Things to do at Shasta Lake
Shasta Dam is an engineering marvel. Over 602 feet high, it contains enough concrete to build a walk three feet wide around the entire world. Its spillway is three times the height of Niagara Falls and any one of its five diversion pipes is large enough to drive a Greyhound bus through.
Shasta Caverns is another site to tour while on Lake Shasta. Approached by houseboat or by car and a short ferry ride, the two hour tour begins with a bus ride along a mountainside 200 feet above the lake. From that point, one can enter the caverns to view the natural splendor of the stalactite and stalagmite formations. Tours are conducted daily.
Driving north by car, visits can be made to perpetually snowcapped Mount Shasta, which rises over 14,000 feet above sea level, and Castle Crags, a series of ragged granite peaks that rise abruptly above the surrounding evergreens. Driving southeast of Lake Shasta into Hat Creek country, you will come upon Burney Falls, a particularly picturesque waterfall. The adjacent park has a nice picnic area. A few miles from the falls at the intersection of Highway 89 and 44 lies an interesting relic of past volcanic action known as the Subway Caves. As the outside lava cooled, new lava forced a pathway through the old, creating a series of tunnels called lava tubes. The main tube is approximately 1,300 feet long and may be explored, but take a good flashlight and a warm jacket as it is very dark and the temperature is a perpetual 46 degrees.
To the west of the lake, a few miles drive on Highway 299 will take you to French Gulch, a quaint little town whose single main street clings to the side of a rugged mountain bordering French Gulch Creek. In the 19th century the town was a boisterous, bawdy mining camp and the tailings still piled in the creek give evidence of its thriving past.