Top Watering Holes to Help You Cool Off…
With Summer in full swing, the desire to cool down in a body of water becomes a natural draw. Luckily, in the California Adventure District we have many choices, even with this year’s drought. Water levels are lower than normal, but they are still accessible and enjoyable for a day out. Here are some of the top watering holes to spend a day or two. Or five.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE (15 minutes from Redding) With a myriad of trails and situated in what feels like a valley, Whiskeytown Lake is the perfect spot to spend the whole day with friends and family, cooling off in the summer heat. The lake itself is easily used for swimming, paddleboarding and sailing, and there are some great places to jump off the cliffs into the water. Brandy Creek at Whiskeytown is a favorite beach to set up for the day, but there are many little alcoves around the shore that double as private beaches.
HEART LAKE AND CASTLE LAKE (20 minutes from Mount Shasta) Mount Shasta is a gorgeous area to go to cool off in summer. The increased elevation helps, of course, and there are some fantastic bodies of water to hang out and play in.
Besides Lake Siskiyou, the big one close to town, there are two favorites that locals will share. There may be some more secluded destinations that the locals like to keep to themselves. Heart Lake is easy to get to, only 10 miles southwest of Mount Shasta, and it offers an incredible day out. The views are spectacular and the water is fresh, great for swimming or kayaking. Heart Lake is quite small though, and it does get busy, so get there early if you want to find a good spot for the day. There are no services at Heart Lake, so bring all your food and supplies.
Castle Lake is quite a bit bigger than Heart Lake and offers a similar experience – easy to get to and a breathtaking place to spend the day cooling off in the water.
MANZANITA LAKE – LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK (50 minutes from Redding) When it gets in the triple digits in Redding, it’s refreshing to head up to the backside of Lassen Peak and play in the remaining snow, if it’s still there, and spend some time at Manzanita Lake. It’s lovely for camping, swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding. Ranger-led programs keep kids entertained throughout the season.
TRINITY LAKE (20 minutes from Weaverville) Trinity Lake is a human-made lake in the middle of the wilderness and an ideal location to spend a couple days away from it all. The water is quite low this year but it is still a relaxing place to unplug and unwind for a couple of days. •