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History of the Yacht Club

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Canyon Lake is a city and gated community located in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. It is one of only five gated cities in California. "Canyon Lake" began as a master-planned community developed by the 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 lake, also known as the Railroad Canyon Reservoir, which covers 383 acres and has 14.9 miles of shoreline.

The community is named for Canyon Lake, which it surrounds. For more on the history of the Canyon Lake community read this article in the Canyon Lake Insider.

How Canyon Lake got its name is an interesting story in itself. You can read about it in this 2016 article from The Press-Enterprise.

Here's a plaque hanging in the POA offices that describes the very early years of Canyon Lake.

Canyon Lake residents have always been actively involved in the lake. Before the Yacht Club, the area was already a recreational paradise with fishing and boating prime activities. As the Canyon Lake community grew, neighbors and friends began to have impromptu boating outings and boat picnics. Out of these formative activities came a desire to more formally organize a club for people with similar interests.

In 1990, the Canyon Lake Yacht Club became a sanctioned Canyon Lake club. In the beginning the first officers were the only members in the club, but the club quickly grew. Some of those founding members of the CLYC are still involved today. Click here for an interview with one of the founding members.

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From the early years the Club established a legacy of contributing to the Canyon Lake community. Skippers Island on the lake is just one example. The island, only accessible by boat, is a beautiful outdoor park at the southern end of Canyon Lake, just a short distance from Happy Camp campground and within eyesight of the dam's spillway. Skippers Island was renovated in 1992 by the Canyon Lake Yacht Club and is now maintained by the Property Owners Association. In winter, the park is a refuge for migrating pelicans and Canadian Geese. Throughout the year the trees, submerged in winter and spring near the park's shoreline, offer natural beauty and enjoyment for boats docking at the island or anchoring offshore.

Our two annual lake clean-up days help pick debris from the lake and shoreline in spring and fall.

The Yacht Club has participated in the annual Holiday Parade of Lights since its inception and took over producing the event in the early 1990s. Today, the Parade of Lights is one of six signature events of the Club, led by the Club's iconic Green Dragon, now "Pete's Dragon" in honor of the late Pete Delia who was the dragon master for many years.

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