Vista del Lago
Vista del Lago Visitor Center is a visitor center off California Interstate 5 (I-5) owned by the California Department of Water Resources also known as DWR. The admission is free and the center is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Vista del Lago is located in Los Angeles County between the communities of Gorman and Castaic.
The Visitor Center contains several information areas on water usage, conservation, and transportation. In the entry way, DWR has provided visitors with information brochures on water safety and sports, as well as attractions surrounding the center. Next to the information desk are two water fountains and a sign that tells drinkers how far this water has traveled.
One room contains two scales which show visitors their "Weight in Water", as well as an oversize cheeseburger with the gallons of water used in the making of each piece of the hamburger. Also in this room are several displays of common household ideas (a can of soda, a gallon of milk, a load of laundry, a carton of eggs) and the amount of water used throughout their production.
In another room is a scaled-down model of the state of California. After pressing a button visitors are given a presentation on the California State Water Project, with projections directly on the state. The projections include state and federal reservoirs, California rivers, dams, the California Aqueduct, and state water treatment facilities.
Visitors then enter into a scale 3-D model depicting the travel of water through the State Water Project. This model displays the facilities the water goes through, as well as the distance and time it takes in between. In addition, this room shows scaled images of a person, equipment used by the State Water Project such as trucks, and the length of the California Aqueduct. When leaving this room, visitors pass through a massive circular doorway, representing the exact size of a piece of the Aqueduct.
The next room educates visitors of the water history of California as well as the current issues facing California water. This room also contains information on the California Delta in Northern California and its history with the Gold Rush and agricultural development. Also, DWR has included a computerized word search game that is fun but also provides players with quick facts about the State Water Project.
Another room contains visual displays and information on how the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California treats water and meets the demands on a growing population.
The U.S. Forest Service provides visitors with the chance to walk through a forest and see the creatures that live within it, as well as the chance to learn about a watershed.
Outside the building on the balcony are panoramic views of Pyramid Lake and the surrounding hills.