Make a Splash on Shasta Lake, California

Destinations, Things to Do

Make a Splash on Shasta Lake, California

Shasta Lake, nestled in the majestic Trinity National Forest in northern California, was created by the 2nd largest man made dam in the US. The beautiful mountain and forest scenery is unmatched, making Shasta Lake a top destination for houseboaters and water sport enthusiasts alike. And as of May 2016, the water level has reached nearly full pool!


Shasta Lake is considered the go-to for watersports: wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, jet skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, not to mention swimming. Whatever you enjoy, the glass like water of Shasta Lake makes for optimal conditions.



The lake is also well known for fishing; boasting the #1 fishing lake in California! There are more than 20 species of fish including: land-locked King Salmon, Rainbow and Brown Trout, Small and Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Catfish, Panfish, and even Sturgeon, to name a few.



Make sure to do some sightseeing, there are caverns and rock formations that make this area so unique.

  • Slide down the natural waterslide at Little Backbone Creek on the western end of the lake on the McCloud Arm. The scenic 20 minute hike up to the waterslide is a nice precurser and great way to experience the area.
  • In the McCloud Arm of the lake, Shasta Caverns is a popular spot. Houseboats can stake up to the shoreline or small boats can park at the courtesy dock. From there, you’re guided through a forest of gravity defying helictites and stalagmites that date back 250 million years, when the area was submerged under water. Samwel Cave is also located on the McCloud Arm, just south of the McCloud bridge. The cave was  believed to contain magic from the pools where the Indian Medicine Men would bathe. *Samwel Cave trail is accessible by land only.

  • Down the Sacramento Arm of the lake, take note of the red basalt rocks on the western shore. And column shaped rock near the Antlers resort. Also, across from the resort, head down Indian Creek to a waterfall.


Hiking is also a great way to experience the lake:

  • Clikapudi Trail - an 8 mile loop which begins and ends at the Jones Valley boat ramp. The trail climbs through a forest of black oak and offers great views of the Pit Arm of the lake. Wildflowers peak in the springtime, don’t forget the camera!

  • Bailey Cove Trail - a scenic hike along the lower McCloud Arm, which circles what used to be a mountain.

  • Packers Bay Trails - four trails ranging from short 0.4 mile overlooks to longer 2.8 mile loops. The overlook trail is a short hike to a view of the Sacramento River Arm of the lake, a great spot for early morning or sunset scenes.


With so many options, it’s no wonder people make a yearly visit to Shasta Lake. Whether you’re looking for a laid back vacation to enjoy the views and fun from your houseboat, or days full of adventurous sightseeing, watersports or hiking, a trip to Shasta Lake has something for everyone.

Busting Houseboating Myths

Busting Houseboating Myths

Lake Mead - The Blue Oasis

Lake Mead - The Blue Oasis

Join Our Newsletter

Want to get more great houseboating information? Join over 60,000+ other houseboaters and sign up for our newsletter. Be the first to receive our latest specials, helpful articles, and other great information directly to your email inbox for FREE! Don't worry, we won't share your information.