When are Lake Temescal and Lake Anza Open for Swimming? – 510 Families
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When are Lake Temescal and Lake Anza Open for Swimming?

For the first time in years, both Oakland’s Lake Temescal and Tilden Park’s Lake Anza are open for swimming! Nevermind.

While your dogs are not welcome in the water in the swimming part of the lakes, your toddlers are, and the shallow entry and sandy beach of a lake offer loads of entertainment for kids who want to splash around.

But wait! Before you jump in, check the water quality page on the East Bay Regional Park District website. The park district checks for two things: 1) toxic blue-green algae is monitored and EBRPD posts a red, yellow, or green light icon at the lakes to indicate the swimming conditions. 2) The bacteria count for all swimming destinations is checked multiple times per week and also assigned a rating. All of the Bay Area water has some bacteria in it, and simply rinsing off when you get out of the water offers protection. (If you have a child who drinks a lot of water while swimming, you might not want to use the lakes.)

Lake Temescal in Oakland is closed for blue-green algae

There’s plenty to enjoy in the surrounding park — Temescal Regional Recreation Area — with grassy fields, playgrounds at both ends, and a path for parents who want to push a jogging stroller. Fishing is welcome at Lake Temescal, but not at the sandy beach.

Double-check the water quality because conditions can change rapidly.

7 places to go fishing with beginners in the East Bay >>

Lake Temescal may be closed for swimming again
Lake Temescal is open for swimming with no lifeguard on duty | Photo: Norases V via yelp

Bring an umbrella, towels, beach chairs, and a picnic lunch, and park yourself in front of the lake for an afternoon. There is a changing room/restroom nearby.  Refreshments are not readily available.

There are two points of access to Temescal Park which sits in the hills above Rockridge — 6500 Broadway and 6502 Broadway Terrace.

Find out more about visiting Lake Temescal in Oakland with kids >>

Lake Anza in Berkeley is open (for now)

Lake Anza will open for swimming on April 29, 2023. Located in the middle of Tilden Park, Lake Anza also offers a sandy beach for building and digging, which is what my kids sometimes prefer to actually getting in the water. Lifeguards patrol the roped-off swim area at certain times.

Lake Anza from the sandy shore
Lake Anza from the sandy shore | Photo: Whitney Moss

While Lake Anza is sheltered from the wind, it’s completely exposed to the sun, so BYO shade. Too busy to prep a picnic? There is a refreshment stand with hot dogs, bagels, sandwiches, and ice cream treats.

How the heck do I get there? Tilden Park can be intimidating to navigate. Lake Anza is near the Tilden Park Merry Go-Round. Use Wildcat Canyon Road to enter Tilden Park and turn Left on Central Park Drive, then Right on Lake Anza Road. There is a parking lot.

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