Saturday, September 29, 2012

Castle Lake Camping

A beautiful high mountain lake awaits... Castle Lake, Siskiyou County, CA.

Affiliation:  National Forest Service Campground and Day Use Area

RV or Trailer site in Dispersed Camping Area  is located before the campground sign

Number of Campsites:  Listing of 6 - 8 single sites.  The camping near the lake can only accommodate tents and backpacking gear.  Must camp 1/2 mile back from the water's edge.  (One sign says camp 200 ft. from water's edge, others say 1/2 mile...) There is a large dispersed camping area suitable for RV's and trailers a short distance just off the road.

Campground is located just before the lake and day use area.

 Maximum Stay:  14 Days.  Open May to October, however with weather permitting the lake is often accessible in the winter, a popular ice fishing spot.  The maximum stay maybe only 3 days, that is the current posted information in 2016.

Price for camping:  No fee.
Typical campsite in campground area

Reservation information:  No reservation policy.  First come first served.

Contact information:  U. S. Forest Service, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California.

Mt. Shasta Ranger Station
204 West Alma
Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
(530) 926-4511

Campfire permits:  Be sure and inquire via Forest Service Station regarding campfire permits.  They may be needed for many areas even for a small barbecue.  Campfire permits are free.

Elevation:  Approx. 5,300 feet

General Description:  A beautiful high mountain lake accessible by fully paved road.  Nice trails surround the lake and it is a popular destination.  There is often ongoing research projects by Castle Lake Limnological Research Station affiliated with the University of California at Davis.   The lake area is approximately 47 acres.  Trails lead to the adjacent Castle Crags Wilderness Area.  The lake is accessed from Lake Siskiyou along a 7 - 8 mile paved road in good condition at last visit.  Driving up the road one will pass by Ney Springs and Faery Falls.  A parking area is adjacent to the lake along with pit toilets.  No water.  Wildlife in the area may include:  deer, bears, skunks, mountain lions, squirrels, birds of prey, river otter, garter snakes and other amphibians.


  • Bathrooms (Pit toilets, but newer type and clean at last visit)
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking, canoeing
  • Picnicking
  • Accessible to the Pacific Crest Trail from lake area
  • Swimming
  • In winter, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing
  • Early wildflower bloom in spring
Castle Shore Trail

Directions:  From Mt. Shasta City take the central exit #738 from Interstate 5 and head West on West Lake Street.  It will turn into Hatchery Lane at the first bend in the road.  At the first stop sign at the corner of Old Stage Road (at the Fish Hatchery and Sisson Museum) turn south (left).  Shortly there will be a Y in the road, bear right and head south on W A Barr Road.  You will follow the road around and go past the dam at Lake Siskiyou.  Shortly after the bridge across the dam look for the Castle Lake Road turn to the left (south).  The road will take you directly to Castle Lake.

Supplies:  Supplies are available in nearby towns such as Mt. Shasta City, Weed, Yreka, Dunsmuir.  Fuel available in Mt. Shasta City, Weed, Yreka, and Dunsmuir.  Nearest supplies would be in Mt. Shasta City.

Emergency:  Full service Emergency in Mt. Shasta at Mercy Medical Center and Yreka, at Fairchild Medical Center.

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