10305-10331 Scripps Lake Dr.
San Diego, CA 92131
Phone: (619) 465-3474
Hike: 4.9 loop Level: Easy to Moderate
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
Hours: The gates are open from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. when Daylight Savings Time is not in effect.
“Miramar Reservoir is owned, operated and maintained by the City of San Diego. Located in the Scripps Ranch community, the dam and reservoir were completed in 1960 as part of the second San Diego Aqueduct project. Water flowing south to the reservoir originates from both the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct. The reservoir is adjacent to the City’s Miramar Water Treatment Plant, which serves the northern part of the City. When full, the reservoir has 162 surface acres, a maximum water depth of 114 feet, and 4 shoreline miles. Miramar Reservoir has a water storage capacity of 6,682.4 acre feet. Water levels are monitored weekly.
This reservoir is very popular for bicycling, jogging, walking, rollerblading and picnicking. A paved service road encircles the reservoir, a distance of 4.92 miles. Vehicular traffic is permitted on this road Saturday through Tuesday only. There are 18 barbecues and 48 picnic tables located around the lake. Patrons can bring their own gas barbecues for use in designated areas only. No ground fires or glass containers are allowed. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and at least 50 feet away from the water. Dogs are not allowed on any boats. Overnight camping is not allowed at Miramar Reservoir.
Concession: Please see What’s New – Miramar for current days and hours of operation. They rent boats on a first come basis only, no reservations. There is bait available – shiners, crawdads, nightcrawlers, meal worms and wax worms. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and other purchases, but permits are cash only.
Fishing: On days or times that the concession is closed patrons can purchase permits from the electronic pay station or the iron ranger box (envelope system). The reservoir has Florida-strain largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and sunfish. Minimum size limit for bass is 12 inches. Fish limits are five bass, five catfish and 25 bluegill in aggregate, with no limit of other species. Anglers 16 years of age or older must have a California state fishing license. Fish catch information is updated weekly.
Water Craft: In addition to fishing from boats, patrons can use float tubes, waders, or simply fish from shore. Use of float tubes is restricted to within 150 feet or less from shore. Float tubers must wear chest waders and have a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device readily available at all times, and have 144 square inches of international orange visible at least 12 inches above the water line. They must also possess a horn or whistle to warn approaching craft. Any float tube that uses oars or has a motor must purchase a private boat use permit.”
Personal Experience: I have now hiked this lake twice and have really mixed feelings about it. I don’t fish so I cannot speak on that. I think this is a great place to bring your dog or young family or to enjoy a nice meal. There are two trail options: one that is asphalt and the other that is dirt which walks you along the lake. We obviously took the dirt trail. There are no astounding features and I feel bad calling this place a yawn but it kind of is. We found some freshwater snails and that was probably the highlight of our trip. This is a 5 mile hike so be warned. Although the lake doesn’t seem that big, prepare to be walking for awhile. It’s great for some brisk exercise or getting the kids out to innocently explore.