How to Plan the Best Trip to Los Vaqueros Reservoir

If your ideal weekend includes plenty of time in the great outdoors, then you need to make a trip to Los Vaqueros Reservoir. This fantastic park is home to one of Northern California’s premier fishing lakes, but that’s not all you’ll find here. The reservoir also boasts hiking trails, breathtaking wildlife, and more. Read on to discover everything you need to make the most of your trip. Afterward, if you are looking for more of the Bay Area’s hidden treasures, download our free Livermore Valley Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of recommendations on hiking, biking, kayaking, and the best places to eat and refuel!

Your Complete Guide to Los Vaqueros Reservoir


So many animals call Los Vaqueros Reservoir their home. During your visit, you may spot California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders, and even sheep and cattle. Some trails in the watershed are closed to protect golden eagle nests. Bald eagles are also regular visitors to the Los Vaqueros Watershed; for the last several years, they’ve been seen between December and March.

It is important to note that there also some less friendly critters, like rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Take care and hike in groups. Always be aware of your surroundings.


Los Vaqueros is home to over 50 miles of hiking trails. You can look forward to plenty of gorgeous views on your journey. You will find trailheads at both of the parks’ entrances. The trails are accessible year-round. However, since the trails offer little to no shade, we recommend hiking early in the morning during the summer months.

Please note that there aren’t any concessions or drinking water on the trails at Los Vaqueros, so bring plenty of water and snacks. Without exception, all trails have hills. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Trail maps are available on the Los Vaqueros Reservoir website.


Trout are typically the most most-caught fish at the Los Vaqueros, but you can also catch largemouth bass, stripers, and catfish. Boat rentals, snacks, bait, and fishing licenses are available at The Marina on the reservoir’s south side near Livermore. Here, you will also find three fishing piers along the reservoir’s shore. For a better idea of what to expect during your fishing trip, a regularly updated fishing report is available on the Los Vaqueros website.

Los Vaqueros also hosts fishing clinics throughout the year. Fishing topics rotate on a monthly basis and are tailored to the skill levels of participants. Past topics include bait, knots, trolling, and cleaning.

The Best Time to Visit

During the spring and summer, Los Vaqueros Reservoir comes alive with flora and fauna. It’s the perfect time of year to experience prime fishing and outdoors exploring. Spring days are warm and mild, and it is a fantastic season for trout and striped bass fishing. The first months of summer are traditionally windy, which makes it the perfect time for boating.

Because Los Vaqueros gets quite hot in the summer months, we recommend leaving early in the morning to enjoy cooler temperatures. It is important to know that Los Vaqueros’ weather is often very different from the Bay Area and the Valley. Always check the weather forecast before your trip!

Unwind in the Evening at The Purple Orchid Resort & Spa

Interior of The Morning Dove at The Purple Orchid Resort & Spa.

After a fun day of hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, head home to The Purple Orchid Resort & Spa for rest and relaxation. When you book any of our lovely rooms, like The Morning Dove, you can always look forward to spectacular amenities, vacation packages, and top-notch service. Hot-plated breakfast, spa services, and our complimentary wine and olive oil hour are a few perks that we offer guests. If you are ready to plan your next Bay Area adventure, check our availability and book your stay!

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