Lake Skinner Recreation Area

Nestled in the rolling hills of Winchester, CA, beautiful Lake Skinner Recreation Area offers visitors expansive natural vistas and invigorating recreational opportunities, including camping, picnicking, splash pad, hiking, horseback riding, sailing, and fishing. All boating activities must be non-body contact (no swimming, skiing, etc.)

For day trips, Lake Skinner offers two shade shelters, picnic benches and barbecues throughout the park for picnics and other gatherings. Camping sites offers picnic benches and fire rings. Most away-from-home needs can be met with a visit to the well-stocked camp store.


  • 199 Full Hook Up Sites (Water, Sewer, and Electricity)
  • 18 Developed (Water and Electric)
  • 40 Developed (Water Only)
  • Fishing
  • Camp Store
  • Boating
  • Boat Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Running Trails
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Splash Pad
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Showers & Restrooms Toilets
  • Amphitheatre
  • Fishing Stocking Schedule

Park Hours:

Park Hours
Day use:
6AM – Sunset | Sunday – Saturday
Camp Grounds:
6 AM – Sunset | Sunday – Thursday
6 AM – 10 PM | Friday – Saturday

Splash Pad Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Holiday Mondays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed all non-holiday Mondays
Splash Pad open seasonally from March 1st through Oct. 31st.
Closed Nov. 1st through Feb. 28th

* Inclement weather may affect splash pad hours.


  • Camping: $25-40 per night

  • Day use: $6 per adult | $3 per child (12 and younger)

  • Fishing: $10 per adult  – per day | $8 per child (ages 2-12 years) – per day

  • Boat Launch: $7

  • Pets: $2 each, per day

  • Sewage Dump Fee (non-camper): $20

Current license, registration, and insurance is required when camping. For more information, please contact Guest Services.

Observed park holidays can be found here.


  • Bicycle riders must wear helmet
  • Build fires only in provided BBQ & Fire Ring
  • No ground fires allowed
  • Drones are not permitted in the park.
  • No more than 6 occupants and 2 vehicles per site
  • Maximum stay of 14 days within a 28-day period
  • No fireworks
  • No firearms
  • Do not remove, deface, or disturb any part of the park features or wildlife
  • Do not gather firewood in the park
  • Do not attach anything to trees
  • Pets must be kept on controlled leashes (Maximum leash length – 6 feet)
  • Do not leave pet(s) unattended
  • Clean up promptly after pet(s)
  • 16 and older must have valid State fishing permit

For a full detailed list of our rules, please visit this link.

Visit Lake Skinner Recreation Area, wherever you are, with this guided, virtual walk across the park campgrounds and day use areas. The virtual tour includes stunning 360-degree panoramas of notable areas as well as historic before and after photos showing what landscapes looked like before restoration. Along the way, learn about the notable trees that make these areas so beautiful.


  • Compatible with desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • No download needed.
  • For best experience, use browser such as a Firefox or Google Chrome.
  • Slow connection speeds, at home or in the Park, may cause long loading times

Upcoming Events at Lake Skinner Recreational Area:

Youth Fishing Clinic at Lake Skinner Recreational Area
Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 8am-11am


Lake Skinner Recreational Area Launches Redesigned Splash Pad

We are excited to announce Lake Skinner’s freshly redesigned and updated splash pad and inclusive play area are now open for public use.

We invite families to come cool off during the hot Summer months at Lake Skinner’s Splash Pad. Break away from the daily routine, pack up the family and come beat the heat.

Our splash pad is over 12,000 square feet of splashing fun with a design that showcases the journey of water from rainfall to the faucet in your house, it’s not only refreshing, but educational too. Our new inclusive play area has features designed to accommodate everyone!

In addition to the redesigned Splash Pad, Lake Skinner Recreational Area offers visitors expansive natural vistas and invigorating recreational opportunities, including camping, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, boating, and fishing. For day trips, Lake Skinner offers three reservable shade shelters, ample picnic benches and barbecues, and expansive grass areas throughout the park for guest use. Or, book an entire weekend and come camping at one of our three campground areas. More information can be found and reservations can be made on our website –

Lake Skinner’s Splash Pad hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and Holiday Mondays. The Splash Pad is closed during non-Holiday Mondays. Use of the splash pad is included in your day use or camping fees. Day use fees are $6 per adult and $3 per child.

Contact Us:

Address37701 Warren Rd, Winchester, CA 92596

Park Hours
Friday-Saturday & Holidays:
6AM -10PM


All camping visitors must exit the park by the posted closing hours.

Day Use/Fishing

Splash Pad Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Holiday Monday’s 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed all non-holiday Mondays


Frequently Asked Questions:

Park/Day Use:

Q: Does Lake Skinner Park have adequately paved paths to accommodate persons with limited mobility?

A:  There is a 1.5mile trail loop around the park that is rated accessible. There are other trails that are fairly easy to navigate, but not rated. A few areas, including the splash pad, have easily navigable concrete sidewalks. There are 3 accessibility-rated campsites (one in each campground); however, the only accessibility-rated restroom is outside the campgrounds (by the splash pad) and meant for day use only. One specific fishing area is designed to provide better accessibility to rustic shoreline fishing, but it is not paved or accessibility rated.

Q: What is the majority of the Day Use land like? (Paved, grassy, gravel, sandy, flat, bumpy, etc.)

A: Dirt paths, large grassy areas for picnicking, some sidewalks. There are 38 acres of grass area.

Q: How shaded is the Day Use area? Are there many shade trees in heavily trafficked areas?

A: There are shaded areas and shade trees spread-out; large open grassy area is open for activities and not shaded.

Q: What types of trails are within the park for walking, hiking, biking, or horse riding?

A: Walking and biking within the park. Hiking and horseback riding are permitted on the 6-mile (out & back) equestrian trail on the perimeter of the park. Horses are not permitted within the facility outside of the designated horse trails and equestrian staging area. The horse trail is open from the end of May until the end of November. Off-road vehicles are not allowed within the park.

Q: How many playgrounds are in the park?

A: Three (3) playgrounds; the campground is designated for older children (12 and up), playground near the splash pad is designated for children under 12 years of age and within the splash pad compound there is an inclusive playground.

Q: Are there any water-play/swim features? What are the months and hours of operation?

A: The splash pad is open year-round 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday and holiday Mondays. Splash pad closed all non-holiday Mondays. During winter inclement months the splash pad will be closed. Swimming or other body contact is not permitted in the lake itself.

Q: What activities are available in Lake Skinner Park?

A: Camping, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding (no horse rentals), horseshoe pits (provide own horseshoes), kite-flying, kayaking/canoeing, sail boating.

Q: How many shade structures/shelters are available in the park? How many picnic tables are under each?

A: Day Area 1 has a 40’x40’ shelter with 16 picnic table and large BBQ. Day Area 2 has a 20’x20’ shelter with 10 picnic tables and large BBQ.  Amphitheater with large grassy area and Command Center.  These shelters/amphitheater/Command Center may be reserved in advance. The Ramp 2 area has three small shelters that provide limited shade and no tables; not available for reservations.

Q: Does Lake Skinner Park have an on-site store?

A: The Lake Skinner camp store sells grocery items, bait & tackle, ice, beer, firewood, and various snacks. The camp store marina offers boat rentals (year round), dry storage rental for boats and rigs. In addition, the café is open from lunch hour on Friday – breakfast hour on Sunday.

Q: Do you currently sell CA State fishing licenses at Lake Skinner Park?

A: The camp store sells CA State Fishing Day Permits as well as yearly CA State Fishing licenses.

Q: Are there laundry facilities on-site?

A: Yes, there are coin-operated laundry facilities at the camp store which are available during regular store hours, 6:00 a.m. – sunset.


Q: Which campsites have the best shade?

A: Sites 101-124, 201-224, and 301-317; these sites are back in sites along the grassy area.

Q: Which sites have little or no shade?

A: Remaining sites not listed above have very little shade.

Q: What are the rules/fees for arriving early to the camp site and leaving past the checkout time
A: Sites are not guaranteed before 2pm. If the requested site was unoccupied the night before, a camper may check-in early. Drop-in campers may be asked to wait until after 2pm before a site can be sold. Campers may check into their site early, if it is available. Potential late checkout depends on the circumstances. If a site is not reserved for new campers that day, late checkout may be granted or, if the stay extends more than an hour or two, the camper will be asked to pay another night’s fees.

Q: Which sites are “good for children”? (Near restrooms, open areas, etc.)

A: None of our sites are very far from the restrooms. Shadiest sites are 124, 192, 201, 250, 320, 355.

Q: Which sites offer some level of privacy?

A: 101, 124, 201, 222, 301, 317, 320; none are exclusively private.

Q: Which sites are best for tent camping?

A: All of our sites may be used for tent camping.

Q: Which sites are closest to the lake, and approximately how far?

A: None of the sites are close to the lake and all will require some walking to get to it. The closest sites are 277-298.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the 2 vehicle/2 tent maximum?

A: Each site allows for 2-vehicles assigned to park within the campsite; based on the size of the campsite you may have more than 2-vehicles parked on the campsite providing there is no obstruction to the roadway (emergency access); fees apply to all additional vehicles above 2 and may be required to park in overflow parking.  Each campsite is allowed 2-tents OR 1-Recreation Vehicle and 1-tent.

All tents and vehicles must remain within the campsite boundary and no tents are allowed on the grass.

Q: Do all sites have a BBQ/fire ring and picnic table?

A: All sites have a fire ring and picnic tables (no BBQ). Sites 149, 249, 356 ADA sites offer fire ring, picnic table and BBQ.

Q: Does the campground offer hook-ups?

A: Campgrounds B & C are Full Hook-up sites (water/power/sewer). Campground A has (29) Full Hookup sites (water/power/sewer), (18) Developed (water/power) and (40) Developed (water only) sites.   All sites with power offer 30 & 50 amp connections.

Q: Are golf carts allowed in the park and/or campground?

A: Golf Carts must be registered with DMV and street legal; licensed driver.

Q: Is there a dump station available to campers on-site?

A: Yes; the dump station is across from Campground B. Registered campers, no additional fees. If coming from outside the park, fees apply.

Q: What time are entry gates locked? Are campers able to exit and re-enter the park at any time?

A: The gates open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 pm; Friday, Saturday & night prior to County Holiday, Sunday – Thursday 6 a.m. – sunset.  Registered campers receive a gate code for after hour usage.  In the event of an emergency, campers may contact our camp host(s) or call 911.

Q: What information is needed when registering into a campsite?

A: The registering party must be 18 years of age (and may be asked to show ID) and all vehicles must have current registration.

Q: Are campers allowed to check in before 2:00 p.m. or check out after 1:00 p.m.? Under what circumstances?

A: Campers may check in before 2:00 p.m. if their assigned site is vacant and late checkouts may be permitted if new campers are not immediately coming into the site in question. Advance notification to the kiosk/Ranger requesting late checkout is required.

Q: If a camper arrives early, or wishes to visit the park after check-out, is a day use fee required? Is parking available for trailer or motorhome?

A: Limited parking is available for large rigs and RVs. No day-use fees will be charged for early arrivals or staying to utilize the facility until day use closes.  If wanting to fish, a fishing permit is required.

Q: What is the maximum/minimum number of campers allowed in group camping areas?

A: There are two group camping loops, A & B, with 16 sites each. A maximum of (16) recreation vehicles, (1) additional vehicle for a total of (32) vehicles per loop and maximum of 96 campers in each loop. Group area loops may be reserved for fewer recreations vehicles/tents, but all 16 sites must be paid in full.

Q: What non-911 emergency numbers are recommended to campers?

A: The kiosk # is (951) 926-1541 from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday & night prior to County Holiday, Sunday – Thursday 6 a.m. – sunset.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s non-emergency number is 1-800-950-2444.


Q: How far away is the nearest grocery store and gas station?

A: Stater Bros. grocery store, various gas stations, fast food, etc. are 10 miles away.

Q: What other activities are in the area, such as trails, movies, historical/natural sites, etc.?

A: The City of Temecula is about 15 minutes from the park and there are numerous dining facilities, movie theaters, and other entertainment readily available. The Temecula Wineries are less than 5 minutes from the park as well.

Q: Does Lake Skinner Park have cell phone reception?

A: Wi-fi  is available; Pay-Per-Use.


Q: What sorts of animals/wildlife are common in the park?

A: Many types of birds, rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, deer, rattlesnakes. We do have mountain lions and bobcats within the park.

Q: What precautions should be taken to avoid unpleasant encounters with wild animals?

A: Wild animals should not be approached under any circumstance. Observed animals injured or possibly dangerous, contact park personnel; 951-926-1541

Q: Are there any animals that don’t belong in the park, and how should they be reported?

A: No, but domestic animals need to be trailered between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and not left unattended at any time. Dogs are not allowed on boats or on Equestrian trails and must be kept 50 ft. from the high water mark; service dogs excluded. Loose animals should be reported to park staff. Can you add dogs must be keep on a 6′ leash and under control, not left unattended.


Q: What are the boating rules and regulations for Lake Skinner?

A: Boat operators must comply with all applicable federal, state and local licensing and safety laws, rules and regulations governing boats and boating operations. Vessels will be inspected to ensure they meet the following criteria:

-Boat engines must be four-stroke or direct fuel injection two stroke and must comply with the California Air Resources Control Board 2001 or later model year spark-ignition marine engine standard (or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2006 equivalent).

-Alcohol will not be permitted on boats or marinas.

-Only gasoline free of the additive MTBE is allowed. Boats containing MTBE fuel will be turned away. The California Air Resources Board has reported that MTBE was removed from all gasoline refined for sale in California in Nov. 2003. Therefore, all gasoline must be purchased in California and proof of purchase will be required for boats with out-of-state registration. Refueling is prohibited except in designated areas.

-Boats must be at least 12 feet long, 42 inches wide and have 12 inches of freeboard at idle speed. Multi-hulled boats must have solid and fixed decking.

-Kayaks must be at least 10 feet long, non-bailing, and with seating for all passengers inside the boat. Sit-on-top kayaks are not allowed.

-The speed limit for all watercraft on Lake Skinner is 10 mph. The maximum speed within 100 feet of the shore, dams, other operational structures and in marinas areas is five mph. Consistency with numbers for MPH.

For more information, please visit:

Q: Are other watercraft like jet skis or wave runners allowed on the lake?

A: No.

Q: Is swimming or waterskiing allowed in the lake?

A: No. Lake Skinner is managed by the Metropolitan Water District and the source of local domestic water supply; therefore, body contact with the lake is prohibited. Boats shall not pull individuals or any recreational equipment (e.g., inner tubes, skis, boards, etc.).

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