Lake Ray Roberts Information

Lake Ray Roberts is a beautiful gem just 10 and 30 miles north of Denton, Texas, and about 60 miles north of downtown Dallas, Texas. Located in Cooke, Grayson, and Denton Counties, its south side is close to city resources, and its northern end is extremely rural. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Fort Worth District, owns and operates Lake Ray Robert, but leased Lake Ray Roberts to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Both entities partner to work together to preserve and protect Lake Ray Robert’s natural resources.

Lake Ray Roberts covers 25,600 acres with 158 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 106 feet. The Elm Fork of the Trinity River feeds Lake Ray Roberts. Two wonderful TPWD state parks on the southwest and northeast side of the Lake Ray Roberts offer great accommodations and activities, and there are satellite units salt and peppered around the lake. The towns around Lake Ray Roberts are Tioga, Texas, on the northeast, Valley View on the northwest, Pilot Point, Texas, on the southeast, and Sanger, Texas on the southwest. I35 runs along its western border with 377 on its eastern border. FM 455 crosses Lake Ray Robert’s entire southern border with FM 922 on its northern border. 

History of Lake Ray Roberts

The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1965 authorized the construction of Ray Roberts Lake in 1975. It is the namesake of U.S. Congressman Ray Roberts (1913-1993). Construction on the Ray Roberts Dam began on May 31, 1982. Impoundment of water began on June 30, 1987.

Today’s Cooke County, Texas, was the borderland between the Comanche Indians on the west and Caddo Indians on the east before settlement. These two tribes displayed extremely different cultural values and lifestyles. The Comanche exhibited excellent horseback riding skills, lived in nomadic teepees, and hunted for their food. The Caddos farmed, lived in grass huts, and were peaceful. One of the bloodiest Comanche raids in Cooke County took place in 1868. The U.S. had confined the Comanche and Kiowa Tribes to Indian Territory, aka Oklahoma Territory, at that time. 

A historical account of this raid is from Mrs. Sarah Witt McCutcheon from her recollections at age 18, and portrays the horror, 

“…the Indians upon crossing from the reservation into Texas divided into two bands and ravag­ed a wide scope of country. They stole horses, burned houses, murdered men and murdered or carried away women, and children. They burned more houses at the beginning of their progress than toward the end, for as they went they accumulated such a drove of horses that they were kept busy handling them, and had no time to destroy property. I do not know personally, but learned from the "Book of Pioneers'' that nine persons were murdered on this raid.”

Peter’s Colony is a name still recognized today as a settlement of Cooke, Denton, and Grayson Counties. It was a name applied to four empresario land grant contracts first by the Republic of Texas and then the State of Texas for settlement in North Texas. The original boundary of Peters Colony started on the Red River at the mouth of Big Mineral Creek, currently in western Grayson County, running south 60 miles, then west 22 miles, then back north to the Red River, and then east along the Red River to the point of origin at Big Mineral Creek. 

The empresarios were to recruit 200 families to the settlement. Peter’s Colony contracts led to legal squabbles between its settlers and the company for many years. A single oak tree high on a hill led settlers to Peter’s colony east of Pilot Point in today’s Denton County. Marked with an “X”, it was the most substantial landmark used by settlers and Peter’s Colony early surveyors. 

At that time, today’s Lake Ray Robert’s region was home to the black bear. Wolves would come up to the pioneer’s cabins when they smelled food cooking and would gnaw on the cabin logs. An account by R.W. Carpenter in 1852 describes the wildlife scene, 

“As far as the eye could see, were miles and miles of waving grass that even in the early spring reaching the stirrups on his saddle. Wild water fowl rose ahead out of the water-filled buffalo wallows by the thousands. I saw prairie chicken and quail, and once a glimpse of antelope or deer on this 4-mile ride.”

Lake Ray Roberts Fishing

Anglers find Lake Ray Roberts absolutely wonderful for its excellent largemouth and white bass, channel catfish, and crappie populations. Other fish populations include black, hybrid, smallmouth, spotted, striped, and yellow bass, flathead catfish, black and white crappie, long-nose and spotted gar, bluegill and long-ear sunfish, and walleye. 

Largemouth bass angling peaks in the spring and fall, but anglers catch the most trophy bass in February and March. The quality bass fishing attracts numerous amateur and professional tournaments every year to “Ray Bob”, as some anglers affectionately call it. With approximately 2,000 acres of standing timber, located mostly in the upper major arms near Tioga and Valley View, and brush piles, there is plenty of cover for fish hangouts. 

You won’t be able to keep your bait in the water when you spend a day with a local Lake Ray Roberts fishing guide. These guides know where the fish you want to fry up for dinner are located, and they want you to catch your limit. Let the guides provide all the bait, tackle, and rods. Try out the latest innovations in fishing accoutrements. Find a pro guide on our Lake Ray Roberts Fishing Guides page. 

Boating on Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts is a wide-open lake for boaters. All types of boaters and personal watercraft owners will find glassy water surfaces in the mornings and evenings with plenty of room to let loose with speed as long as they obey the established etiquette required by law.

Public and private boat ramps are available, and the state parks have launching facilities. A few boat and personal watercraft rentals and boat repair/mechanics exist on Lake Ray Roberts. Boaters can find independent contractors for boat repair and towing services, but they need to check credentials. The staff at the two largest state park units on Lake Ray Roberts have the best information if a boat owner needs services. Buy or sell a boat on our Lake Ray Roberts Boats for Sale page. 

Lake Ray Roberts Marinas

The Johnson Branch state park unit houses the only premier public marina on Lake Ray Roberts. This big lake only has two marinas. The Lake Ray Roberts Marina is a full service marina and offers boat slip rentals plus all the amenities like a ships store, RV park, and pontoon rentals. The Lone Star Lodge Hotel and Marina is an upscale private marina for guests only, rents boats and jet skis, but is without a gas dock. Explore your options on our Lake Ray Roberts Marinas page. 

Lake Ray Roberts Cabins and Vacation Homes

Due to the state parks operating all lake shore, Lake Ray Roberts does not have any waterfront lake house rentals. However, the area surrounding the lake is gorgeous countryside, and there are rental cabins near to the lake. The best location to find rentals is in Pilot Point, Texas, on the east side of Lake Ray Roberts from individual rental home owners. Explore more on our Lake Ray Roberts Cabins page. 

Camping on Lake Ray Roberts

Camping opportunities at Lake Ray Roberts are unique. The best places to camp are at two TPWD state park units, Isle Du Bois, and Johnson Branch, along with other state park satellite units sprinkled around Lake Ray Roberts. They have pristine facilities with many amenities that a camper or RVer might need. They offer kid’s fishing ponds, horse, bike and hiking trails, two marinas, and one is full service, and a lodge.

In true Texas fashion, and aside from the public campgrounds, you can find places to camp primitive on the north side of Lake Ray Roberts. The wildlife abounds, and primitive campers will be dazzled by the natural beauty of this region. RV parks on Lake Ray Roberts are few and far between its shores, but there are a few off of the lake, and numerous places to buy supplies, fishing gear, and food. Book your next trip on our Lake Ray Roberts Camping page. 

Hiking Around Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts is known as Horse Country. Isle Du Bois and Johnson Branch state park units and their satellite units have hiking trails, biking trails, and Johnson Branch has four horse trails. It offers facilities for camping with your horses. One trail might showcase prairie grasses, while another will lead you through woodlands or along wetlands. You can find horse rentals in Pilot Point, Texas. 

The 20-mile multi-use Greenbelt Corridor runs from the Ray Roberts Dam on the south side of Lake Ray Roberts to Lake Lewisville, along the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River. Horse riders can use 12 miles of the trail, while 10 miles are for hike and bike use only. Johnson Branch and Isle Du Bois have multi-use trails, some of which are paved.

Ray Roberts Hunting 

Public hunting lands wrap around the far northeastern and southeastern arms of Lake Ray Roberts. Legal hunting game species include dove, quail, waterfowl, snipe, gallinule, feral hog, squirrel, and rabbits. A large portion of the lake is huntable with a Texas-issued public land “Annual Hunting Permit”.  

Things to do at Lake Ray Roberts

Christies Golf Ranch is a one of a kind golf driving range in Pilot Point, Texas. This unique golf facility operates a full service driving range with 55-stations and a 9 hole par 3 golf course with greens having a variety of slopes and pin placements. Their vision is to give every golfer a variety of perspectives. The 555 Golf Academy in Tioga, Texas, prides itself on teaching golf with an objective to prepare its clients both mentally & mechanically to evaluate and correct swing and course management errors.

The Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, Texas, about 22 miles northwest of Lake Ray Roberts, is a hidden gem when it comes to exotic animals. From Flamingos to wallabies, to black bears and leopards, the Frank Buck Zoo is home to 38 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Take the kids to the Water Works Park in Denton, Texas, where they can hang out in the wave pool, laugh down four big slides, splash in a kiddie play pool, float on a continuously flowing river, or have a match in the sand volleyball court. 

You won’t find waterfront restaurants, but there are delicious dining opportunities in Sanger, Tioga, and Pilot Point, like the famous Clark’s Outpost BBQ in Tioga, or Babe’s Chicken Dinner House in Sanger. Some of these establishments offer private memberships for alcoholic beverages. Visit Western Son Distillery in Pilot Point, which produces small batch American craft vodka, and their tours take  one to two hours. 

Nearby Denton, Texas, is home to two universities, and is overloaded with an arts community, great restaurants, nightclubs, and a thriving music scene. Denton is 10 miles south of Lake Ray Robert’s from its southern end via I35. The annual three-day Germanfest in Muenster, Texas, is held on the last weekend in April. It attracts thousands of visitors and features authentic, mouth-watering German cuisine, music, cook-offs, and many more activities. 

Plan your trip starting on our Things To Do At Lake Ray Roberts page. 

Lake Ray Roberts Weather

Lake Ray Roberts sees an average of 42 inches of rain per year, with 2 inches of snow and 232 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 32 degrees and a summer high in July of 93 degrees. April, May, and October are the most comfortable months for this region. Stay up to date on our Lake Ray Roberts Weather Forecast page. 

Ray Roberts Real Estate

Waterfront lake homes and lots are scarce on Lake Ray Roberts. The average price of a modern lake home costs approximately $658,000. Typically there are about 10 lake homes and 20 lots for sale on Lake Ray Roberts. The school districts who serve Lake Ray Roberts are Pilot Point ISD, Sanger ISD, Tioga ISD, and Valley View ISD. The best shopping area on Lake Ray Robert’s northern side is in Gainesville, Texas, anywhere from a distance of 10 to 30 miles. The south side of Lake Ray Roberts is only 10 miles north of Denton, Texas, which offers everything you may need. Shop for the perfect lake home on our Lake Ray Roberts Homes for Sale page. 

Lake Ray Roberts Zip Codes

Cooke County: 76238, 76239,76240, 76241, 76250, 76252, 76253, 76263, and 76265.

Denton County: 75008, 75010, 75027, 75028, 75029, 75036, 75056, 75057, 75065, 75067, 75068, 75077, 76201, 76202, 76203, 76204, 76205, 76206, 76207, 76208, 76209, 76210, 76226, 76227, 76247, 76249,  76258, 76259, 76266, 76272, and  76299.

Grayson County: 75092, 75020, 75090, 76273, 75076, 75021, 75495, 75491, 75459, 76233, 75414, 75058, 76245, 75091, 76271, 76264, 75489, and 76268.

Flora and Fauna

Lake Ray Robert’s rolling terrain is surfaced by mixed soils ranging from sandy to loam and from red to black. Grassy prairie predominates in the west. The country is forested mainly with blackjack oak, post oak, and hackberry, and with elm, pecan, walnut, and cottonwood along the creeks and rivers. Wildlife viewing opportunities include deer, raccoon, opossum, rabbit, eastern gray and fox squirrels, Mexican free-tail and brown bats, beaver, plains pocket gopher, nine-banded armadillo, mink, striped skunk, gray fox, coyote, bobcat.

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Lake Ray Roberts Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Ray Roberts Weather Forecast


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 80

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 62


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 89

Saturday Night


Lo: 68


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 91

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 71


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 91

Monday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 75

Lake Ray Roberts Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 5/17: 636.33 (+3.83)