Anderson Lake County Park, Santa Clara

#18 of 21 in Things to do in Santa Clara
Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Anderson Reservoir is a man-made lake along Coyote Creek in Santa Clara County, California, U.S., near Morgan Hill. Anderson Dam was built in 1950 to provide drinking water for Santa Clara county; the lake has also become a source of recreation to nearby residents. Anderson Reservoir is the largest man-made lake in Santa Clara County. It is sometimes called Anderson Lake.
The 3,144-acre Anderson Lake County Park surrounds the reservoir, and provides fishing ("catch and release" due to mercury contamination), picnicking, and hiking activities. Boating, water-skiing and jet-skiing are permitted in the reservoir.
The 235-foot high earthen Leroy Anderson Dam sits on Cochrane Road, east of Morgan Hill, and along the Calaveras Fault, which runs from Hollister to Milpitas. It holds of water when full: more than the other nine reservoirs in the county combined.
In January, 2009, a preliminary routine seismic study suggested a small chance that a high-magnitude earthquake (6.6 with the dam at the epicenter, or 7.2 up to a mile away) could result in flooding in Morgan Hill and up to as far away as San Jose. In response, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) lowered the water level to 74% capacity and announced further analysis of the situation, which could possibly result in retrofitting the dam if necessary. Updated findings in October, 2010 indicated that the dam could fail if a magnitude 7.25 earthquake occurred within 2 kilometers of the dam, potentially releasing a wall of water 35 feet high into downtown Morgan Hill in 14 minutes, and 8 feet deep into San Jose within three hours. In response SCVWD has lowered the water to 54% full, which is 60 feet below the dam crest.
Take a look at our Santa Clara travel planner to schedule your visit to Anderson Lake County Park and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Anderson Lake County Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
11 reviews
  • There are working ranches left over from the mexican land grants, just driving through on the way to Henry Coe is relaxing and refreshing. They have to drain the lake for repairs to the dam this...  more »
  • We went here last July 4, 2018. It is a very relaxing place with beautiful view of the lake, hills and the city. It is clean, well maintain and has restrooms.We spend time walking, exploring and...  more »
  • Beautiful and serene place! The bike ride is pleasant and can be done through a nice trail. Lakes and streams all along the way. When you come across a eucalyptus resting place, remember me.
  • I am not entirely sure how to rate this place. Honestly. I would like to give my best, though. We went expecting for a place to sit down by the lake. We were so wrong. If you want it to be a picnic spot then be prepared to be satisfied with a creekside place. There is a park entrance fee of $6 per vehicle. You can take a nice little drive on the dam. Stop and take some beautiful pictures of the lake. I think this place is best for boat rides. My interpretation is purely based on my observation and not by experience. On a nice sunny day you see a lots of boats on the lake. If you are enthusiast then you can give a try and explore for yourself. Unfortunately I am not one. Also, this is my first time to this place. I will explore more around the place to look for picnic spots. Which is what I am looking for.
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