Just a few minutes from downtown is Lake Nacimiento, known as “The Dragon” for its unique shape of waterways, coves and winding tributaries. The lake and surrounding hills and woods are a water and nature enthusiast’s dream. Whether you want to boat, kayak, paddleboard, or hike its endless pristine trails, “Lake Naci” has you covered.
The Dragon boasts year-round, and pet-friendly accommodations, including Lakeview Lodges, RV trailers and Naci Cottage – all with scenic views of the lake. For those looking for a rustic adventure, there are seven unique campgrounds situated amongst numerous hiking trails. Whether you plan to “rough it” or want to enjoy lakeside “glamping,” you will find lodging that pleasantly accommodates your vacation.
Top 5 Things to Do at Lake Nacimiento
Dog Days of Awesome
Take a stroll with your four-legged friend along the groomed “5 K Dog Path.” The convenient marina trailhead loops around for easy exploration of the area’s oak studded hillsides and beautiful views of the lake.
Spy Like An Eagle
While known for fishing and boating, Lake Nacimiento, about 20 minutes west of Downtown Paso Robles, is one of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets for wildlife viewing – and includes bald eagles. The massive birds love to nest in and soar above the lake’s outline of towering Gray Pine Trees and are easily be spotted year round. Elk, deer, wild turkey and even wild boar can also be seen roaming the surrounding woods and sipping water at the lakeshore. Whether taking in the wildlife scene from a boat, or hiking the lake’s trail system, Lake Nacimiento is a wondrous and peaceful escape.
Angler From Heaven
Fishing is a must – whether along some 165 miles of pristine shore or while trolling in the slower waters in your own pontoon boat. Stories of numerous fish “boils” inspire even the notice fisherman to have a line prepped at any given moment. Stocked with largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, bluegill, crappie, carp and catfish. You can find the perfect inlet to cast your line along the lake’s 165-miles of shoreline.
SUP with View?
Explore the serene weaving inlets of the famous dragon-shaped lake via kayak or stand up paddleboard. The shoreline of Lake Nacimiento changes weekly as water is let out of the dam throughout the summer. Take advantage of the new terrain with family members of all ages and venture out into hidden, shallower coves. Available to rent at the marina store.
Join The Jetski Set
Rent a wave runner to launch for the day. With 18 square miles of water, the best way to see the lake is with a bit of speed – and wave runners are a great solution for those who don’t own boats.