Shasta Lake in northern California is the largest man-made lake in the state. It is 10 miles north of Redding and easily accessible from Interstate 5. Shasta Lake is known for its excellent water skiing, because the water is spacious and calm with gorgeous surrounding scenery.
Shasta Lake was formed in 1948 by the damming of the Sacramento, Pit, and McCloud Rivers along with several small tributaries. These bodies of water now make convenient inlets along the lake. When full, the lake has 365 miles of mountainous shoreline. Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen are majestic backdrops seen from the lake.
Lassen Peak is famous among mountain climbers. It is an active volcano at the southernmost end of the Cascade Range. It reaches 2,000 feet above the surrounding terrain and is half a cubic mile large. The Lassen Volcanic National Park was designated in Shasta County to preserve this landmark. Lassen has the highest snowfall in California and retains patches of snow on its peak throughout the year.
Shasta Lake lies behind Shasta Dam, which is the second largest dam in the U.S. The attached rivers are considered separate arms that retain their own environment and history. The Sacramento River runs 447 miles down to the Pacific Ocean and is known for its abundant salmon. The Pit River is one of the only U.S. Rivers that crosses the Cascade Range. The McCloud River flows parallel to the Sacramento River, and is famous for its unique waterfalls flowing over basaltic lava flows.
Tall evergreen trees and other greenery encompass the lake. Shasta Lake is warm in the summer, usually getting into the 80s and 90s. The coldest month is January when temperatures drop into the 40s.
The Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area and Shasta-Trinity National Forest includes Shasta Lake, and has fun places for visitors to explore on and off the water. The recreation area is where people come to swim, boat, and picnic at various designated spots. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest is the largest forest in California. This area provides a wide range of recreation including horseback riding, backpacking, and mountain biking on numerous wilderness trails. People can also use these trails to cross-country ski and snowmobile in the winter.
Bailey Cove has a scenic 3-mile trail through the forest near the lake. There are also many gorgeous waterfalls in the area including Potem Falls, which can easily be accessed from the lake by boat. Fishing is outstanding on Shasta Lake, and people most often catch Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and King Salmon. There are many full-service marinas off the lake providing rental equipment such as boats, wakeboards, and kayaks.
Many great lodging options are minutes from the lake including the La Quinta Inn, the Tsasdi Cabins, and the Best Western Hilltop Inn. This year, make arrangements to stay at enchantingly beautiful Shasta Lake in California.