Swim Hours & Fees: Swim beach is CLOSED. No Swimming Allowed.
Reservations: Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 2, extension 4557
Note: The boat rentals and food concession are open seasonally, typically from late spring to early fall. Please contact the Park for more information.
A haven for swimming and fishing can be found at Shadow Cliffs, only a mile from downtown Pleasanton on Stanley Boulevard.
Shadow Cliffs, formerly a gravel quarry, was donated to the Park District by Kaiser Industries and opened as a park in 1971. Its assessed value of $250,000 was used to obtain a matching grant for development of the park from the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.
With this start, the Park District has developed a 266-acre park including an 80-acre lake and ample parking and picnic grounds. There are facilities for persons with disabilities.
Besides the main lake, Shadow Cliffs has an arroyo with a chain of smaller lakes and ponds. No swimming or boating is allowed here; the shady areas and quiet waters make for a peaceful retreat on hot summer days.
In 2017, solar panels were installed at Shadow Cliffs. The project includes solar panels that generate 1.2 megawatts of energy annually – enough to offset electricity use for almost the entire Park District – along with three electric-car charging stations, a new recycled water line, and planting of native trees. This new solar carport system also provides much-needed shade for the parking lots at Shadow Cliffs.
To Reach The Park
Shadow Cliffs offers wheelchair accessible parking, trails, picnic tables and restrooms. A wheelchair accessible fishing pier is located near the boat launch and can be reached by paved trail. The bathhouse is also accessible to wheelchair users.
Beach wheelchairs, intended to provide a means for wheelchair users to travel across the beach, are available for free, on a first-come, first-served basis. They require an assistant to push and are not intended to enter the water. To arrange for use of a chair, call the Shadow Cliffs lifeguards at (925) 484-1986. A staff member will bring the chair out to the beach. It takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare the chair. Staff will give a brief orientation to the chair and arrange a time for the chair to be returned.
NOTICE: Swim beach CLOSED due to low water levels. Swimming NOT permitted.
The swimming beach has a bathhouse and refreshment stand, open on weekends in spring and fall, and daily during summer months. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, but swimming is allowed throughout the year in the designated area, at the swimmer's own risk. For lifeguard service schedule, visit the Swim Facilities page. Beach wheelchairs, intended to provide a means for wheelchair users to travel across the beach, are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Pets and glass containers are not allowed on the sand portion of the swim area. Swimming is not allowed in the arroyo areas.
Swim Facilities Capacity Notice
Once the swim facility capacity is reached, there will be no new entries allowed for the remainder of the day (or at the discretion of the Park Supervisor), for the safety of the public. Please take this into consideration when planning your visit.
Trout and catfish are planted weekly at Shadow Cliffs lake, and anglers can also try for bluegill and black bass. Fishing derbies are held annually. A Park District Daily Fishing Access Permit is required to fish in the lake. For details on fishing in the Park District, see the Fishing section of this site.
Visitors may launch their own boats; size limit is 17 feet and only electric motors are allowed. No jet skis or gas engines are permitted. Boat rentals are also available. See our Boating and Sailing page for more information and a schedule of fees. Please note boating is not allowed in the Arroyo areas.
Reservable picnic areas are available. For reservations or information, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. Please note that alcoholic beverages are not permitted at Shadow Cliffs .
Numerous waterbirds may be sighted throughout the year in the more secluded back lakes area of the park.