Safety Rules and Guidelines at Los Vaqueros
Help us keep Los Vaqueros safe by cooperating with watershed rules.
Before heading to Los Vaqueros
- Bring water and hand sanitizer. Drinking fountains will not be available. Bottled water will be available for sale at the Marina.
- Download a Watershed Map (PDF) before leaving home. Or, at the entry kiosk, request a brochure with a map so you can familiarize yourself with the area.
While at Los Vaqueros
Keep in mind the following:
- No alcohol
- No swimming
- No outside watercraft
- No pets
- No smoking (only designated area at Marina is between parking lots)
- No BBQs due to potential fire hazard.
- California fishing regulations are enforced.
- Boat rentals
- Boats are first come, first serve.
- Boat rentals are weather-dependent. Strong winds prevent us from allowing any boats on the water, so be sure to call the Marina at 925-371-2628 to check wind conditions at LV before heading out to the watershed.
- See details about boat rental fees.
- Parking only in designated (paved and gravel) areas. Citations will be issued for vehicles parked outside of designated areas.
- Pack it in. Pack it out. Do not leave trash on trails or near the shore. We appreciate everyone’s effort to keep the watershed clean!
- Marina building is open. Cash and credit payments are accepted.
- The Interpretive Center is open weekends starting Saturday, August 7 from 9am to 4pm. Get more information on the Interpretive Center.
- Watershed Office is closed.
- What is the general layout of the watershed?
The watershed has two entrances. There is a north entrance on Walnut Boulevard near Brentwood and a south entrance off of Vasco Road near Livermore. See Directions to Los Vaqueros.
- When is Los Vaqueros open?
We are open 7 days a week, including holidays.
September 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. October 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. - Feb. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. April-August 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- What are the hours for the John Muir Interpretive Center at Los Vaqueros?
The John Muir Interpretive Center at Los Vaqueros is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Are there any parking fees?
- How much does it cost to fish?
There is a $6 per person daily permit fee for fishing. Entry booths to the watershed are staffed daily.In the event the booths are not staffed, visitors entitled to a discounted parking fee will need to pay at the Watershed Office in the North End near Brentwood, or the Marina.
- Can I bring my dog?
No. Dogs and other pets are not allowed in the Los Vaqueros Watershed. This protects the multitude of small animals, some of which are endangered, that live in this protected watershed environment. Many of these endangered animals are easily disrupted by both the presence and scent of dogs. This rule also protects public safety and water quality. The Round Valley Regional Preserve, which borders Los Vaqueros, is also under this rule. At Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, which is located above the Marina, dogs are allowed.
- What is the weather like?
The weather is often very different from the surrounding areas, very hot and windy in the summer and very cold in the winter. View weather conditions or call the Marina at 925-371-2628.
- Can I get hot food and snacks at Los Vaqueros?
Yes, there are sodas, snacks and some limited hot microwave food like burritos and hot pockets available only at the Marina.
- What can I do in the watershed?
Check out Recreation at the Los Vaqueros Watershed for the top 5 activities and upcoming events.
- Is swimming allowed in the reservoir?
No. Body contact is not allowed in Los Vaqueros Reservoir or in any of the streams or ponds in the watershed. The Los Vaqueros Reservoir stores drinking water for 500,000 people in central and east Contra Costa, therefore every effort is made to prevent microbial contamination of the water in order to protect public health.
- Can I barbeque in the watershed?
Barbecues are provided in the picnic areas, but no other barbecues are allowed. In summer months, be sure to check the fire warning levels. Very High, Extreme and Red Flag alert levels all prohibit barbecues.
- Will I be able to launch my boat in the reservoir?
No, there are no outside boats allowed on the reservoir. There are 16-foot and patio electric boat rentals available.
- How can I get more information?
Call the Marina at 925-371-2628.