Mt. Shasta, California: Lake Siskiyou
Summary. Lake Siskiyou is the home of an annual, extended-family camping trip. As this is a long-standing family tradition, it holds a special place in our heart. Even without our bias, we could not recommend the area more for families and adventure seekers alike. There are endless opportunities for hiking trails, mountain biking, trail running, road cycling, fishing, open water swimming, and of course, roasting marshmallows on an open fire. We stay on Lake Siskiyou each year but there are also other lodging opportunities for those that want a less rustic experience. The Lake itself is great for families as it is stocked by the local fish hatchery and has a speed limit of 10 mph so no water-skiing or other similar high-speed activities are allowed.
Getting there. Lake Siskiyou is located right off Interstate I-5 in California, approximately 3.5 hours North of Sacramento and about 90 minutes South of Medford, Oregon.
The Lake. Approximately 1.5 miles in length, Lake Siskiyou has a great 7.3 mile trail that wraps around it's coves and inlets (see separate blog post on this trail). Unlike nearby Lake Shasta, this Lake does not allow speeds greater than 10 mph, making it a perfect lake for families who wish to avoid speed boats and jet ski's. The water is clear, clean, and considering the altitude at 3100 feet, not too cold. The Lake has a marina where, with a day fee, you can launch your own fishing boat, pontoon boat, small sailboat or similar slow-moving watercraft.
Kayaking. Bring your own kayak or rent one at the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort. The coves of the Lake are great for tooling around. Winds can sometimes pick up in the afternoons, so the best times for kayaking are either mornings or evenings.
Paddle boarding. Lake Siskiyou, with the lack of high speed water sports, is also great for paddle boarding. These can also be rented at the Camp and Resort. If you end up camping at the Lake, there are many places along the water to launch your paddle board.
Wildlife. Especially in the early mornings, the Lake is teaming with wildlife. Deer can be seen walking through the campsite. Bears too so lock up that food!
Swimming & Dog-Friendly. This Lake is great for open-water swimmers. As usual, be sure to either swim with a buoy or alongside a kayaker for safety purposes. Lake Siskiyou is also dog-friendly.
Fishing & Hatchery. Lake Siskiyou is stocked with trout from the hatchery down the street. With plentiful fish, it's a great lake to teach your kids to fish. Side note: If you practice catch and release, and maybe your fish doesn't actually make it through the experience, you may catch a Bald Eagle as they swoop down and pick up your fish. Nothing gets wasted with all the wildlife on this Lake.
The Hatchery is also an annual stop for us even now that the kids are taller than us. Visitors can feed the fish in the different growing ponds. Also, check out the Mr. Shasta museum where there are interactive exhibits for the younger kids and adults alike.
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