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Activities: Swim, Picnic, Boat, Fish, Hunt, etc.

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A Notice Regarding Grass and Water Toys

Due to the ongoing drought, and the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency, Lake Perris has been required to stop irrigating all grass areas until further notice. Grass at the Day Use and Group Picnic areas is dead and brown.

Also due to the ongoing drought, the park will not allow visitors to bring and use water toys including, but not limited to, swimming pools, water slides, slip-and-slides, sprinkler toys, dunk tanks, etc.

Please be water wise. Do not waste water.

The day use areas of Lake Perris offer almost 300 picnic sites with tables and grilling features.  Many of the tables are sheltered from the heat of the summer with shade Ramadas, and almost all have a beautiful view of the lake.  The most popular areas are near our two swim areas at Moreno and Perris Beach.  Both beaches have large grass areas (no longer watered) adjacent to the sand for playing games, sunbathing, and picnicking. All of our tables are wheelchair accessible, as well as our bathroom facilities.
If you have large groups, you may reserve one, or all three of our group picnic areas on the more developed side of the park.  Under each large Ramada we supply tables, grills, running water and large sinks.  Each unit will accommodate up to 200 people and all facilities are wheelchair accessible. 

Reservable Beach Picnic Units: For more information on reserving one of the small or medium Beach Picnic units, please follow this link.

  Remember Lake Perris does not allow the possession or the consumption of alcohol in any of its day use facilities.

Bernasconi Beach area (Closed as of July 1, 2014, until dam remediation project is complete) also has one group picnic area that can accommodate 25-100 people and has tables, grills, water and chemical toilets.  Swimming is not permitted at Bernasconi Beach, but it is accessible to vessels that wish to come on shore.  Reservations for all group facilities can be made at the campground visitor services kiosk.


Lake Perris has two designated swim areas  Moreno Beach accessed through lots 8,9,10 and Perris Beach that is accessed through lots 1 through 4.   Lifeguards are on duty in those areas daily during the summer and on weekends in spring and fall.  We encourage all swimmers to swim in front of the Lifeguard and to swim parallel to the shoreline. There are changing rooms, showers and restrooms located behind towers 2 and 4.  There are picnic areas that are also near the beach. 

SCUBA Diving is allowed at the swim beach at Lots 1-4.  Lake Perris does not rent SCUBA gear.

The Marina rents pontoon boats and small fishing boats. More information about the Marina is available in the Boating and Watercraft link and at 951-657-2179

Hiking, Bicycling, Horse Back Riding

Access to the south side of Lake Perris Recreation Area is closed as of October 15, 2014, until the dam remediation project is complete. Other portions of the bike trail and horse trails are still accessible. Springtime riders find themselves in the midst of a colorful sea of wildflowers. 

A hiking trail leads to the scenic overlook at Terri Peak. Interpretive panels near the campfire center tell the story of the area before Lake Perris was built. 

There is a day use horse camp area near the overnight horse campground. There is also extra equestrian day use available in the "Hunter's Parking Lot" area near the Group Campground with water available.

Park Regulations: Day Use

California State Laws Always Apply.

     THE POSSESSION AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE PROHIBITED IN ALL DAY USE.  Alcohol is only allowed in your overnight camp site and you may consume alcohol from a vessel.  Please designate drivers both on the road and on your boat. Law Enforcment Rangers arrest an average of 50 visitors a year for drunk driving.  Please be smart and safe.

     All vehicles must remain on the pavement.  For information about Off Highway Vehicle parks, please visit

Animals and Pets

     Animals must be leashed (6’ or less), caged, or in a tent, motor home, or vehicle at all times. (For your pet's safety, do NOT leave animals locked up in your car during the day, even with the windows cracked. Use a crate in a shady area or a portable pet run). Visitors are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Animals can not be left unattended.

     For their own safety, keep dogs off of unpaved trails.

     Animals are not allowed on the sand (Beach areas) because the water is used for municipal drinking water. This includes the island and Bernasconi Beach area, and Alessandro Island.

     Animals are allowed in the campground and picnic areas. Animals are allowed to be on watercraft but they can NOT have any body contact with the water at any time. 

     Dogs in the campground must not disturb other campers. If your dog barks excessively you may be asked to remove your dog. 

     ADA Service animals are always welcome and are not subject to the above rules, except for contact with the water.

Rock Climbing (Closed as of October 15th, 2014, until dam remediation project is complete)

Big Rock is a popular Southern California climbing spot located within Lake Perris State Recreation Area in Riverside County.  Big rock is just that, a giant granite rock approximately 180 feet high.  It hosts 34 recognized routes that range from a modest 4th class to a 5.10d with one A3 route.  Although most routes are single pitch, or suitable for top rope, we have a couple of multi-pitch that take you to the upper level of the rock and several of the more challenging routes.  It’s popular with mostly beginning and intermediate climbers, but provides some aggressive opportunities for that more advanced climber looking for a quick urban workout.  A route map is provided at the base of the rock, and they are also printed in several Southern California climbing guides.

Big Rock has approximately 110 bolts on its face and no more are permitted.  Please enjoy the routes already established.  If you need to add some excitement try some traverses between routes.  We also ask that if you must aid up the flakes, please use nuts only.

The climbing area is open year round although the best temperatures are from late September to about mid June.  Big Rock boasts a west face so it provides shade in the morning and long evenings during day light savings.

Equipment requirements are fairly light: quick draws, runners, 165 feet of rope, and a selection of nuts and/or anchors.

It’s an easy approach to the climbing area requiring about a half mile hike along a paved road.  Chemical toilets and picnic tables are provided, but you must provide your own water, and the park does not rent climbing gear.  

All climbing is at your own risk.  The Department of Parks and Recreation does not install or maintain any fixtures or equipment on Big Rock.