Escondido, CA

Dixon Lake – Escondido’s hidden jewel

Peace, serene vistas, easy hikes, and a “boost” of nature all can be found minutes from downtown Escondido at Dixon Lake. Photo by Mathew DeLillio

Do your New Year’s goals point to toward finding balance, getting back to nature?  If so, you may want to seek out an open-air day trip to Escondido’s Dixon Lake.  

This natural jewel, with its crystal clear water, is hidden in the hills between Escondido and the Valley Center “Grade.” It has long been a favorite spot for picnicking, hiking, boating and fishing.   Though boat rentals are closed currently, shore fishing, and fishing from the dock (with safe distancing) is allowed with the appropriate licenses and fees paid. 

“The dam at Dixon Lake was completed in 1971 as the result of a water storage act that was passed almost a decade prior. Built in a time when fishing was at the forefront of recreation in San Diego, Dixon was built with the plan of creating a good fishery and recreational facility. Fish were stocked 6 years before it opened, and surrounding the lake are picnic shelters, hiking trails, fishing floats, a concession stand and a campground.” (

Dixon Lake is open to the public. Please check the City of Escondido’s Covid-18 web page for rules and restrictions. 

Dixon Lake, located at 1700 La Honda Drive, Escondido, CA 92027, is open year-round (closed Christmas Day.)   Gates open at 6 a.m. daily; closing hours vary by season.   Contact the Park Ranger office at 760-839-4680 for further information.

Dixon Lake’s clear waters attract a number of migratory birds as well as nature enthusiasts and photographers. Photo by Mathew DeLillio

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