Everything You Need to Know About Lake Berryessa RV Camping

Lake Berryessa is a lake retreat east of Napa Valley between Blue Ridge and Cedar Roughs. It is the perfect destination for RV camping because of its 165 miles of shoreline, campgrounds, and exciting water activities.

If you’re interested in going on a Northern California camping adventure at Lake Berryessa, here is everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

How to Get to Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa is a convenient, short drive from many major Californian cities. It is a little over an hour from Sacramento, just under two hours from San Francisco, and 50 minutes from Sacramento.

You can reach it by its nearest state highways 121 and 128.

When to Visit Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa offers year-round recreation for visitors. Whether it’s winter fishing or swimming in the warm summer waters, you’ll find something to entertain you. The lake’s peak summer season runs from April to October, but the best time to visit will depend on the experience you want to have. 

RV Parks at Lake Berryessa

There are several RV campsites to choose from at Lake Berryessa owned by the US Bureau of Reclamation. Here is an overview of each:

Pleasure Cove Marina Campground

Pleasure Cove Marina Campground is a popular spot on the lake with access to boat rentals, ski boats, fishing, kayaking, and canoes.

There are twelve full hookups at $54 per night for up to two people and 13 partial hookups at $47 per night.

The campground has a two-day minimum stay during the peak season.

It is the perfect place for RV campers who want to be near all of the action and enjoy recreational activities on the lake.

This spot is also pet-friendly, so it is an ideal campground if you’re traveling with your furry friend.

Steele Canyon Campground

Another RV campground option at Lake Berryessa is Steele Canyon. It is ideal for people who want something inexpensive without any bells and whistles.

You can find 6 exclusive RV sites and 59 additional sites for both RVs and tents. Some of its amenities include a BBQ, fire pit, and picnic table at the campground. Additionally, you can launch your boats from here.

The facilities at Steele Canyon are very minimal, with portable bathrooms and no water access. However, there is little light pollution at this campsite, so the views of the night sky make it well-worth staying here.

Spanish Flat Recreation Area

Amy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spanish Flat Recreation Area is a campground with outstanding amenities and activities for campers.

There are 45 RV spots that can accommodate up to two vehicles per site. The rates are $40 per night for two people and $5 for each additional person.

Campers have access to a picnic table, BBQ pit or pedestal grill, portable toilets, and piped water. However, there are no hookups onsite.

This campsite is the perfect launch spot for water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, swimming, launch ramps, and a marina. There are also a few restaurants nearby and a general store.

Putah Canyon Campground

Anthonysthwd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The last RV campground at Lake Berryessa is Putah Canyon on the northwestern side of the lake.

There are 36 spots for RVs at this campsite, most with lake views and shade. The cost is also $40 per night for two people and $5 for any additional guests.

Like the Spanish Flat Recreation area, you can enjoy many recreational activities. These include boating, water skiing, swimming, hiking, and cycling. It is a little secluded but a very tranquil spot on the lake and the ideal place for some peace and quiet.

Lake Berryessa’s Recreational Opportunities

Boating and Paddlesports

Lake Berryessa is an excellent spot for boating and paddle sports. There are two marinas and three recreation areas around the lake. In addition, you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Jet ski rentals are located at the Markley Cove resort.


The lake is surrounded by beautiful views and rolling hills. Its topography makes it an excellent destination for light to moderate hikes up to 5 miles long. Here is a complete list of all the trails in the area. 


During the summer, Lake Berryessa’s water temperatures rise to 75 degrees, making it ideal for swimming. Keep in mind that swimming is at your own risk because there are no lifeguards.


Lake Berryessa attracts anglers year-round for warm and cold weather fishing. You can find rainbow trout, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and bass in the lake.

Glory Hole

United States Bureau of Reclamation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re driving around the lake, you might see a mysterious hole in the middle of it when the water levels are high. This is the Glory Hole, a spillway between the lake and Putah Creek. It’s a fascinating sight to see if you get the chance.

Bottom Line

Lake Berryessa is a Napa County outdoor adventure destination with multiple RV parks, sites, and camping only a few hours from most major Northern Californian cities. It’s ideal for all types of people – from families to friend groups. Everyone can find something for them at Lake Berryessa, whether it’s fishing, spending time on a boat, or swimming. We hope this article has inspired you to pack your RV and make this getaway your new favorite spot.   

For another great RV campsite, visit Lake Jennings