 multifamily units were built in the City between 2010 and 2020. Lake Elsinore has approved several future development projects and specific plans that will accommodate up to 18,495 new residential units.

Riverside, California, is only 20 miles away, but Lake Elsinore has a Walmart Supercenter, tons of grocery stores, services, and shopping outlets. The Lake Elsinore Unified School District serves the lake’s educational needs. Skylark Airport is a local private airport in Lake Elsinore, and Los Angeles has two international airports with several more in its metroplex region. 

Find your next property on the Lake Elsinore Homes For Sale page.

Lake Elsinore Cabin Rentals

Lake Elsinore is highly residential, and there are cabin, condo, and vacation home rentals available from private owners, but you need to book early in the summer months. They come with tons of amenities and in a wide range of sizes to accommodate any party, and many are pet friendly. 

Some of the RV parks and the marinas rent RVs. You can look for them on,,, and There are five hotels and a few lodges in the resorts at Lake Elsinore, and other hotels and vacation rentals in the outlying regions. 

Stay local on our Lake Elsinore Cabins page.

Lake Elsinore Camping

The best way to camp at Lake Elsinore is at the Lake Elsinore RV parks because there are two options for tent sites at the lake. The Coyote Cove Lakeside Camping campground offers tent and RV and big rig sites up to 40 feet with full hookups.  Amenities include firewood sales and fire pits, restrooms and showers, a laundry facility, free Wi-Fi, and pets are welcome. 

The Weekend Paradise offers 48 tent sites and 48 RV sites with full 30-amp hookups. Amenities include a beach, a boat launch tables, grills, water, toilets, showers, a dump station, RV Storage, is pet friendly, and a playground. The rest of the campgrounds on Lake Elsinore accommodate only RVs. 

The Crane Lakeside Mobile Home Park and RV Resort is a 121-space park that includes permanent sites for mobile homes, park models, and recreational vehicles, and 16 waterfront RV sites. Their spacious permanent RV/Park model sites have privacy fences, cement patios, shed, 2-vehicle blacktop driveway, and individual mailboxes.

The Launch Pointe Recreation Destination & RV Park’s amenities include a 4500 gallon splash pad, 50 and 30-amp electric hookups at every site, a beach, restrooms and showers, parking, water and sewer, a beautiful pool and spa, a Biba-equipped playground and free Wi-Fi. 

All the campgrounds and RV parks are located on the eastern and northern borders of the Lake. There are three more RV parks, The Lake Elsinore Marina & RV Resort, The Roadrunner RV Park, and the Lakepointe RV Resort & Lodge. They all have first class amenities. Some of them take reservations, and others are first come, first served. 

Visit the great outdoors with our Lake Elsinore Campgrounds page.

Hiking Lake Elsinore

There are five hiking trails near Lake Elsinore. If you want to drive and hike further, there are many more trails in the Santa Ana Mountain Range, close to Canyon Lake on the east of Lake Elsinore, and north of Lake Elsinore in near Aberhill. 

The McVicker Stairs Hiking Trail at McVicker Canyon Park Road, Lake Elsinore, is 1.3-miles and an out-and-back trail that is moderately difficult with a lot of steps. Dogs are welcome on a leash. 

The Leach Canyon Trail is accessed from Amrose Street / Amrose Place of of Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore. Park at the top of the street on the right. You then have to cross a small gully and go around the chain-link fence to the right of the fence gate across the entrance to Leach Canyon Road. It is not marked. Hikers need a compass.

The Lake Elsinore Levee Walk is an 8.5-mile out-and-back trail near Lake Elsinore, and considered an easy route, is family-friendly, pet-friendly, and bike and stroller-friendly. There are restrooms and benches along the route, plus a parking lot. 

The Eloy’s Peak Trail is between Grand Avenue on the east side of Lake Elsinore, off of Adela Street. It is a short trail in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, and is not considered difficult. 

The Elsinore Peak Via Wildomar Truck Trail is at the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, just a few miles from Lake Elsinore, and an 8.0-mile out-and-back trail. Hikers do not consider it challenging with a small elevation gain and has fabulous views. From Lake Elsinore, go south on I-15 to Palomar Street, go south to Wesley Street, go west to Alameda Del Monte, go north to Enederlien Street, take a left. It turns into Calle De Lobo, and follow it to the trailhead. It is about 15 miles from Lake Elsinore. 

Lake Elsinore Things to Do

Lake Elsinore Restaurants include quite a few places serving American, BBQ, Italian and pizza, Mexican, and Thai Food throughout the town of Lake Elsinore, along with several establishments that serve alcohol and a couple offer off-track betting. 

The Links at Summerly golf club at 29381 Village Pkwy, Lake Elsinore, California is a stunning par-72, nearly 7,000-yard links style course. It incorporates natural mounding, rolling terrain, and three miles of Scottish-style burns with traditional links-style courses of the British Isles.

Skydive Elsinore offers world class skydiving experiences. You will free fly looking down at Lake Elsinore, the Pacific Ocean, and the mountains in the region. 

The Lake Elsinore Casino at 20930 Malaga Road, Lake Elsinore, California, offers a restaurant, sports bar, and a casino featuring a variety of table games in our twenty-two table card room including: live action Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Pure 21 Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Spanish 21, Crazy 4 Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, and EZ Baccarat.

The Lake Elsinore historic downtown district reflects a rich and colorful history dating back to 1888. A stroll down Main Street, with its antique shops, fine dining, novelty stores, museum, and vintage street lamps, takes visitors back into a time reminiscent of the early 1900s.

Visit Escapology at 32250 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, California, offers six escape rooms, Antidote, Budapest Express, C0D3 Mansion Murder, Narco, and Under Pressure. Its premium real life escape game experience for up to six players challenges visitors to find clues, solve puzzles, and pick locks that will free them from the game room. 

The Lake Elsinore Historical Society Museum is in historic downtown Lake Elsinore and located in the City of Lake Elsinore's Cultural Center basement at 183 North Main Street. It is a small museum, but packed full of Lake Elsinore history, showcasing Lake Elsinore artifacts, coming from 1888 and before and continuing through the years. 

Adventure Flights, a full service hot-air balloon company at 19301 Jasmine Court, Lake Elsinore, California, combines state-of-the-art aerostatic technology with the traditions of old world ballooning. You will see Lake Elsinore and its stunning surroundings from an eagle’s eye viewpoint.

The Pins 'N Pockets Entertainment Center has been serving up popular family entertainment for bowling for years. Pins ‘N Pockets is home to a high-tech bowling alley that has 36 lanes. Pins ‘N Pockets also provides two private bowling rooms with four lanes and a VIP bowling room with eight private lanes. 

Plus, Pins ‘N Pockets has a two-level laser tag arena, an arcade chock full of the most popular video games of the day, and for adults, The Tavern, a sporting lounge with 28 draft beer taps, huge televisions, 2 dartboards, and 5 pool tables. 

Plan your next trip on our What To Do At Lake Elsinore page.

Lake Elsinore Zip Codes

The zip codes around Lake Elsinore are 92530, 92532, 92562, and 92595.

Lake Elsinore Weather & Climate

Lake Elsinore sees an average of 12 inches of rain with one inch to six inches of snow and 218 days of sunshine per year. The winter low in January is 31 degrees and a summer high in July of 88 degrees. May, September, and October are the most comfortable months for this region. August and July are the least comfortable months. Keep your eye on the skies with our Lake Elsinore Weather & Climate page.

Lake Elsinore Email Updates


Lake Elsinore Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Elsinore Weather Forecast



Hi: 98

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 66



Hi: 97

Monday Night


Lo: 63



Hi: 95

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 63



Hi: 98

Wednesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 66

Lake Elsinore Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 7/14: 1.82 (-1,238.18)