Savor Shasta

Whiskeytown Lake recreation and hydroelectric power provider.

Whiskeytown Lake National Recreation area is an easy to get to attraction located just nine miles west of Redding. We can enjoy clear water, wildlife, and the miles of trails almost every day of the year. 

The Dam on Clear Creek creates the Whiskeytown reservoir. The Trinity River supplies additional water via the Lewiston Reservoir through a tunnel under Lewiston Lake.

The water is not only for fun.

The water entering the lake creates hydroelectricity at the Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse. Water exiting the lake leaves through the Spring Creek Tunnel creating more power at the Spring Creek Powerhouse before ending up in the Keswick Reservoir. Next, the water passes through the Keswick powerhouse before emptying into the Sacramento River.

These three powerhouses create the energy used by Redding Electric Utility which provides power to the Redding area. Any remaining power goes up for sale to other power distributors throughout the state.

Recreation options are available year-round. Once at the lake, no special equipment is necessary to have fun. Swimming in the clear waters and sitting on one of the beaches all day is one way to enjoy the area. Miles of shoreline provide both busy populated beaches and secluded ones. Some beaches are only accessible by watercraft.

Kayaking on Whiskeytown Lake

A great spot to spend quiet time in nature.

Whiskeytown lake can be a popular spot on holiday weekends. Most of the year, visitors enjoy a quiet experience. Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboards can be spotted year-round. Boats for fishing or fun can be kept in the marinas for a fee or brought for daily use at one of the three boat ramps. Fuel is available at Oak Bottom Marina from the water.

Brandy Creek Marina

There is plenty of land based fun too.

For those who want some challenge or adventure, Whiskeytown has it covered. There are over 70 miles of hiking and biking trails in the park. Tree-lined hikes under towering ponderosa pines and Oaks create a far from urban area experience. On some of the trails it is guaranteed that you will spot some wildlife or waterfalls.

James K. Carr Trailhead. A popular hike at Whiskeytown National Recreation area.

Many bird species inhabit the area surrounding Whiskeytown Lake, including eagles. You also have a chance to see deer or maybe even a bear. Fish species include Kokanee Salmon, trout, bass, and more.

Lots of space for camping.

Extend your time at Whiskeytown at one of the nine campgrounds available. Damage from the Carr fire has temporarily closed three of the campgrounds. RV spots, tent camping, and two primitive sites are all available. Until the restoration is complete, overnight backpacking is not permitted.

It is easy to find a private beach with a kayak.

There is still some restoration going on.

The 2018 Carr Fire created some hazards around the lake. Since then, crews have been working to get trails clean and safe for visitors. The bulk of the work has been repairing roads, trails, bridges, and removing hazardous trees. Check the website to see what is currently open or off-limits.

A short drive from Redding gets you to a spot to spend the day at, or just a little time. Visitor passes are available online or in the visitor center.

The official website has all of the information needed for a visit, including fees and advisory notices. When visiting Shasta County, especially Redding, make sure to put Whiskeytown National Recreation Area on your list and spend a day enjoying the natural beauty.

Contact us if you are a local business or bringing a group to the area and could use our help.