Thursday, July 7, 2011
Castle Lake - Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Castle Lake is located within the Shasta Trinity National Forest. It is accessible by car on a paved road. Recreation includes a primitive campground 1/4 miles downstream of the lake. Other activities include swimming, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice fishing. Hiking trails begin here can take you above the Castle lake to Heart Lake and Little Castle Lake or to the Mount Bradley Ridge. The Pacific Crest Trail also runs near by and is accessible via a spur trail from Heart Lake. Unfortunately my visit was limited to visiting the lake and taking a few pictures. The water was crystal clear and much of the lake was still covered in 2" of ice. A long California winter has made for very late spring conditions in 2011. The weather at 5574' was in the 80's, some children splashed around near the shore where the water was surprisingly warm. There was still patches of 2-3' deep snow in the shadows that made for some nice snowballs. This is a great place for a number of adventures to begin and I hope to be back. Castle lake can also make for a nice quiet and beautiful rest stop if your traveling on I5, it is only about 10 miles from 5 and an easy way to check out a high country snow melt lake.
If you are going to be in this area and in need of some outdoor gear or to arrange a guided trip, check out the newly (5/25/12) opened McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.
View Castle Lake in a larger map
Location: Castle Lake, CA, USA