Lake Shasta is a massive reservoir in northern California near Redding. It’s the third largest body of water in California and home to some of the most stunning scenic vistas and fabulous lake activities. Here are some of the highlights.
Lake Shasta is a man-made lake, created in 1948 by the Shasta Dam. The dam was envisioned as early as 1919 and was built in the years between 1935 to 1945, its main purposes being for flood control, water storage for the Central Valley’s agricultural operations, and hydroelectric generation. The lake began to form in 1944 and was completely full by 1948. At the time it was built, it was the second highest dam in the entire world, second only to Hoover Dam. Today, it holds the status of being the ninth tallest dam in the United States. You can take a tour of the dam to learn more of its history and current purposes. The tour takes you underneath the dam for a unique inside perspective.
Lake Shasta Caverns
Caves are some of the most fascinating natural wonders in the world. And Lake Shasta claims access to some of them. The Shasta Caverns are a labyrinth of caves close to the McCloud arm on Lake Shasta. These caves and their stunning limestone formations were discovered by James Richardson in November of 1878. Until 1964, the Caverns were only accessible to hardy spelunkers. Around that time, the cave was opened to the public by means of blasting a tunnel inside the mountain. Interestingly enough, the Caverns were not named a National Natural Landmark until May of 2012. This underground phenomenon is a must-see.
Lake Shasta is home to several stunning waterfalls, some of which are only accessible by boat. Waters Gulch Falls (a 20-foot waterfall), Bear Canyon Falls (a 25-foot waterfall), Indian Creek Falls, and Potem Falls are some of the falls that are located around the lake. And then there’s the Little BackBone RockSlide, a natural waterslide on the McCloud arm of Lake Shasta. This natural treasure is not only an idyllic little pool of clear water, but it’s also a load of fun for those wanting an exhilarating ride down a waterfall. A visit to the lake is never complete without a jaunt to one of these natural wonders.
Of course, no list of things to do on Lake Shasta is complete without mentioning houseboats. Lake Shasta is one of the top ten lakes for houseboating in the United States. With a houseboat, you can explore the many nooks and crannies of Lake Shasta at your own leisure while dinner is roasting in the on-board oven.
When you’re on Lake Shasta, there’s a wealth of things you can do and see. Bring the family for a day, a weekend, or a week to take in some of the magnificent beauty that is so plentiful on the lake.