Our Favorite Mt. Shasta Lakes

Mt. Shasta is a peaceful town near the Oregon/California border surrounded by wonderful opportunities for summer adventure and relaxation. My family owned a cabin here for several years and I stayed there twice each year with my parents and siblings.

The lakes I describe below are all within a few miles from each other and are only about a 5 mile drive from the grocery store in town if you need to stock up on supplies.

Lake Siskiyou

Lake Siskiyou is where I spend most of my time while in Mt. Shasta. There is plenty of parking for a day trip as well as camp sites for both tent and RV camping. The general store has almost everything you need while camping from firewood to snacks and has wonderful soft serve ice cream. Nothing beats their soft serve ice cream on a hot day after swimming or kayaking on the lake.

View of Mt. Shasta from Lake Siskiyou

Castle Lake

Castle lake is great for a day trip and has a campground as well as free parking, but unlike Lake Siskiyou, there is no general store or rental facility. The only amenity at Castle Lake is an outhouse at the parking lot. The lake has several hiking trails and many access points for swimming and fishing. There are two smaller lakes above Castle Lake: Heart Lake and Little Castle Lake. Heart Lake is about a mile hike uphill and is most accurately described as a very large, deep pond. We couldn’t touch the bottom even when we tried. It is also quite cold, but refreshing after hiking in the hot summer sun. We have not yet had the chance to check out Little Castle lake.

View of Castle Lake from Heart Lake (Photo taken 2018)
View of Mt. Shasta from Heart Lake (Photo taken 2018)

Below is a screenshot of my hike from Castle Lake to Heart Lake using my Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch. If you look closely, Little Castle Lake can be seen a little over half a mile to the right of Heart Lake.

Heart Lake hike


What’s your experience with camping at Mt. Shasta? Please comment below, we’d love to hear!

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