Field Trip: Lake Temescal in Oakland

Lake Temescal is a beautiful (almost hidden) gem nestled next to the Highway 24/13 interchange, near Montclair, in Oakland. The lake itself is surrounded by lush greenery and also serves as a habitat for local fauna.

Lake Temescal

My family and I frequent Lake Temescal, especially now that the weather is warming up. There are two children’s play areas – one at each entrance – along with numerous picnic areas equipped with barbecue pits throughout the park. (Side note: some of the picnic areas have cute names like Streamside, Big Rock, and Parkside.) On the weekends many people have birthday parties and gatherings in the picnic area. This past Easter, we had an Easter Brunch with my previous mom’s group. It was a hit, particularly because the playground is right next to the picnic area.


My son loves to play at both play areas because they are sand-based. In addition to the sandy playground, we like to head over to the beach area for more fun in the sand! There is a small fee you have to pay to enter the beach, but it’s worth it. Kids and adults love the beach at Lake Temescal.

Lake Temescal Beach

There is a lifeguard on duty everyday from 11am-6pm, Memorial Day-Labor Day. Otherwise it’s swim at your own risk. Next to the sandy beach is a large grass area with some picnic tables where people can have food or sit and relax. This is a great spot to enjoy a snack after playing in the water and building sand castles! There is a beach house surrounded by a rose garden on the upper level, which has changing rooms and can be used for weddings, etc.

In addition to these fun activities, there is a paved trail that runs through the park along with a few dirt trails that are great for hiking and serve as access to small piers for fishing.

Speaking of fishing, Lake Temescal is one of eleven fishing lakes for recreational anglers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. There are several quaint piers along the lake that vary from small to large. My son enjoys looking into the water from the pier and watching the ducks.

Lake Temescal has a substantial amount of open grass area and on weekday mornings you can find Baby Boot Camp mamas doing their workouts or various children’s camps using the space.

Lake Temescal is one of our favorite spots to hang out during the day. There are such a variety of activities to enjoy, and we love going with other friends and make play dates out of it! You really feel like you are in a little oasis.

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  1. says

    I always forget about this spot when it’s appropriate (HOT!). Thanks for the reminder :-). We’ve been on ranger guided nature walks for kids here put on by the parks and recs, but we’ve never dove into the lake. Thanks!

  2. Lauri says

    We just went Saturday and it was fantastic. I love how relaxed the beach was and that our little guy could romp and splash to his heart’s content without me having a heart attack about rip tides and currents.