Description: This small primitive campground is nestled in a thick mixed conifer forest approximately ¼ mile below Castle Lake. There are 6 sites with tables, fire rings and vault toilets. Bring your own water. 3-night limit. No fee. No reservations. Not recommended for large vehicle or trailers. Usually opens around the end of May depending on when the snow melts, and usually is closed by snow around the first of November. Features: Visitors may walk or drive the short distance to the lake. Castle Lake is a pristine glacial cirque lake with granite cliffs and clear water, one of the most popular attractions in the Mt. Shasta area. Hiking, swimming, fishing, and flat-water kayaking are favorite activities here. There are a few hiking trails to explore including the short and easy Shoreline Trail on the west side of the lake.
Special note about Castle Lake
Please be aware that Castle Lake is partially situated on private property. The traditional trail to Heart Lake and Little Castle Lake leaves the east end of the parking area and ascends to the divide above the east side of the lake. It begins on public land in section 24 of T39N R5W but immediately crosses the boundary of section 19 of T39N R4W. This entire section of land (about 640 acres) is privately owned property and posted as such. There is no legal access across this section to these lakes. Please be respectful and avoid trespassing. However, the west shore of the lake is public and features a short trail with easy access to the water.
At a Glance
US Forest Service: Mt. Shasta Ranger Station, 204 West Alma, Mt. Shasta, Ca 96067, 530-926-4511
Directions: From Mt. Shasta city, head west on Lake Street over the freeway and to the stop sign at Old Stage Road. Turn left (south) and drive 1/4 mile to a fork in the road. Stay to the right at the fork and continue on this road (W.A. Barr Road). In 2 miles you will cross the dam at Lake Siskiyou and then you will see the turnoff for Castle Lake. Turn left and drive the paved road 7 miles to the lake. castle Lake Campground is located 1/4 mile below the lake on the left (east) side of the road.
At the Castle Lake Campground: Total of 6 units. Average max. trailer size = 10 foot.
There are also popular dispersed sites on the Castle Lake Road. The Forest Boundary begins two miles uphill from the turnoff to the lake, just past Lake Siskiyou. There are a few spur roads off the main highway that are suitable for camping. One of the best areas is the site of the old Nordic Center about one mile below Castle Lake. This location has an excellent view of Mt. Shasta. The old parking landings make level sites for RV’s. Better tent sites are found back near the trees where there is more shade and privacy. Directions: From exit 738 off I-5, head west on Lake Street to the intersection with Old Stage Road. Turn left (south) then stay right at the fork in the road. In two miles you will cross the dam that forms Lake Siskiyou. Immediately after the dam, turn left on Castle Lake Road and drive 7 miles to the lake. The campground is located below the lake and not signed, so turn around and head back down the hill about a quarter of a mile to the first dirt road on the right. Not recommended for large vehicle or trailers.