Description - The Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area (NRA) is comprised of 203,587 acres divided into three units: Whiskeytown, Shasta and Trinity. Each of these areas encompasses a large manmade lake and its surrounding terrain. Lying in the Sierra Nevada Mountains these areas boast mountainous back country as well as miles of lakeshore. Although recreation brings many people to this area, the region once supported many mining endeavors. The remains of these efforts can be found in various stages of decay in the rugged terrain that surrounds these lakes.
Copyright: National Park Service
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
Congress established the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity NRA November 8, 1965. Whiskeytown NRA, managed by the National Park Service, is comprised of 42,503 acres including the 6,209-foot Shasta Bally. The National Forest Service manages the Shasta-Trinity units. Trinity Lake area can be divided into four subunits: Lewiston lake, Trinity Dam, Stuart Fork, and North Lake areas. The Shasta Lake area includes three arms: Sacramento, McCloud, and Squaw / Pit. Each is a wonderland of scenic beauty and phenomenal outdoor recreation.
- These site with their large reservoirs and mountainous terrain support a large variety of recreation opportunities. Hikers, bikers, swimmers, boaters, anglers and campers will enjoy the facilities the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity Area has to offer. A good place to determine what is available at these sites is to visit one of the information centers. Exhibits at the Whiskeytown site include information about the natural and human history of the region. A bookstore is also available on site. Ranger guided programs are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Whiskeytown unit offers 45 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails including a hike or four-wheel drive up to Shasta Bally, elevation 6,209 feet. There are many opportunities for four-wheel drive enthusiasts within the recreation area; roads in the higher elevations close in the winter and reopen in the spring. The lake, which covers 3,200 acres and offers 36 miles of pristine shoreline, is perfect for camping and picnicking. There are three developed campgrounds plus primitive campsites. Primitive tent sites are available at park headquarters on a first-come, first-served basis. The campgrounds are Oak Bottom, Dry Creek and Brandy Creek. Sites at Oak Bottom Campground (several hike-in tent sites available) can be reserved for the summer season. During the winter season, sites are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Dry Creek Group Tent Campground offers two campsites for tents only. Each can hold a maximum of 50 people and must be reserved from April 1st through September 30th. Brandy Creek RV Campground offers sites on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits are only available at the Brandy Creek Marina Pay Station. Another developed site is Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area. It offers three reservable (April thru September) group day use picnic areas, which can accommodate groups up to 40 people. The lake itself, with over 3,000 acres of water surface including numerous scenic inlets, is ideal for paddling canoes and kayaks, swimming, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, boating, and fishing. Boat ramps can be accessed from the north and south side of Whiskeytown Lake. The Historic District dates back to the California gold rush era and before. Opportunities include gold panning, interpretive signs and the Camden House built in the 1850s.
The Trinity area with its four subunits has endless opportunities for recreation from great trout fishing in Lewiston Lake, to scenic driving along Trinity Heritage National Scenic Byway, to picturesque picnicking. Camping and trail use are among the top pastimes.
Shasta Lake, a multi-armed area, attracts enormous crowds to its striking landscape. As with the case of Trinity and Whiskeytown, water sport enthusiasts find plenty of private and public accommodations to meet their needs. Marinas, boat ramps, campgrounds, shoreline picnic areas and superb multi-use trails exist.
Recreation - This National Recreation Area is a Mecca for outdoor activities including camping, fishing, swimming, paddling, boating, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-roading, and hunting.
Climate - Summer is hot and dry in northern California with temperatures ranging from 85 - 100+ degrees F. Lows range from 60 - 70 degrees F. Fall days are usually mild and warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls, averaging over 55 inches per year. Highs during this season range from 40 - 60 degrees F and lows from 30 - 40 degrees F. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days and high temperatures reaching 60 - 80 degrees F and lows in the 40s.
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area sites lie in northern California surrounding the community of Redding.
WHISKEYTOWN VISITOR CENTER: From Interstate 5, take the 299 West exit toward Eureka. Follow 299 west for approximately 8 miles to reach the visitor center.