Lake Shasta National Park

Lake Shasta National Park
Nestled in the heart of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, pristine Shasta Lake has something to offer everyone. Named after the tribe that traditionally inhabited the region, the Shasta Dam blocks the Sacramento River 10 miles north of the city of Redding, creating a multibranched lake that is the largest reservoir in California. Anglers, hikers, canoers and kayakers can find year-round attractions at this Northern Californian gem.


The lake is home to several cold water fish, including chinook salmon, brown trout and many species of bass, making it a popular fishing destination year-round. Several commercial marinas offer boat rentals during the summer, public boat ramps are open year-round and shoreline fishing is accessible in several areas around the lake.

On the Water

Canoers and kayakers can find peaceful refuge in the quieter fingers of the lake. The U.S. Forest Service manages seven boat launches around the lake, most of which require a day-use fee and are open year-round.

On Land

Nestled in the heart of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Shasta Lake is close to miles of hiking and mountain biking trials. Several of the 11 hiking trails at the lake start or end at public campgrounds and day-use areas.


Shasta Lake is home to many bird species including the majestic bald eagle and osprey. Whether from land or by water, keep an eye open for mule deer, double-crested cormorants, and even the occasional river otter.


The U.S. Forest Service manages 22 campgrounds around the lake, including four that are boat-access only, which are open year-round. Private campgrounds and resorts are spaced around the lake and offer yurts, cabins and houseboats for rent.


The Shasta Lake Visitor Information Center offers trail maps and campfire permits for the Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. The Center is in Mountain Gate, off of Interstate 5 at exit No. 687.

Article Written By Kim Brunskill

Kim Brunskill studied creative writing and psychology at Dominican University of California before moving on to acquire a Master of Science in environmental education from Southern Oregon University. She has two creative non-fiction stories published in Stories of Service--anthologies published by and for AmeriCorps Volunteers.

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