Everything You Need to Know About Calaveras Lake

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A kayak at calaveras lake

Summer is just around the corner. For many of us, that means it’s time to plan out our vacation schedules. With the rising temperatures calling for water activities, there are several different lakes and beaches to choose from. One such place is Calaveras Lake in San Antonio, Texas.

In this article, we will look at some of the amenities and treasures you can expect to find at this popular summer destination. 

About Calaveras Lake

Formed in 1969, Calaveras Lake has been a popular destination for those seeking a little water-side rest and relaxation.

Though originally created to serve as a cooling lake for the nearby Calaveras Power Station, the lake is now used as a recreation spot for locals and tourists.

It has several different species of fish, and it’s a great boating and fishing spot. 

Where Is Calaveras Lake?

Calaveras Lake is about 20 miles outside of San Antonio. Formed due to the creation of a dam in Calaveras Creek, the lake is filled party with treated wastewater and water pumped from the San Antonio river.

It joins with Victor Braunig Lake to create over 40,000 acres of water in the southern region of Texas.

A Texas flag on a small boat at calaveras lake

Can You Swim in Calaveras Lake?

As you decide whether or not Calaveras Lake could be a destination for you, it’s important to note that swimming is allowed and encouraged in Calaveras Lake.

The lake’s cool water offers the perfect getaway during the hot Texas summer.

If you find yourself wishing to take a break from the water, you’ll find several barbecue pits and hiking/bike trails.

Those can offer an alternative path for your day at the lake. 

Boy swimming in the  summer at calaveras lake

Does Calaveras Lake Have Alligators?

Though Calaveras Lake allows swimming and is a great place to spend a day off, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the wildlife within the lake.

In recent years, there have been several reports of at least half-a-dozen alligators.

Though they don’t tend to bother swimmers, experts advise that the lake should be vacated if an alligator is spotted. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get In Calaveras Lake?

Due to the lake’s popularity and the demands on the upkeep of the recreational area, there’s a small fee that visitors will need to pay to enter the lake.

For visitors aged 16 to 65, the cost of entry is $9. For adult visitors above the age of 65 and children ages 6 to 15, the cost is $7.

These entry fees go towards keeping the lake and surrounding area safe, clean, and free from hazardous materials.

Do You Need a Fishing License at Calaveras Lake?

While making plans to visit Calaveras Lake, keep in mind that you may need to bring a few things to make your trip a successful one.

If you plan on fishing at any point during your time at the lake, you will need to be sure to acquire a fishing license if you don’t already have one.

You can easily purchase a couple of day licenses during your stay.

Some places near Calaveras Lake offer passes for as little as $11. 

Keep in Mind: Did you know you could get a fishing license at Walmart? Here’s how!

Father and son fishing at Calaveras lake

Camping Near Calaveras Lake

Now that we know a little more about Calaveras Lake and the activities you can find there, let’s take a look at a few nearby camping areas.

Each of these locations has something different to offer, so be on the lookout to see which spot might be right for you.

Vista Ridge RV Park

Address: 1238 County Rd 125, Elmendorf, TX 78112
Season Dates: Open year-round
Sites Available: Accommodations at Vista Ridge RV Park come in a wide range of options. In addition to their many RV sites, they also have several cabins, a guest house, and sites for tent camping that are available for rent. 
Price: Price varies depending on the type of accommodation and site location

Located about 25 minutes from downtown San Antonio, this park is great for various travelers.

With over 40 RV sites and multiple cabins, this park offers several ways to stay.

Vista Ridge also offers several on-site events, from movie nights to potlucks to game nights.

These events are open for all guests to enjoy at this park near Calaveras Lake. 

Vsta Ridge RV Park near Calaveras lake
Source: Vista Ridge RV Park

Greenlake RV Resort

Address: 10842 Green Lake St, San Antonio, TX 78223
Season Dates: Open year-round
Sites Available: Back-in RV sites, pull-thru RV sites, and lake RV sites
Price: Back-in RV sites start at $45, lake RV sites start at $53, and pull-thru RV sites start at $70.

Greenlake RV Resort is a beautiful and relaxing RV resort with something for everyone.

From access to the resort’s swimming pool and jacuzzi to a full-featured dog wash station, this resort offers amenities to make your stay feel extra special.

The resort offers almost 200 camping sites, each with full-concrete hook-up pads.

Another great feature of the resort is gated security access around the property.

That provides an added layer of comfort and safety to those staying on-site.

Calaveras Lake Park

Address: 12991 Bernhardt Rd, San Antonio TX 78223
Season Dates: Open year-round
Sites Available: Covered camping sites, group sites, and RV sites.
Price: Reserved/covered sites are $19.00, group sites are $48.00, and RV full hook-up sites per day are $28.00 

Thousand Trails Management runs Calaveras Lake Park at the request of the city of San Antonio. Though this park is a bit stripped down compared to the other two on our list, what it lacks in amenities, it makes up for in location.

Located right on the shores of Calaveras Lake, this park is perfect for those who want to get the most out of their time on the water.

With several spots for tent and RV camping, you’ll be sure to enjoy the more rugged experience of a lake-side camp. 

Keep in Mind: While you’re visiting Calaversas Lake, stop by San Antonio! Here are the top 5 things to do while in San Antonio.

Cool Off at Calaveras Lake for Your Next Adventure

As the summer months make their way here and the temperatures continue to rise, it’s vital that you make time for a little waterfront relaxation. Calaveras Lake, with its many water-based activities and close proximity to one of Texas’ most popular cities, could be a great option for you to choose.

Whether traveling with other tourists or visiting with a San Antonio native or two, you’re sure to find something for everyone at Calaveras Lake. 

Have you ever been to Calaveras Lake?

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