Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake, the state's largest reservoir, was created by construction of Shasta Dam, a massive project begun during the Great Depression and completed during World War II. Five towns were drowned to create the lake. While its major function is water storage, the lake is also extremely popular for recreation. Fed by three rivers—the Sacramento, the Pitt and the McCloud—its waters are clear but warm enough for swimming in summer. 

Houseboating, waterskiing and wakeboarding are major summer activities. Fishing is strong year-round, with many tournaments held.  Hiking and biking trails traverse the hilly terrain on the lake's edge, and many campgrounds, marinas, cabin resorts and restaurants are arrayed around its shores. The irregularly shaped lake is pocked with hundreds of coves and rimmed by mountainous country marking the southernmost extreme of the Cascade range.

Shasta Lake is about 10 miles north of Redding and crossed by Interstate 5. 

Photo: Janet Fullwood

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