A trip to Whale Rock Reservoir takes you away from the main roads and back in the rolling hills surrounded by the oak and sycamore trees, along with herds of cattle grazing peacefully. The area surrounding the Reservoir is prime for bird watching, especially around the Santa Rita Creek. Fishing, bicycling, hiking and hang gliding are also popular in this area.
Whale Rock Dam was built in 1961, creating a 40,662 acre foot resevoir. The reservoir provides drinking water for the city of San Luis Obispo, the California Men’s Colony, Cal Poly and Cayucos. The lake is fed from Old Creek and Cottontail Creek at two northern points. The lake is surrounded by grassy rolling holls.
Whale Rock Reservoir is open to the public during the trout fishing season. The trail alongside the lake is primary used as a fishing access, but is also a beautiful area for hiking and picnicking. The easy to moderate hike is 3.8 miles out and back, taking about 2 hours. Open Wednesday through Sunday and holidays, from the last Saturday in April to November 15th.