Castaic Lake

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Castaic Lake
Castaic Lake November2015.jpg
Location Los Angeles County, California[1]
Coordinates 34°31′29″N 118°35′15″W / 34.5247°N 118.5876°W / 34.5247; -118.5876Coordinates: 34°31′29″N 118°35′15″W / 34.5247°N 118.5876°W / 34.5247; -118.5876
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows West Branch California Aqueduct
Castaic Creek
Primary outflows Castaic Creek
Basin countries United States
Water volume 320,000 acre⋅ft (390,000,000 m3)
Surface elevation 1,500 feet (460 m)

Castaic Lake is a reservoir formed by Castaic Dam on Castaic Creek, in the Sierra Pelona Mountains of northwestern Los Angeles County, California, United States, near the town of Castaic.


The 320,000 acre⋅ft (390,000,000 m3) lake with a surface elevation of approximately 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level is the terminus of the West Branch California Aqueduct, though some comes from the 154 square miles (400 km2) Castaic Creek watershed above the dam. Castaic Lake is bisected by the Elderberry Forebay Dam, which creates the adjacent Elderberry Forebay. The aqueduct water comes from Pyramid Lake through the Angeles Tunnel and is used to power Castaic Power Plant, a pumped-storage hydroelectric facility on the northern end of the forebay. Water is mostly powering the turbines, rather than being pumped by them.[2]

Castaic Lake is part of the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. Primary access is via Interstate 5 at exits 176A and 176B at the town of Castaic.


Water from the lake is distributed throughout the northern portion of the Greater Los Angeles Area. Some water is released into Castaic Lagoon below the dam, to maintain its water level for recreation. Castic Lagoon drains into Castaic Creek, which flows south until it meets the Santa Clara River, a few miles west of Santa Clarita.

Lake activities[edit]

Castaic Lake has a lower lagoon with a swim beach that is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor day weekend annually. This lake also offers bass fishing in the upper and lower lake year-round and float tube fishing in the lower lake.[3]

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed advisories for Castaic Lake[4] and Castaic Lagoon[5] because of mercury and PCBs found in fish caught here. The advisories provide safe eating advice for black bass, carp, channel catfish and sunfish.

In popular culture[edit]

Castaic Lake was one of the main filming locations for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series. Many of the action scenes were recorded here.

Castaic Lake was the starting point for The Amazing Race 26 on November 12, 2014. NBC's Fear Factor was also shot there.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Castaic Lake
  2. ^ Historic Pump-Storage Operation in WSCC, page 14
  3. ^
  4. ^ Castaic Lake
  5. ^ Castaic Lagoon
  6. ^ Glazer, Mikey. "11 'Amazing Race' Starting Line Secrets Revealed (Exclusive Video)". TheWrap. The Wrap News Inc.

External links[edit]