Photo of Shasta Lake, California

Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake's 365 miles of shoreline make it unique among California Lakes. Behind 602-foot tall Shasta Dam three great arms of water stretch up the canyons of the major rivers which feed the lake: the Sacramento, the McCloud and the Pit rivers.

A half-dozen lesser arms add to Shasta Lake's complexity. Covering 30,000 acres, Shasta Lake is California's largest reservoir and ranks 3rd overall in size among all lakes behind the Salton Sea and Lake Tahoe.

Current Shasta Lake Water Level


Shasta Lake is above all, a boater's paradise. The long, winding shoreline provides a seemingly endless number of inlets and bays to explore. Houseboats cruise from cove to cove, usually with scenic views of snow-clad Mount Shasta and the forested shoreline. Because much of the water lies in protected inlets, Shasta doesn't suffer the stiff winds that many other more exposed lakes do. Waterskiers and other water sports enthusiasts love Shasta Lake's smooth surface.


Shasta Lake has marinas scattered around its shores with ample facilities for launching and mooring. Service docks make it convenient for boaters to enjoy all the wonders of Shasta Lake.


Fishing at Shasta Lake is excellent. Although the lake is home to more than twenty species of fish, trout and bass are most often sought by anglers. Rainbow and brook trout are stocked in the lake annually by the California Department of Fish and Game. Largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass are found in Shasta Lake. Chinook salmon and crappies also draw the attention of anglers. Fishing is good both from shore and by boat.


Shasta Lake has a good number of campgrounds and RV Parks. National Forest Campgrounds are found along the three main arms of the lake. Boat-In campsites are also available. A number of nearby RV Parks add additional choices for camping.


Shasta Lake has a number of outstanding resorts along its shores. Some are luxury resorts while others are more reasonably priced. As in most resort lake areas, rental cabins can be found for reasonable prices, providing a comfortable retreat for families or groups.


With 14,000-foot Mount Shasta towering nearby and thickly forested mountains encompassing the lake, Shasta is one of the most beautiful settings for recreation in the state. The varied channels and inlets give it the feel of a much smaller, more intimate lake.

Nearby Communities

The city of Redding, only 12 miles south of Shasta Lake has everything you would need in the way of supplies and services from boat repairs to movie theaters, from sporting goods to motels. Closer to Shasta Lake is Project City and Central Valley where workers lived during the construction of the dam. They have all the amenities you would expect to find in a small community.


Shasta Lake Facts
Lake Size: 30,000 surface acres
Maximum Depth: 517 feet
Length: 35 miles
Shoreline: 365 miles
Dam Construction: 1935-45
Reservoir Manager: Bureau of Reclamation
Maximum Lake Elevation: 1,067 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 79 degrees
  summer: 99 degrees
  fall: 85 degrees
  winter: 55 degrees
Summer Surface Water Temperature: 80 degrees


Shasta Lake

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Other Recreation around
Shasta Lake

Shasta County has a wide variety of recreation opportunities for visitors. Several golf courses are nearby.

Hiking, birding, mountaineering, and caving are popular in the Shasta area. Nearby Lake Shasta Caverns offer daily tours.

Cycling and mountain biking also have a strong following around Shasta.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding has a museum, gardens, animals, and the famous Sundial Bridge .


California's Greatest Lakes

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