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Waves of Modesto

Whatever your interests, Modesto Reservoir Regional Park is the place for you.

Located at 18143 Reservoir Rd., just outside of Waterford on Highway 132, Modesto Reservoir offers 3,200 acres of land and 2,800 acres of reservoir for camping and recreation. Modesto Reservoir features approximately 150 campsites — available on a first-come, first-served basis — with hook-up amenities, and other camping areas with limited amenities.

Recreation opportunities include swimming, fishing, boating, water/jet skiing, bird watching, waterfowl hunting (with a permit during specified times of year), radio control airplane flying, and archery.

In partnership with the Modesto Radio Control Club, a radio control airfield now exists near the west boat ramp. Competitions are held, including the popular “Demolition Derby on Wings.” The MRCC offers monthly gatherings and special events throughout the year. The facility and the opportunity to fly are open to the public.

The Yahi Bowmen Archery Club operates and maintains the reservoir’s archery range, with the club holding weekly shoots during the summer (monthly during other seasons).

Modesto Reservoir showcases a variety of natural wildlife, and is stocked with rainbow trout, red-ear sunfish, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.

To keep the reservoir’s drinking water as pure as possible, there are no pets allowed at this lake. Camping is limited to 50 feet away from the high-water mark. As a preventive measure for gas and oil spills, no fuel containers are allowed in the park. No fish cleaning station is available; fish cleaning is not allowed onsite. 

Day-use hours for Modesto Reservoir are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (boat ramps close at 7 p.m.). 

Day-use fee is $20 per vehicle ($15 for Stanislaus County residents), and if you’re towing a boat it’s an additional $15 ($10 for residents) to enter. Campgrounds (accommodating up to two vehicles) are $40 per night ($35 for residents), while campgrounds with hook-ups are $45 per night ($40 for residents).

The picnic shelter use fee is $115 per day, with a $10 reservation fee ($125 total). For residents, it’s $90 per day, with a $10 reservation fee.

An annual day-use permit is $125.

Nearby Woodward Reservoir, just north of Oakdale on Highway 120, offers many of the same amenities as Modesto Reservoir.

“Woodward is similar in that has camping and boating and waterfowl hunting,” said Julie Orona, events and marketing coordinator for Stanislaus County Parks and Recreation. “And the pricing is all the same because it’s also run by the county.”

For more information, visit or call 209-525-6750 Monday-Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).