Canyon Lake Profile

Would it interest residents to know that between 2000 and 2014, the total population of the City of Canyon Lake increased by 1,551 to 11,503 in 2014?  Or that, in 2010, approximately 35% of the households earned between $50,000 and $100,000?  These are just two of the statistics listed in the May 2017 “Profile of the City of Canyon Lake” provided to the City by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).



Canyon Lake is a city and gated community on Canyon Lake reservoir, located in western Riverside County, California.  It is one of five gated incorporated cities currently in California.  Canyon Lake began as a master-planned community developed by Corona Land Company in 1968.  The “City of Canyon Lake” was incorporated on December 1, 1990. Railroad Canyon Dam was built in 1927, and impounds the San Jacinto River to fill the reservoir, which covers 383 acres and has 14.9 miles of shoreline.


The community is named for Canyon Lake reservoir, also known as the Railroad Canyon Reservoir, which it surrounds.  The reservoir, created in 1928 with the construction of the Railroad Canyon Dam, has a storage capacity of 11,586 acre feet.  It is owned and operated by the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.  The reservoir is supplied by storm water runoff from the San Jacinto River and Salt Creek.  Water from the reservoir feeds the Canyon Lake Water Treatment Plant, which provides approximately 10% of the domestic water supply in the Lake Elsinore/Canyon Lake area.



One of only five gated cities in California, Canyon Lake began as a master-planned community developed by Corona Land Company in 1968. Consisting of 4,801 community lots, all of the homes within the city are located within the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association (POA), and all but a few roads within the city are privately held and maintained. The entrances to the Canyon Lake POA are gated and guarded, accessible by residents and selected guests approved by the owners within the POA.


All gates are manned twenty-four hours a day by a community patrol contracted by Securitas, Inc.  Access is granted to outsiders by sponsorship from a property owner or renter who calls in their guests to a 24-hour answer line. Since becoming an incorporated city in 1990, Canyon Lake has its own "Police Department" (through the contract with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, out of the Perris Valley Station), as well as the private security services. In recent years specialized "code enforcement" officers have also maintained patrols of the approximately 20-acre parcel of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management which encompasses the eastern shore of the lake in its upper reaches. The trail running north along the eastern shore of the lake has become an inviting activity for hikers and birdwatchers, particularly in the winter months when the hills are green and temperatures lower. Canyon Lake forbids all public use of any "two-wheeled motorized vehicle" (that is, all motorcycles, mopeds, and dirt bikes) on all private streets throughout the CLPOA, but excluding the two public roads (Railroad Canyon and Goetz Roads).


All of the homeowners within the Canyon Lake POA have rights and access to the lake for recreational uses. Personal watercraft (jet skis, etc.) are banned for use on the reservoir. However, ski-boats (with a maximum length of 21 feet), fishing boats, row boats, paddle boats, sailboats and kayaks are allowed, as are wake-boarding and water-skiing. There is a 35 mph (56 km/h) speed limit on the main lake, which is patrolled by Canyon Lake's Lake and Marine Patrol, as well the California Department of Fish and Game. The East Bay is limited to a "no wake" speed. Each year the association stocks the lake with catfish and bass, which join the crappie and bluegill. There are swimming areas, fishing “holes”, beaches, a slalom course and a jump lagoon, gas docks, and rental slips.



There are three business or shopping areas within the City of Canyon Lake. One is located at the west end of the city on Railroad Canyon Road, and another at the east end of the city on Goetz Road. The main shopping and business center of the city, Canyon Lake Towne Center, is located directly across Railroad Canyon Road from the Main (south) entrance gates. It provides Canyon Lake with many services, and is the location of Canyon Lake City Hall, a county sheriff's satellite station, a Riverside County branch library, and the Property Owner's Association offices, which are all located side by side in the same building. Another building in the Towne Center mall houses the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce.



The community is served directly by the Canyon Lake Community Church, which is the only church with its own facilities within the City of Canyon Lake, but located outside the gated portion of the community. The Tides Church has facilities in the Canyon Lake Towne Center.