Lake Elsinore is a natural lake located east of the San Jacinto mountains in Riverside County. It is the largest natural freshwater lake in Southern California. The lake is surrounded by residential and commercial areas along its shoreline. It is a very popular destination for boaters and paddlers alike during the summer weekends. The lake is rectangular in shape, with most of the boat traffic riding through the middle with a speed limit of 35 MPH, making the middle portion uncross-able for kayaks. There is a 5 MPH speed limit in place on the edges of the lake. Because of this, it is advisable to stay near the shoreline when paddling your kayak or paddle board to avoid dangerous, fast moving boat traffic. Because of this, most paddlers cannot paddle around the entirety of the lake in one day as the total shoreline is 12 miles.
The boat congestion here can become very bad during the summer weekends, making paddling in the morning or the weekdays much more ideal. Quagga mussel inspections are mandatory at any launch points, as the lake has not been infested yet. A CF number is required if your kayak has a sail or motor on it.
Lake Elsinore's water level has fluctuated greatly throughout history. The lake dried up completely during the 1950s, gradually being refilled in the 1960s. The current California drought has affected water levels greatly, making some boat launches unusable. We will try to keep this page as up to date as possible regarding where you can launch your kayak.
Fishing is only allowed on the lake near designated areas close to Riverside Drive. Look here for an updated list on fishable areas on the lake. Largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and wipers are all common catches in this lake. 10 lb catfish are occasionally caught although most range from3-7 lbs. The drought and low water levels have unfortunately hurt the fishery with fish die offs occasionally occurring throughout the year.
Air temperature in Lake Elsinore Lake ranges from the 50s to mid 60s in the winter and the 80s to high 90s or even 100 in the summer. It is advisable to paddle in the morning during the summer and be off the water by the afternoon due to the extreme temperatures.
La Laguna Resort Launch Site (Lake Elsinore)
Lake Elsinore West Marina Launch Site (Lake Elsinore)
Seaport Boat Launch Site (Lake Elsinore)