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Go Houseboating on Shasta Lake

Go Houseboating on Shasta Lake
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There’s good reason Shasta has been dubbed “the houseboat capital of the world”—its waters are dotted with almost anything that floats.

Thankfully there is plenty of room. Shasta is California’s largest reservoir—bigger than the San Francisco Bay. There are over 365 miles of shoreline to explore, and the lovely white summit of Mt. Shasta is always visible across the water. Rent a houseboat at one of the 10 marinas scattered around Shasta Lake, and make it as swanky as you can afford--some boats include private staterooms, hot tubs, and gas barbecues. Home to bass, crappie, catfish, and sturgeon, Shasta is also a great place to fish.

Before you hit the water, drive to the south end of the lake on Shasta Dam Boulevard (State 151) to see the dam itself. This impressive wall of concrete  is second only to Nevada’s Hoover Dam. The dam’s spillway is nearly 500 feet high; roughly the size of a 50-story building. Built between 1938 and 1945, it backs up water from the Sacramento, McCloud, and Pit Rivers. The visitor center offers free guided tours; it’s worth going just for the sight of millions of gallons of water falling down the face of the dam.

Inside tip: Keep Woody Guthrie's “This Land is Your Land” in mind when you visit the dam. The songwriter penned the tune while he pitched in during the dam's construction.


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