DescriptionAt the head of the Sacramento Valley and Upper Trinity River country, north and west of Redding, Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area's three components embrace 246,087 acres and four major dam-created lakes: Whiskeytown, about 8 miles west of Redding via SR 299; Trinity and Lewiston, northeast of Weaverville; and Shasta, north of Redding. Shasta, California's largest man-made lake, has 370 miles of shoreline.
The recreation area's three units are managed by two different federal agencies: Whiskeytown is part of the National Park Service, while the Shasta and Trinity units are under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service.
The visitor center for the Whiskeytown recreation area is at SR 299 and Kennedy Memorial Drive in Whiskeytown; phone (530) 246-1225. It is open daily 10-4; hours may be extended in summer. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Shasta Lake Visitor Information Center is at 14250 Holiday Rd. in Mountain Lake, outside Redding; phone (530) 275-1589. It is open Thurs.-Mon. 9-5, Memorial Day-Labor Day. Information is available at the ranger station across the street the rest of the year. The Trinity unit's visitor center, 360 Main St. in Weaverville, is open Mon.-Sat. 8-4:30, Memorial Day-Labor Day; Mon.-Fri. 8-4:30, rest of year. Phone (530) 623-2121.
Recreational activities include hiking, swimming, boating, sailing, water skiing, camping, fishing, backpacking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and mountain biking. Ranger-guided activities such as kayaking and hiking to waterfalls are available in summer. One hike includes a 1.7-mile trail that leads to recently discovered Whiskeytown Falls, a 220-foot cascade.
Recreational gold panning using a metal or plastic gold pan is permitted in the Whiskeytown unit only; day permits are required and are available at the park for $1. A pass valid for 7 consecutive days is $10 (per private vehicle). An additional fee is charged for camping. Phone (530) 242-3400 for park information, or (877) 444-6777 for camping reservations through the National Recreation Reservation System.