Lake Perris is an artificial lake completed in 1973. It is the southern terminus of the California State Water Project situated in a mountain-rimmed valley between Moreno Valley, and city of Perris in what is now the Lake Perris State Recreation Area. The park offers a variety of recreational activities. Because of this and the lake's proximity to major population centers, it is very crowded during the summer months.
Lake Perris is 1,560 feet (480 m) above sea level and is ringed by hills and small mountains. It impounds 131,400 acre feet (162,100,000 m3) of water behind a 2 mile (3 km) long, 128 foot (39 m) tall, chevron-shaped earthfill dam. The untended areas of Lake Perris may seem rocky and barren at first glance, but harbor a variety of natural wonders.