The Lake Piru SUP paddle in the Los Padres National Forest, starts at the boat launch & circumnavigates around the perimeter of the lake. This paddle is a perfect leisurely getaway if you’re looking for some peaceful time at a lake surrounded by picturesque mountains. This lake is great for fishing as it is home to largemouth bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, catfish, & crappie. Also, there are numerous birds that like to visit the lake as well as turtles to be found around the perimeter of the lake. My favorite thing about this paddle is how quiet the lake is which makes it barely feel like you’re in Southern California anymore. This Lake Piru SUP paddle is on a reservoir, so this paddle is a great option for beginner paddlers who want to challenge themselves on a longer paddle.
|Best time:||Morning (Less Wind) & In Spring After It Rains|
|Parking:||$10 (Oct. 1-Mar.30) & $13 (Apr.1-Sept.30)|
|Other Costs:||$6 launch fees per SUP or kayak|
Regardless of the direction you are coming from, the easiest way to get to this paddle is to get on highway 126. There will be signs, but turn onto Main St. in Piru. Follow this through the town until it turns into Piru Canyon Rd. Continue on this until you get to the tollbooth at the front of the lake entrance. This is where you will pay for the parking ($10/vehicle) & launch fees ($6/SUP or kayak). They will require you to check your SUPs upon exit due to an invasive species of Quagga Mussel.
Address for GPS:
All the parking is paid. Prices vary between $10/vehicle in the offseason (Oct1.- Mar. 30) to $13/vehicle for the rest of the year. There are usually plenty of parking spaces(Especially in the off-season). But, there is usually less parking in the morning versus the afternoon since the lake commonly gets windy in the afternoon. It is best to park as close to the boat launch as possible to reduce the walk with your gear.
There are numerous port-a-potty restrooms scattered throughout the park. There are 2 restrooms located on the water. However, it may be difficult to use them on a SUP in less you have rope or a person to hold your board for you. There is no showers for day use except for campers. There is a Lake Front Store that offers fishing supplies along with beverages & food.
- Life jacket or PFD
Please note: A life jacket or PFD MUST be worn while SUPing or kayaking on the lake. NOTE: We were informed afterwards that we needed to actually have the PFDs on while we were paddling.
Other Gear Considerations
- Fishing Pole
- Picnic Utensils & Food
- Rope (To tie board to on lake bathroom)
Cautions & Hazards
The Lake Piru SUP paddle is fairly easy to do on most days. Winds are the largest consideration as they tend to regularly pick up in the afternoon. These winds can get quite intense so call 805.521.1500 to check what the conditions are before you get there. It also helps to start your paddle toward the dam since the winds will usually come up from that direction.
Also, if there hasn’t been a lot of rain, the reservoir water level can lower, which adds a lot of mud & muck which can damper the experience. Check here to see the water level at Lake Piru before going.
The only other thing to be aware of is that Lake Piru is a popular water skiing lake. So, be aware that you’ll almost certainly be sharing the lake with boats motorized boats & follow boating protocol.
As mentioned earlier, this lake is home to an invasive species of Quagga Mussel, so expect an inspection of your SUP or kayak upon the exit of the lake. To help stop the spread of this species they will likely issue you a recommended quarantine of 10 days to make sure that your SUP or kayak is clean, drained, & dried. For more information, visit www.unitedwater.org