Description - Eastman Lake is nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills surrounded by grasslands and blue oaks. At maximum capacity, the lake has 1,780 surface acres and holds 150,000-acre feet of water. The lake was created by the construction of Buchanan Dam on the Chowchilla River. The dam is an earth and rockfill structure 205 feet high and 1,800 feet in length. At 600 feet elevation, summers are warm and the winters mild, allowing for year-round recreation. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, irrigation and recreation, the lake is a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
Copyright: US Army Corps of Engineers
Eastman Lake is the result of the Buchanan Dam on the Chowchilla River
- A good place to acquaint oneself with the area is by stopping at the visitor center, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The Codorniz Campground has 65 sites and is open all year. Three group camping areas in the Codorniz Recreation Area are available by reservation. Equestrian groups and nonprofit organizations may also reserve the group equestrian area.
Launch ramps are located in the Chowchilla and Codorniz recreation areas. Eastman Lake has been designated as California's first Trophy Bass Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Game. Whether you are a beginner or an old pro, the lake offers a challenging fishing opportunity.
The Chowchilla area provides for a variety of recreation activities including picnicking, fishing, swimming, hiking, volleyball, and horseshoe toss. The Monument Ridge area has a softball diamond, picnic tables and portable restrooms. For current trail information, contact the park office.
Recreation - Eastman Lake offers a wide spectrum of land and water sports. Boaters, campers, picnickers, trail blazers and those who just wish to relax amid scenic beauty find Eastman Lake the ideal destination.Hunting is permitted in the wildlife management area in accordance with California Hunting Regulations. Game may be taken with shotguns or bow.
Equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers enjoy the trails at Eastman Lake.
Climate - Weather conditions around Eastman Lake vary with elevation and exposure. Precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. Layered clothing and rain gear is advisable.
Eastman Lake is located in central California; the entrance to the park is 23 miles northeast of Chowchilla.