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Lake Skinner County Park

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When we began our Full-time RV adventure, we need to stay fairly close to the house we had moved from because we were STILL removing the contents. Lake Skinner was about 10 miles from there in French Valley and offered a taste of what a county park could offer. BASIC amenities.

The wind was really ripping while we were here and made a good hold-over until I felt safe to get on the highway to our next stopover.

WIFI is non-existent so be prepared to use your own cellular gadgets. Even then the cell towers are not very close. I have Verizon and depending on where I put my device made the difference in 3 bars of 3G or 1 bar of 4G. I also carry a Sprint MiFi but it would not even connect.

The restrooms had a highs school gym feel to them.

They have a decent store which includes a gas filling station and air pumps for the inflatable lake toys. A note about that:
At the time we were there California was experiencing a devastating drought and this lake, being a source of drinking water, was shockingly low.

They don’t allow body contact so I couldn’t launch my kayak because it is a SOT (Sit on Top). They figure you have a chance of falling in and then they would have to drain the lake or something. I still don’t understand it. Oh Well.

They host the Annual Balloon Festival and it is a great event to attend if you can.

Not far is Wine Country and many tours are available.

I took the liberty of including the info from the website for you:

Nestled in the rolling hills of Winchester, CA, beautiful Lake Skinner Recreational Area offers visitors expansive natural vistas and invigorating recreational opportunities, including camping, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, sailing, and fishing. This popular regional park is located just a few short miles east of the Temecula Wineries, close to the bustling communities of Murrieta and Menifee, and within easy access of Interstates 15 and 215.

Created in 1973, Lake Skinner has 1400 surface acres of water and is operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Supplied by the Colorado River through the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project, the lake feeds the Robert A. Skinner filtration plant and, in turn, supplies water to many residents of Southern California. While the park is popular for all its recreational activities, fishing is undoubtedly one of its biggest attractions. Lake Skinner is home to Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Carp, and Bluegill year round. The District also stocks Catfish in the summer and Trout in the winter, keeping the fishing active all year long.

Lake Skinner is host each May to the nation’s largest solar boat program, the annual MWD sponsored Solar Cup. Boating is allowed on the lake with a few restrictions and the park offers boat rentals at the marina. All boating activities must be non-body contact (no swimming, skiing, etc.)

For day trips, Lake Skinner offers two shade shelters and picnic benches and barbecues throughout the park for picnics and other gatherings. A stroll on the mile and a half groomed walking path that circles the park affords spectacular views in all directions. The park also offers a brand new amphitheater alongside a newly installed Splash Pad for those hot days when the family just needs to cool off. Bird-watching is a prized activity here and visitors can regularly spot a wide variety of birds, such as heron, owls, hawks, and many others. Other inhabitants of the park include rabbits, squirrels and, on cold mornings, one might even spot a few deer.

With 241 campsites, Lake Skinner’s campgrounds provide plenty of space for overnight or extended stays. Sites offers picnic benches and fire rings. Most away-from-home needs can be met with a visit to the well-stocked camp store.

Lake Skinner Recreation Area is well known for hosting the award-winning annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival each June. Throughout the summer, RivCoParks offers fun and relaxing events at Lake Skinner that include outdoor concerts, family movies, and star-gazing night.

Park guides and more information are available at Riverside County Park District Headquarters or at Lake Skinner Recreation Area.


  • 184 Full Hook Up Sites (Water, Sewer, and Electricity)
  • 16 Partial Hook Up Sites (Water and Electric)
  • 41 Developed Sites (Water Only)
  • Fishing
  • Camp Store
  • Boating
  • Boat Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Running Trails
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Splash Pad
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Showers & Restrooms Toilets
  • Amphitheatre

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Kimberly Flores, Wagon Master

Capturing the heart of the Adventure even if it is still in Dream Mode!
"Lets Make a Point To Leave This Place Better Than When We Came, One Life at a Time."
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