Description - Whiskeytown Unit, managed by the National Park Service, is dominated by Whiskeytown Lake. The lake is known as an excellent fishing source containing both variety and quality species (bass and trout). The lake rests at an elevation of 1,210 feet, has 36 shoreline miles, and water surface spanning 3,200 acres. Pines, oaks, and manzanitas surround this national recreation area. The most prominent landmark in the Whiskeytown Unit is Shasta Bally, elevation 6,209 feet.
- The Whiskeytown Unit, with its mountainous backcountry and large, man-made reservoir, offers many summer activities such as hiking and boating, as well as historical remains of the California gold rush of 1849. Opportunities include gold panning, interpretive signs and the Camden House built in the 1850s. Whiskeytown Lake, provides 36 miles of shoreline and 3,200 surface acres of water, and is excellent for most water-related activities, including swimming, scuba diving, water skiing, boating, and fishing. The lake was created by diverting water through tunnels and penstocks, from the Trinity River Basin to the Sacramento River Basin. Shasta Bally, elevation 6,209 feet may be reached on foot and by 4-wheel drive vehicle, but is closed in the winter. Hiking, hunting, interpretive programs, and horseback riding are also popular within the Whiskeytown Unit. There are three developed campgrounds, primitive campsites, plus a group picnic area. The campgrounds are Oak Bottom, Dry Creek and Brandy Creek; picnic site is Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area accommodating up to 40 people.
A good place to determine what is available at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is by stopping at the information center located west of Redding off Interstate 5 and Highway 299. In addition to local recreation details, exhibits enlighten you about the natural and human history of the region. A bookstore is also available on site.
Recreation - Recreation in the Whiskeytown Unit revolve around the lake. Water-oriented folks enjoy camping, swimming, paddling, boating, fishing, scuba diving, and water skiing. Land lovers find picnicking, sightseeing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and off-road vehicular use.
Climate - Summer is hot and dry in northern California with temperatures ranging from 85 - 100+ degrees F. Lows range from 60 - 70 degrees F. Autumn 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.
The Whiskeytown Unit is located eight miles west of Redding, Califorinia along Highway 299.
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.