California’s largest reservoir is a haven for everything water-related, including lakeside camping.
Spanning 30,000 acres, Northern California’s Shasta Lake is the largest man-made lake in the state. With more than 360 miles of winding and forested shoreline, dotted with hundreds of protected inlets, coves, and bays, it’s a boater’s paradise. Houseboats are especially popular, but all manner of watercraft can be found here, along with numerous boat ramps, marinas, and service docks. Fishing and water sports are also big draws. More than 30 developed, dispersed, and group campgrounds around the lake’s three major arms offer plenty of options for campers to enjoy the water and scenic views of snow-capped Mount Shasta nearby.
With access from Interstate 5, the Sacramento River Arm is home to several private RV parks and more than a half dozen forest service campgrounds. Right by the town of Lakehead, the aptly named Lakeshore East Campground offers sites for tents, RVs, and yurts, while nearby Antlers Campground sits on a bluff overlooking the lake. Several dispersed campgrounds, including Beehive Point, Gregory Beach, and Salt Creek, sit along the shoreline. Boaters can head to the Gooseneck Cove Boat-in Campground, while groups have options at Gregory Creek and Nelson Point.
Right off Interstate 5 and near the access point for the Lake Shasta Caverns, the year-round Bailey Cove Campground is a popular option, and offers its own boat ramp. Enjoy great lake views from the Hirz Bay Campground further up the river. The McCloud River Arm is a great destination for groups, with several group campgrounds located here, including at Hirz Bay, Dekkas Rock, Moore Creek, and Pine Point. Boaters can stay at the Greens Creek Boat-in Campground.
The Pit River Arm is home to two of the four boat-in campgrounds on the lake, including Arbuckle Flat and popular Ski Island, which can sometimes be accessed from Mariners Point Group campgrounds when the lake level is low. Just a few miles away from the Jones Valley Boat Ramp, the Lower and Upper Jones Valley campgrounds are great options for boaters, while the Jones Valley Inlet Dispersed Campground lets campers stay along the shoreline.
There are several campgrounds around Shasta Lake that offer camping near the water. Some popular options include:
Keep in mind that some of these campgrounds require reservations, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to check the specific campground for availability and reservation requirements.
Yes, you can swim in Lake Shasta! The lake offers many opportunities for swimming, with its warm water and numerous coves and beaches. Some popular swimming spots include Lake Shasta campgrounds and public marinas. Please be aware of boating activity in the area and always swim with a buddy for safety.