Published in Lakes

Lake Wohlford

    Lake Wohlford

    Additional Info

    • Managed by: City of Escondido
    • Facilities: Snack Bar, Restrooms, Portable Toilets, Boat Ramp, Fishing Dock(s)
    • Float tubes: Not allowed
    • State license: Required
    • Fish species: Black crappie, Bluegill, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout

    Trout fishing in the winter is the main draw at Wohlford. But lots of submerged rock piles along the shoreline provide good cover for bass. Plenty of shoreline to fish for any species. Crappie and catfish are all over the lake for added fun. With heavy trout stocking and little talked about bass fishing, this lake is bound to produce a world class bucketmouth sooner or later.

    Location / Directions

    Set in the hills high above Escondido and Valley Center, approximately 1 hr. north of San Diego, the lake has attracted a community of recreational get-away's and outdoor activities. Take the 15 freeway to Valley Pkwy exit in Escondido. Go east about 8 miles to Lake Wohlford Rd., turn right. Follow the road up the hill until you come to a split. For main lake entrance, launch ramp and rental boats follow Lake Wohlford Drive to the left, lake will be on the right. For additional shore fishing and Oakvale Park, follow the split to the right. You can purchase fishing permits at Lake Wohlford Cafe or Oakvale Park. For boat rentals and launch fees go to Lake Wohlford Cafe.

    Lake Wohlford was created by diverting water from the San Luis Rey River through the Escondido Canal. The dam was completed in 1895 and the reservoir it created was then named Bear Valley Reservoir. The canal and dam were built simultaneously by hard working manual laborers and the horses than pulled the construction material. The final product was to finally provide a reliable water source to the farmers and residents of Escondido and Valley Center. Trouble began for the reservoir from the start when it was discovered that the crudely built flume used to transport water from the reservoir was leaking almost half of what flowed through it, on top of that a fire in 1904 destroyed a large portion of the wood flume. A more reliable tunnel was built between 1910 and 1912 to transport the water. When Member of the Board, Alvin W. Wohlford, died in 1924 it was voted to change the name of Bear Valley Reservoir to Lake Wohlford in his honor for his dedication and contributions.

    Facilities & Recreation Information

    Adjacent to the lake on the North side is the popular Lake Wohlford Resort and Cafe and on the south side is Oakvale Park and Lodge. West of the lake is a popular Paintball park, east is Escondido Fish & Game Assn. Shooting and Archery Range.

    Hours, Fees & Boating Information

    The park is open Sat. and Sun. from Sept. through mid-Dec. and daily the rest of the year from 6:00 AM to dusk. Row boats and motorboats are available for rent. Anglers are required to purchase a daily fishing permit, and posses a valid California State fishing license.

    Private watercraft have been banned due to the thread of quagga mussels.

    For current prices and fishing information, please visit the City of Escondido, Lake Wohlford website.

    Lake Wohlford ranger station (760)738-4346.
    For more info try: or

    Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:15