US Army Corps of Engineers
Sacramento District Website

Boat launch facilities and day-use recreation areas are open. Use of campgrounds, group picnic shelters and playgrounds is prohibited and the project office remains closed to visitors.

All 2020 camping reservations have been refunded through We are working with our federal, state and local partners to determine a reopening date and want to ensure the public and our staff are as safe as possible. Once we determined a date, visitors will once again be able to make reservation through

image - Eastman Lake water level today

Welcome to H.V. Eastman Lake

H.V. Eastman Lake is nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills surrounded by grasslands and blue oaks. At maximum capacity, the lake has 1,780 surface acres and holds 150,000 acre feet of water.

The lake was created by the construction of Buchanan Dam on the Chowchilla River. The dam is an earth and rockfill structure 205 feet high and 1,800 feet in length. At 600' elevation, summers are warm and the winters mild, allowing for year-round recreation.

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, irrigation and recreation, the lake is a popular destination for visitors of all ages.

Located in central California, the park is 23 miles northeast of Chowchilla.

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
H.V. Eastman Lake
P.O. Box 67
Raymond, CA 93653-0067

FAX 559-689-3408


Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

From Chowchilla, follow Avenue 26 east to Road 29. Turn left and follow Road 29 north to the park.

Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Keeping your pets on a leash in developed recreation areas.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Operating vehicles only on designated roads and parking areas provided.
  • Camping only in designated campsites.
  • Helping clean up litter and keeping a neat campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to park personnel.
  • Watching children closely when around water.
  • Reading the park rules, copies of which are posted throughout the park.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers rangers and deputies of the Madera County Sheriff's Department. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff.

Useful Links:

Rules and Regulations:

Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Part 327 - Rules and regulations governing public use of Water Resources Development Projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.


Every Kid in a Park: 4th graders can get free parks access.

Bobber the Water Safety Dog: Information on water safety for children.

Operation Dry Water: Learn about the dangers of BUI - Boating Under the Influence of alcohol.

National Water Safety Program: Information that could help save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Camping Reservations

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Recreation at H.V. Eastman Lake

In the interest of the health and safety of the public, park volunteers, and our staff, we have closed our recreation facilities to protect against the spread of #COVID19. This includes campgrounds, visitor centers, boat launches, and day-use areas. Individuals with paid camping reservations will be contacted by email and full refunds will automatically be processed by with no cancellation fees.

Visitor Center:

Open each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the visitor center is a good place to discover Eastman Lake. An audio-visual program, displays, and brochures are available to visitors. Group tours and ranger programs can be scheduled by calling 559-689-3255.


The Corps of Engineers is now included in the America the Beautiful interagency pass!  For a one time purchase of $80, you have access to all of your favorite Corps parks in addition to all the other federal public lands and national parks for one year after the date of purchase.

Individuals 62 years or older can buy a $10 lifetime senior pass, which does not expire. All other passes and kids 15 years or younger are free of charge at all federal recreation areas. Senior and access pass holders also receive a 50 percent discount on campsites at Corps-managed campgrounds.

Be sure to pick up your America the Beautiful pass at any of our parks as the money is turned right around and invested in the facilities to improve your recreational experience.

Get details about the America the Beautiful pass series here

One-day Pass $5. Day Use Shelter $30. Annual pass $40.The Corps Annual Pass gives unlimited access to day-use areas at any Corps park for one calendar year.


The Codorniz Campground has 65 sites and is open all year. Each site has a parking spur, table and firepit/grill. Conveniently located restrooms provide flush toilets and hot showers. Ten people are permitted per campsite and there is a 14-day limit per stay.

Codorniz Campground sites are $20 per night; $30 with electricity and water; $30 for electricity, water and sewer; and $30 for universal access site.

Group Camping:

Three group camping areas in the Codorniz Recreation Area are available by reservation. Equestrian groups and non-profit organizations may also reserve the group equestrian area.

Wildcat Campground primitive sites, including family equestrian sites, are $20 per night. 

 Wildcat Campground Map

Group camping: North A (40 people) $80; North B (100 people) $90; South (160 people) $100; and Equestrian (60 people) $60.

Wireless internet access is available free to registered campers.

Reservations for the above camping are available through Reserve America at 1-877-444-6777 or on the web at WWW.RECREATION.GOV

Recreation Areas:

The Chowchilla area provides for a variety of recreation activities. Included are: picnicking, fishing, swimming, hiking, volleyball, horseshoe pits, and an aqua-toy. Restrooms are available. The Monument Ridge area has a disc golf course, a softball diamond, picnic tables and portable restrooms.


Boating is permitted year round. The body of the lake provides plenty of space for water-skiing, sailing, and pleasure boating. Launch ramps with courtesy docks are located in the Chowchilla and Codorniz recreation areas. Certain parts of the lake have speed and closure restrictions. The Chowchilla River north of the lake is closed to all water recreation.


Equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers may enjoy the trails at Eastman Lake. For current trail information, contact the park office.


Eastman Lake has been designated as California's first Trophy Bass Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Game. Anglers may keep only one bass with a minimum length of 22". There is also a cumulative limit of 25 pan fish. Whether you are a beginner or an old pro, the lake offers a challenging fishing opportunity. Species include largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Rainbow trout are planted during the winter months.



Hunting is permitted in the wildlife management area in accordance with California Hunting Regulations. Game may be taken with shotguns or bow.


Historical Information:

The Yokut and Miwok tribes once claimed this area as their home. Evidence of their presence in the area is still evident, mostly in the form of mortar and metate areas, where they ground acorns for food. Also of historical interest is a monument to the Town of Buchanan located along the entrance road. This once thriving copper town now exists only in legend and a few tattered photos.

Eastman Views

A large number of people turn out each year to help with a wide variety of volunteer-work at Eastman Lake during the annual National Public Lands Day event.
A pair takes a closer look at the wide variety of birds at H.V. Eastman Lake.
A fisherman displays a 24 inch, 7.46 lb. Large Mouth Bass he caught during the King VIII Bass Club Tournament at H.V. Eastman Lake on 12 June 2016.
Fourth grade classes from La Grand Elementary School participate in a Water Safety lesson conducted by H.V. Eastman Lake park ranger Morgan Barnes. Photo by Ella Thurston.
Life Jacket Trade-in Day
After four years of no offspring, Eastman Lake bald eagles finally had a successful breeding season. An 8 week old fledgling and its parent are seen here on May 10, 2016. Bald eagles have been known to nest at Eastman Lake since 1993. Counting this year's offspring, the grand total of bald eagles that have successfully fledged their nests at Eastman Lake is 39. Photo by Eric Schaal.
Wildlife at Eastman Lake
Overview at Eastman Lake
Hiking Lakeview Trail
Pelicans at Eastman Lake




image - one less spark, one less fire