Open for Swimming & Recreation: Lake Temescal in Oakland - 510 Families
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Open for Swimming & Recreation: Lake Temescal in Oakland

Visit Lake Anza, Cull Canyon, or Don Castro (after Memorial Day) for a nearby lake experience. Find more places to swim in the East Bay in our guide.

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. Around the lake, you’ll find walking paths, fishing options, benches for resting, waterfalls (depending on the season!), and a swim area with shallow water perfect for toddler splashing.

Lake Temescal may be closed for swimming again
Lake Temescal is open for swimming | Photo: Norases V via yelp

Swimming at Lake Temescal

As of May 2023, there is no lifeguard on duty so families enter the water at their own risk. There is usually a lifeguard on duty daily from 11 am-6 pm, Memorial Day-Labor Day. Otherwise, it’s swimming 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.

two children splash in Lake Temescal
Splashing in the shallows at Lake Temescal is a joy | Photo: Parul Patel

Other Family-Friendly Activities at Lake Temescal

Play areas at Lake Temescal

My family loves 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.

Lake Temescal's play area
Making the most of Lake Temescal’s play area | Photo: Juanita Villa

The south playground and drinking fountain are wheelchair accessible. The north playground has no wheelchair access.

My son loves to play in 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 hiking paths
Lake Temescal is great for wandering | Photo: Whitney Moss

Exercise Around the Lake

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. Lake Temescal has a terrific trail to push a jogging stroller and is the home base to a number of exercise classes for new parents on weekday mornings.

Playing on the lawn

The open lawns are well-suited for kicking a ball, flying a kite, or having a picnic. Depending on the day of the week, you’ll spot clubs and children’s camps using the space, birthday parties spread out, or a wedding photoshoot.

3 places to fly your kite in the East Bay >>

Beginner-level Fishing at Lake Temescal

two kids fishing at Lake Temescal
Lake Temescal is by far the best place to take first-time fishermen | Photo: Carol Burton

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.

Here’s all you need to know about fishing spots and permits for Lake Temescal.

Plan Your Visit to Lake Temescal for Families

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 making play dates out of it! You really feel like you are in a little oasis.

North Entrance: 6500 Broadway Oakland
South Entrance for water access: 6502 Broadway Terrace Oakland

Open Hours: Open between 5 am and 10 pm unless otherwise posted or permitted

Parking Fees: April through October. $5 per vehicle (when the kiosk is attended)

Swim Hours: Swim area is OPEN with no lifeguard. Swim at your own risk.

Swim Fees: Adults: $3 | Age 1-15: $2 | Under 1: Free | Parking: $5 when attended | CASH ONLY

Website for info > Check water quality here >

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