No single image can really portray the vastness that is Lake Shasta.
Lake Shasta, also known as Shasta Lake, is an artificial lake in Northern California. It was created by the damming of the Sacramento River in 1948 by the creation of the Shasta Dam.
Shasta Dam is the second largest dam in the US (Wikipedia). Shasta Lake is fed by three main tributaries, the Sacramento River, Pit River and McCloud River, though there are many smaller tributaries feeding it as well.
At its longest point Shasta Lake is 35 miles long. It has over 350 miles of shore line, and an amazing amount of water. It is over 500 feet deep in places and has a full pool capacity of over 5000 Gigalitres. It has a surface area of 30,000 acres.
What all this means is that Shasta Lake is a very, VERY large lake with a whole lot of surface area to go play and get lost in. People do get lost on Shasta Lake. There are several “arms” of the lake and it can be confusing as to where you are and where you think you are heading!
So why the history and geography lesson on Shasta Lake? Well because Chris and I took our boat there for our latest adventure!
You may recall that last year we drove down with our friends and visited the dam and the lake, but we didn’t have our boat with us. We just viewed it from the sidelines. Not this time!
We packed up the ‘burb and the boat and took off Tuesday morning for a couple of days of boating relaxation. Shasta Lake is really indescribable. Beautiful. Majestic. Amazing. Huge.
We had HOT sun, about 100 degrees both days. The water was very warm, clean and beautiful. The boat launch was empty. The lake is so huge and has so many little coves, inlets, nooks and crannies that we had no problem finding places to anchor and hang out without anyone else around. We were there mid week and really…the lake was empty. Oh sure, there were people out there, but it was like having the place to ourselves.
We spent Tuesday afternoon on the lake, camped overnight at Antlers RV Park and Campground in Lakehead, California (a really great campground if you ever go: inexpensive, clean, friendly people) and hit the lake again for a few hours Wednesday.
(view from campsite)
We had a lot of fun!
I have to say that this was the highlight of the trip for me:
Yes, those are REAL LIVE Bears; a mama bear and her two cubs! It was incredible. I heard all this ruckus coming from the shore as they moved down the hillside through the brush. I couldn’t see anything though. Then all of a sudden….she came out of the brush and OMG! Amazing. Amazing.
I’m not sure how far away they were from us distance wise, but not that far.
So cool. We kept our distance and they kept theirs. She didn’t linger with her babies there, just long enough for them each to take a dip in the water. Then they moved off and we didn’t see them again. Truly spectacular. Our first ever WILD bear sightings!
We did see a couple of bald eagles as well, but never in a spot to take a good picture.
It is about a two and a half hour tow for us to get to Lakehead, which is not too bad. Our old Suburban handled the haul well and the boat is running excellent. We are thankful to have gone and seen such a beautiful place and to have arrived back home safe and sound with no troubles.
We saw some beautiful views on the way there and back, too.
Castle Crag (northern CA)
Shasta Lake was an excellent relaxing way to spend the first couple days of our vacation.
More adventures soon!