Follow 580 to Castro Valley, about 20 minutes from Oakland, and you’ll find the Cull Canyon Recreation Area, including a sand-bottomed swimming lagoon with lifeguards on duty.
The East Bay Regional Park District just opened reservation slots for Memorial Day weekend, the first swimming opportunity at this location for 2021. The price is $3.00 per persion. Reservations are required for every person entering the swim area, including infants. Pre-registered visitors will be issued an all-day swim pass valid from 11am-6pm.
About Cull Canyon
My daughter tells me the main thrill is swimming to the far end of the reservoir where a large floating dock allows you to climb up and then jump off into 11-foot deep water.
For pre-swimmers, however, there is a large shallow area with beach entry.
What to expect at Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area
Cull Canyon is an East Bay Regional Park. Parking is free at this spot, but the gates are only open for specific hours, 8 am to 10 pm during the summer.
Bring your own towel, beach chairs, and swim gear.
There are restrooms, including a changing room, and a concession stand.
Editor’s Note for 2021: Admission to Cull Canyon is reservation-only for your entire party, and it is a bit of a hassle, especially using the EBparks website the first time. Reserve your spot at Cull Canyon >
Not warm enough to swim in the 510? Check out the 925 – it’s usually warmer in Antioch where Contra Loma Lagoon offers a similar swimming hole which is also reservation only until social distancing rules are over.