- Just outside Redding, in north central California
- National Park
- 1,000 to 6,200 feet above sea level feet
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, with its mountainous back country 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. Whiskeytown Lake provides 36 miles of shoreline and 3200 surface acres of water, and is excellent for most water-related activities, including swimming, scuba diving, water skiing, boating and fishing.
The most prominent landmark within the Recreation Area is Shasta Bally (elevation 6,209 feet). The summit may be reached on foot and by 4-wheel drive vehicle, but is closed in the winter. Picnicking, hiking, hunting, interpretive programs, and horseback riding are also popular within the Whiskeytown area. Two neighboring recreation areas, Shasta and Trinity, offer additional outdoor activities administered by the US Forest Service.
Hours + Fees
The Visitor Center offers exhibits about the history and development of the Whiskeytown area. Visitors may also inquire about gold panning and historic mine tours. Learn about campgrounds and purchase visitor passes while at the Visitor Center. Books, maps and postcards may also be purchased at the Visitor Center Bookstore.
Location & Address
Whiskeytowon National Recreation Area Visitor Center
Highway 299 & Kennedy Memorial Drive
P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown, CA 96095
Phone: (530) 246-1225
The Visitor Center is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
Summer hours (Memorial Day - Labor Day) are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Park Headquarters business offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Water-based activities are the primary interest of most Whiskeytown visitors including: kayaking, swimming, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing.
In addition, the land area surrounding the lake and extending all the way to the top of Shasta Bally (6209'' elevation) provides ample opportunities for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. 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.
Free Ranger-guided kayak tours are offered during the summer months.