Shasta Lake, also known as Lake Shasta in California, is a reservoir created in 1994 due to the Sacramento River being impounded by the Shasta Dam. Luckily, Shasta lake provides flood control for the Sacramento Valley and is also the largest reservoir in the state. While it has practical purposes, this 30,000-acre reservoir features 370 miles of shoreline and an abundance of outdoor activities for visitors.
In addition to many camping and fishing opportunities, Mount Shasta hovers in the background as a welcoming sight and tourist attraction. This article will provide a complete guide to recreational activities and RV camping in Lake Shasta.
How To Get To Shasta Lake
Shasta Lake is located 15 minutes outside the town of Redding, California, making it easily accessible for a famous town in Northern California. If you’re driving from San Francisco, you can expect the trip to take three-and-a-half hours. Access to the lake is off of I-5, with a nearby town called Lake Shasta.
When Visit Lake Shasta
The best time to visit Lake Shasta is during the summer, with temperatures averaging around 80 degrees with abundant sunshine. While this is a very popular time for the lake, there is plenty of water to go around for everyone to enjoy. Temperatures in the winter average around 40 degrees with rain, but Spring and fall offer less rain, with temperatures averaging about 60.
Fall and Spring are the best time of year to take advantage of hiking in the area, with optimal temperatures to spend the entire day outside without getting overheated. The summer is most famous for long days on the water, with swimming as a fun activity to cool off the hot sun. Winter is still an exciting time for guests, but as the weather can still be touch and go, you’ll want to make sure to pack appropriately.
RV Camping Lake Shasta
Antlers RV Park
Antlers RV Park is located on Shasta Lake with an entire convenience store, free hook-ups, RV sites, and shaded tent sites. In addition, you can rent a trailer to camp in that can sleep ten people! The site features a pool, boat launch, a basketball court, ping-pong tables, volleyball, and a horseshoe pit.
Castle Lake Campground
Castle Lake Campground is a small, primitive campground located about a quarter of a mile from Castle Lake. You’ll find six sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets at this location. This location is not suitable for large vehicles or large RV camping.
Lower Jones Valley Campground
This campground features first-come, first-serve tent sites and RV sites in a small campground setting. The Lower Jones Valley Campground is situated in a small canyon adjacent to the water with a boat ramp and a nearby hiking trail. All campsites have a paved parking spur, tent pads, raised campfire rings, bear boxes, and picnic tables.
McCloud Bridge Campground
McCloud Bridge Campground is located in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and is adjacent to the McCloud Bridge Day Use Area. This campground is very popular in the area for its easy water access and fruit trees on site. All campsites are first-come, first-serve and come with picnic tables, fire rings, bear boxes, and paved parking.
Mountain Gate RV Park
Mountain Gate RV Park is located near Shasta Lake and offers full-service camping that is also handicapped accessible. All 108 RV sites come will full hookups, including cable TV. On-site amenities include propane service, a convenience store, showers and restrooms, a fenced pet park, a pool, a hot tub, and a group bonfire pit. The park also boasts a clubhouse for the adults .to enjoy
Shasta Lake RV Resort
Shasta Lake RV Resort is a family-owned campground located directly on Lake Shasta. This ideal location features 50 RV sites, 19 tent sites, rental cabins, and trailers. In addition to fantastic accommodations, the RV resort also features a private boat dock, restrooms, showers, a laundry room, a swimming pool, wifi access, and a grocery store full of snacks and other essentials.
Shasta Lake Recreational Activities
Castle Crags State Park
Castle Crags State Park is close to Shasta National Forest and is famous for its tall rock formations that range from 2,000 feet to over 6,500 feet at the tallest crag. The park features 28 miles of hiking trails that range from fun walks to challenging hikes. The most popular trail is the Crags Trail which leads to the base of the Castle Dome but expects this hike to be challenging. The Pacific Crest Trail also winds through this park.
Lake Shasta Caverns
The Lake Shasta Caverns are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area and are a historic natural location. The caverns are one of three known in Shasta County and are thought to have originated 250 million years ago. While the Wintu Indians used the caverns as a part of their daily lives, immigrants discovered them in 1878. Today you can tour the cavern, which has been open to the public since 1964.
Shasta Trinity National Forest
The Shasta Trinity National Forest is a forest located in Northern California and, combined, is the largest National Forest in California. This national forest contains five wilderness areas, Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta. While many of the campgrounds and recreational activities we’ve mentioned are within Shasta Trinity National Forest, there are many more recreational activities in the forest to explore. These activities include hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Lake Shasta and the surrounding areas are the perfect destinations for outdoor activities. Whether you are looking to hike, fish, swim, or ski, this area is a great location, no matter what season you choose to visit. With access to excellent campgrounds and the largest national forest in Northern California, you can’t go wrong with Lake Shasta as your destination for your next vacation.
For more great Northern California RV Camping, visit June Lake.
featured image California Department Of Water Resources, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.