Shasta Lake--keystone of the Central Valley Water Project--is the largest manmade reservoir in California, offering over 360 miles of shoreline. The rugged country, varied shoreline, and sheer size of Shasta Lake tend to break the lake into different areas, each with its own opportunities, moods, and settings. As you drive the interstate to and from Redding you'll see what appear to be several lakes, but Shasta Lake is actually a series of fingers that connect at big, deep spots, and then collect at the dam. Several of the fingers are actually incoming rivers that feed the reservoir. To create this mammoth spread-out lake, five towns were covered, the remains of which are still down submerged, most so deep that even scuba divers cannot explore them.
Surrounding the lake are marinas, campgrounds, resorts, cabins, restaurants, and all the paraphernalia necessary for hundreds of people to enjoy lakeside vacations. All manners of boats are available on Shasta Lake, from rowboats to powerboats, floating mansions to pontoons. Skiing and wakeboarding are popular, and the lake boasts the largest commercial houseboat fleet in the world. Wooded flats, steep, rocky hillsides, secluded creeks, an occasional waterfall, and thousands of acres of mountainous country surround the lake. With literally hundreds of coves to claim for an afternoon (or two), you may never leave the boat again!