About: San Luis Reservoir was constructed as a storage reservoir for the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project. It stores runoff water from the Delta that would otherwise flow into the ocean. The water arrives through the California Aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota Canal, and is pumped from the O'Neill Forebay into the main reservoir during the winter and spring. The Los Banos Creek Reservoir was built to prevent storm runoff from flooding the canals.
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area has four campgrounds: Basalt, San Luis Creek, Medeiros, and Los Banos Creek. All campgrounds are open year round.
The only campground located near San Luis Reservoir, Basalt has 79 developed family campsites in a shaded, wind-protected valley. Some sites will accommodate trailers and motor homes up to about 30 feet. Each site has a fire ring and table with water faucets nearby. New restroom facilities offer hot pay showers and flushable toiletes. A dump station is available to registered campers. Reservations can be made year round.
San Luis Creek Campground:
One of two campgrounds on the O'Neill Forebay, San Luis Creek has 53 sites that offer water and electric hook-ups. Some of the sites border the shoreline. The campground has very little shade and is in an open area susceptible to wind. No flush toilets or showers are available. Each site has a level pad, fire ring, and a table. Some sites will accommodate trailers and motor homes up to about 30 feet. A new 5 mile accessible walking trail follows the O'Neill Forebay shoreline and connects the campground to the North Beach day-use area. A dump station is available for registered campers. All boats must be removed from the water by sunset. Reservations can be made year round.
The Medeiros primitive campsites are located along the southern shoreline of O'Neill Forebay. A limited number of fire rings, shade ramadas, and tables are available. Drinking water is available in 3 locations. There are no flush toilets or showers, however chemical toilets are available. All boats must be removed from the water by sunset. Medeiros campground is available on a first - come first - serve basis.
Los Banos Creek Campground:
Twenty primitive camping/day-use sites are located along the shore of Los Banos Creek Reservoir. Each site has a shade ramada, fire ring, and table. Drinking water and chemical toilets are available. Most sites cannot accommodate trailers or motor homes because of limited turn around space. Limited parking exists and the park may close once the sites are occupied. Boaters are allowed to beach their boat. Boating is prohibited after sunset. Los Banos Creek campground is available on a first-come first - serve basis. Los Banos Creek is subject to winter and/or road closures because of water release from the reservoir.
Two group campgrounds are available at the San Luis Creek Area along the shoreline of O'Neill Forebay. Both sites offer shade ramadas, tables, fire rings, flushable toilets, and hot pay showers. Group Camp A can accommodate 60 people and 15 vehicles. Group Camp B can accommodate 30 people and 10 vehicles. Boats must be removed from the water by sunset. These group campsites are available only by reservation.
Day - Use
Group Picnic Sites
Five group picnic sites are scattered along the O'Neill Forebay shoreline throughout the North Beach and South Beach day-use areas at San Luis Creek. Both day-use areas have plenty of shade and grass. Each site has a large shade ramada, a large BBQ grill, and several cement tables. Group picnic sites 1 through 4 are located on North Beach. North Beach has a designated swim area. Dogs are prohibited on North Beach. Boats are not allowed to beach. Group picnic area 5 is located on South Beach, where boats can be beached. Dogs must remain on a leash and under immediate control of its owner at all times. Flushable toilets and drinking water are available on both beaches. Each site is available by reservation and costs $30.00. Reservations can be made by calling the park office at (209) 826-1197.
San Luis Creek Day Use Area
North and South Beach day-use areas have about 200 picnic sites with shade ramadas, tables, and BBQ grills. Both day-use areas have plenty of shade and grass. North Beach is the only designated swim area within San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. Lifeguards are not on duty.
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