California's largest reservoir also happens to be one of the most picturesque spots and sought after locations to cruise on a houseboat.

Lake Shasta sits at the foot of infamous Mt Shasta, past the major Northern California city of Redding. From the Bay Area you can count on at least a 3.5 hour drive to get to waters edge, but the drive goes by quickly just cruising on HWY 5. 

There are multiple Marinas on Shasta but the largest is at Bridge Bay, ironically located right where HWY 5 crosses over Lake Shasta. There are multiple different houseboats to choose from depending on the size of your party. If you're willing to potentially have some tight quarters this can actually be a very affordable trip. 

The lake is absolutely massive so there is no way you can explore the whole thing in less than a week so if you have the time I would take your houseboat out for as long as you can. There are so many different inlets, fingers, and islands to explore so don't stay at one spot the whole time! The one struggle with docking your houseboat is that a lot of the terrain is steep and rocky so you wont find too many soft beaches around to pull up to. Look out for plateaus on the shoreline as these are great spots to anchor to so you can explore the land easier.

Also at Bridge Bay, where you'll pick up your boat, there is a little general store to pick up supplies as well as opportunities to rent ski boats if you're looking to zip around a little quicker and get out on the lake. Don't forget to bring your fishing pole either as there is great fishing in the lake with trout and bass primarily. 

Overall this is a killer lake to spend some good time at and enjoy the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and company. Please remember to pack out all of your trash. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Swimsuit 
  • Fishing Pole
  • Boating Gear
  • Tent (optional)
  • Food
  • Camera
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 1 Feet
Activities Canoeing, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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