Shasta Lake

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Shasta Lake
Location Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Shasta County, California
Coordinates 40°45′37″N 122°22′19″W / 40.7602°N 122.37190°W / 40.7602; -122.37190Coordinates: 40°45′37″N 122°22′19″W / 40.7602°N 122.37190°W / 40.7602; -122.37190
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Sacramento River, Pit River, McCloud River
Primary outflows Sacramento River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 35 mi (56 km)
Surface area 30,000 acres (12,000 ha)
Max. depth 517 ft (158 m)
Water volume 4,552,000 acre·ft (5,615,000 dam3)
Shore length1 365 mi (587 km)
Surface elevation 1,067 ft (325 m)
Settlements Lakehead
References U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lake Shasta
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Shasta Lake, is a reservoir in Shasta County, California, United States. It is within the Whiskeytown–Shasta–Trinity National Recreation Area, operated by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

It is impounded by Shasta Dam, the second largest dam and tallest concrete dam in the United States. Known as the keystone of the Central Valley Project, the outflow of Shasta Dam provides electricity and irrigation water. It also provides Sacramento River flood control below the dam for the Sacramento Valley.


With a capacity of 4,552,000 acre·ft (5,615,000 dam3) at full pool, the lake has an elevation of 1,067 ft (325 m), and a surface area of 30,000 acres (12,000 ha), making it the state's largest reservoir, and its third-largest body of water after Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea.

Ten miles (16 km) north of the city of Redding, with the town of Lakehead on its northern shore, Shasta Lake is popular for boating, water skiing, camping, house boating and fishing. Formed by the damming of the Sacramento River, the lake has 365 mi (587 km) of mostly steep mountainous shoreline covered with tall evergreen trees and manzanita. The maximum depth is 517 feet (158 m).


Shasta Dam was constructed between 1935 and 1945 across the Sacramento River, and Shasta Lake was formed in 1948. The Pit River, McCloud River, and several smaller tributaries had their lower courses and confluences with the Sacramento River submerged by the reservoir. Also beneath the lake is the submerged town of Kennett, defunct tunnels and right of way of the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, parts of which can be seen when the water level is low.

Lake Shasta hosted the first Boardstock in 1996, and continued there annually through 1999. The annual event moved to Clear Lake, southwest of Lake Shasta. Boardstock draws pro wakeboard riders from around the world, with an average attendance of 15,000 people.


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