Navigate Up
Parks and Recreation Menu +

Boating in Santa Clara County Reservoirs

Published on: 8/3/2021 4:22 PM
Updates for the Fall

Boating reservations are now available for recreational power and non-power boating activities. Boating is permitted at Calero and Lexington (non-power boating only),   Reservations are required on weekends and holidays only.  Please visit to book your boating reservation. To complete the waiver, view here


Each vessel must pass a vessel inspection prior to launch, make sure your vessel is cleaned, drained and dry. Lexington water level is low at this time, hand launch is strictly enforced. No vehicles will be allowed to leave the paved launch ramp, plan accordingly. Trailers are not permitted.​​

Please review and practice the new safety protocols for recreational boating.

  • Allowed use is limited to a single operator or within members of your household.
  • All inspection forms must be filled out and signed prior to inspection.
  • Reservations are required for power and non-power boats.
  • All persons must maintain a minimum of 6ft. of physical distance from other individual(s) at all times.
  • All vehicles must be placed in PARK and please remain in your vehicle when approached by a boat inspector or park staff.
  • Face coverings are required at all times, even while exercising outdoors if unable to maintain 6 ft social distancing.
  • Groups and gatherings are prohibited.
  • If you have a fever, cough or feel unwell, please stay at home or seek medical attention from your health care provider.
  • In addition to COVID-19 requirements, all other SCCP boating restrictions and rules apply.
  • Please follow all guidelines & recommendations from the CDC, State and County Public Health Departments.






All vessels and floats placed upon a Santa Clara County Reservoir must pass a vessel inspection prior to launching. To pass inspection, your vessel must be “clean and dry”. “Clean and dry” means that no dirt, vegetation, or water can be found anywhere on the vessel. This includes internal compartments of the vessel and the engine. When your outboard is lowered, not a drop of water can flow out. If any water is observed anywhere, however slight, your vessel will fail inspection!​

For more information on our Vessel Inspection Program and vessel registrations, view here​.

Funded by California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways. Operated and maintained by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department.

California State Parks logo

All vessel owners must present current original registration issued by the DMV to park staff before proceeding to a mussel inspection station. (No photo copies or digital copies will be accepted)​ Registration must be:
  • Current
  • Registered in a permissible California county (North of the Tehachapi Mountain Range). Vessels with out-of-state registrations will not be allowed to launch. See map below for more information on restricted counties.
Quagga Zebra Mussel Restricted Counties Photo
*A Mussel Fee Sticker is required for registered vessels from the CA DMV. View ​Here​ for more information.

** For unregistered (non-CF) vessels, the registered county of the transporting vehicle will be used to determine eligibility. Vehicle registration paperwork will be required.

***Owners who have purchased a used vessel, or new from out of state, are quarantined for 30 days from the date of registration and must be registered in a permissible county. If the owner does not have credible evidence that you have possessed your vessel for 30 days, you will not be permitted to launch.​ 


Calero and Lexington Reservoirs are open to boating. Reservations for all open reservoirs can be made at  All other reservoirs are closed.

To review boating criteria, please visit HERE​.

All other reservoirs and bodies of water in Santa Clara County are closed indefinitely to all vessels and floats - these include: Almaden, Chesbro, Sandy Wool, Cottonwood, Grant, Guadalupe, Uvas, and Vasona.

View the Park Closures Website HERE or call (408) 355-2201 before you travel to make sure your reservoir of choice is open.


​Boating is permitted on Santa Clara County Parks’ Reservoirs from 8am to ½ Hour before sunset.


All Vessels, Stand-up Paddle Boards, Float Tubes, and RC Boats are Subject to Use Fees Prior to Launch on Any Santa Clara County Reservoir. Annual passes can be purchased at the main Parks Administration Building, 298 Garden Hill Drive - Los Gatos, CA 95032, or at a staffed park’s entrance station kiosk.

Vehicle Entrance Fee: $6 per vehicle. Annual passes also available for $95 per vehicle.

Vessel Launch Fee:

One-time: $9 for registered vessels. $5 for non-CF vessels (Ex. Kayaks/Canoes). $3 for stand-up paddle boards (SUP) and float tubes.

Annual (Valid 12 months from date of purchase): $90 for one registered vessel. $50 for one non-CF vessel (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $30 for one stand-up paddle board (SUP) or float tube.

Vessel Inspection Fee (Non-Refundable): 

One-time: $7 for registered vessels. $4 for non-CF vessels (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $2 for stand-up paddle boards (SUP), float tubes, and RC boats.

Annual (Valid 12 Months from Purchase): $70 for one registered vessel. $40 for one non-CF vessel (Ex. kayaks/canoes). $20 for one stand-up paddle board (SUP), float tube, or RC boat.

Vessel Launch Reservations Fee: $8 per reservation. Vessel launch reservation fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.​  Please view here​ for more information on how to make a reservation.

Back to top

Contact County Disclaimer