Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

Share me!


SANTEE, CA 92071

32.857298, -117.007254

Dog-Friendly: Dog walk and Campsites only   Kid-Friendly:   Yes

(619) 596-3141


Website   Instagram   Facebook

About Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve hosts over 670,000 visitors a year. The 190‐acre park located in Santee has 7 beautiful recycled water lakes that are stocked with sport fish year-round.

The Park provides amenities including camping, cabin rentals, fishing, boating, special events, playgrounds, walking trails, and approximately 230 bird species.

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is owned and operated by Padre Dam Municipal Water District. It is self‐sustaining, receiving no funds from water/sewer ratepayers or taxpayer subsidies.

The Park operates from user fees, grants and awards and collaborations with community groups and organization partnerships.


Our 7 lakes are stocked with Catfish and Rainbow Trout on a seasonal basis. Bass and Bluegill are also prevalent in the Lakes. Lakes 1 through 5 are for day use fishing, while Lakes 6 through 7 are for registered campers.

No State fishing license required; a permit from the General Store is all you need!


The Lakefront Cabins each have a fire ring to build a cozy fire and pedal boats for a ride around the lake. The three Floating Cabins have the same indoor amenities but also include a private pedal boats, and a large front porch with patio table and chairs to sit and fish from the front of your Cabin or just relax and enjoy the view!

Each Cabin includes:

Barbecue grill
Air conditioning and heating
Flat screen television
Kitchen with a refrigerator

**Floating cabins do not have a fire ring like the lakefront cabins**

While you’re in the area, make sure to visit the Kumeyaay Lake & Campground nearby!


If you live up north follow the ducks and migrate to Santee Lakes for the winter. If you already live in sunny San Diego, then bring the kids for a weekend or a week. Our award winning Campground is nestled in the foothills of Santee, just 20 minutes from San Diego’s big attractions.

Choose from 300 full hook-up campsites, all having free WiFi and some with cable TV. Campers get exclusive fishing in Lakes 6 & 7, which are not open to day use guests.

Also, when you camp at Santee Lakes, you are choosing a facility that is dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment. More than 4 acres of solar panels located on our property provide enough power to meet almost 50% of the entire Park and Campground needs! Our facility was recently awarded the national Plan-it Green Award for our environmental efforts!


I am floored that I never knew this place existed until recently.  7 amazing lakes all back to back in San Diego, what?!  This place is great for so many experiences.  You can fish, boat, camp, lodge, play, have a wedding or event and so much more! What are you waiting for?

The floating cabins:

And the poolside area for guests:

RV section:

Share me!

Subscribe to our E-mail Newsletter


1 Review

Rating 0
Overall Rating 0
Difficulty Finding 0

1 Review


  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    can you swin at santee lakes?

    April 9, 2020

Write a Review