Castle Lake is one of those destinations in Northern California that the visitors will rave about. In the summer, it’s an amazing lake to visit for a camping adventure. You can swim or kayak on the lake, all while looking directly at the beautiful Mt. Shasta.
The winter experience can be much different, but equally amazing. During good winters, Castle Lake completely freezes over, making it one of the rare NorCal lakes where you can experience a wild ice skating trip or even go ice fishing.
Although the lake doesn’t always completely freeze over every winter, when it does, it can be an amazing experience. See for yourself:
*Of course, it must be mentioned that ice skating on a high-elevation lake can be a dangerous endeavor. Please check ice depth before attempting.
For snowshoers, you can drive up to Vista Point for the beautiful lookout of Mount Shasta. From there, you can snowshoe less than a mile up the road to Castle Lake at 5,450-foot elevation. Not only will you receive amazing views of Mount Shasta and the mountain range in the area, you can also live out the dream of a wild ice skating experience.
From the town of Mt. Shasta, head west on W. Lake, crossing over I-5. At the stop sign, turn left onto Old Stage Road. After 0.25 miles, veer right onto WA Barr Road. Continue south, crossing over the dam that impounds the Sacramento River and forms Lake Siskiyou. Just past the dam, make a left hand turn onto Castle Lake Road which climbs for 7 miles to the roads end at Castle Lake.