Lake Eleanor and The Banning Dam

Lake Eleanor, a serene and enchanting body of water, is situated within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Surrounded by lush greenery and rolling hills, the lake provides a breathtaking setting for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and visitors seeking a peaceful retreat. The calm waters are home to various species of fish and waterfowl, while the surrounding ecosystem supports a diverse array of flora and fauna, creating a thriving habitat that invites exploration and appreciation.

The Banning Dam: A Historic Marvel

Constructed in 1889, Banning Dam was the brainchild of Los Angeles businessman, Hancock Banning. Originally built to provide a reliable water supply for the nearby town of Westlake Village, the dam also played an essential role in the irrigation of the surrounding farmland. The Banning Dam is a fine example of 19th-century engineering, showcasing the ingenuity and resilience of early American settlers. Though no longer in active use, the dam remains a historic landmark, attracting visitors interested in the region’s rich history.

Banning Dam
Banning Dam

Recreational Opportunities

Lake Eleanor Westlake and Banning Dam offer a wealth of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking enthusiasts can traverse the scenic trails around the lake, discovering the area’s diverse plant and animal life. For birdwatchers, the lake’s serene environment attracts numerous species of waterfowl, making it an ideal spot for spotting and photographing these graceful creatures.

Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching the lake’s various fish species, including bass, catfish, and bluegill. The lake’s calm waters also provide a perfect setting for kayaking and canoeing, allowing visitors to glide through the picturesque scenery while enjoying the gentle lapping of the water.

Lake Eleanor Open Space
Lake Eleanor Open Space Hiking Trail

Preservation and Environmental Consciousness

As a protected area within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Lake Eleanor Westlake and Banning Dam are subject to strict conservation efforts. These measures ensure the preservation of the lake’s delicate ecosystem and the continued enjoyment of its natural beauty for generations to come. Visitors are encouraged to respect the environment, practice responsible recreation, and leave no trace during their time at the lake.

Lake Eleanor Open Space
Lake Eleanor Open Space

Lake Eleanor Westlake and Banning Dam offer a unique and captivating experience for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With a rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, and a range of recreational activities, this hidden gem provides a tranquil retreat that promises to leave a lasting impression on its visitors. Next time you find yourself in the Westlake Village area, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this enchanting destination.

Banning Damn Photo Photo By Jglandau – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0