Day Trip: Lake Del Valle in Livermore Valley


Conveniently located just ten miles south of Livermore, in off the beaten path wine country, Lake Del Valle is a tucked away recreation spot, offering a multitude of activities and attractions, most of which involve the lake at the heart of the park. The lake is five miles long and allows boating (including on site rentals ranging from $20 to $100 dollars, depending on the duration of time and desired boat), fishing, and swimming in designated areas.

There are two life-guarded beach spots allotted for swimming and picnicking. The lake is actually clean, and warm, due to the toasty, arid Livermore climate. Del Valle offers camp sites not too far from the beaches, complete with a few minimalist general stores, BBQ setups, clean(ish) bathrooms, and drinking fountains. The surrounding land provides camper/day trippers with ample hiking options—67 miles to be exact—of wild life reserves for hikers and horse backers.

One approach to a Del Valle day trip is to pack a picnic and spend the entire day lakefront, lounging and soaking up the sun, however; then you would miss out on wine tasting. If you’re going to Livermore, it might be nice to stop by one of the many fast growing (geographically and in popularity) wineries that Livermore is quickly becoming known for. Here’s plan B: on the way to the lake area, stop in the city of Livermore for some libations and lunch, then go sleep it off by the beach.

Enjoy an early lunch at the well liked, authentic Italian eatery Terra Mia. Now that you’ve filled up on pasta, you can really put back some wine. There are many great options, from al fresco barrel tasting at Big White House to gurgling nine reds at Bodegas Aguirre and tipsily traipsing through a modern castle at Concannon Vineyard, where you can rely on daily tastings from 11:30am-4:30pm. After an afternoon of exploring, make your way to the lake to relax. If you decide you don’t want to leave, grab a campsite and spend the night.

Located on Del Valle Road off Mines Road , just south of Livermore (there are minimal parking fees). From San Francisco take Highway 80 East and cross the Bay Bridge . Connect to I-580 eastbound. Exit 580 East in Livermore at North Livermore Avenue . Head south and proceed through town (North Livermore Avenue will become South Livermore Avenue in town). About 1.5 miles outside town, turn right at Mines Road, go about 3.5 miles and continue straight on Del Valle Road (Mines Road turns left). The park entrance is about four miles ahead. Approximately one hour drive.

Lake Del Valle
7000 Del Valle Road
Livermore (888) 327-2757

Photo: star5112