Shasta Dam is the centerpiece of the Shasta Lake recreation area, and the starting point of at least 2 of the trails that wind around the enormous lake's shore, ranging from a very short .5-mile to up to 8 miles. Most of the routes stay on or near lake level, with some small ups-and-downs over rocks and creeks, but the challenging Greens Creek Trail rises over 1200 feet along its 6-mile course. Access to the Dam and Lake, as well as a Visitor Center, can be found on Shasta Dam Boulevard off Interstate Highway 5. Marked trailheads and informational signage dot the lakeshore.
The terrain along Shasta's trails varies, from deep woodland and grassland covered with chaparral at lower elevations, to rocky ridges. Creeks and streams provide refreshing splashes for Fido as well as filterable drinking water. Rock-hopping across these wet spots is common, although a footbridge lies near the trailhead for the Clikapudi Trail. Wildlife includes the entertaining otter, eagles and ospreys soaring high above, deer, and elk, in addition to black bears and large cats.
The lush areas around the lake contain wildflowers in spring and summer, such as stately lupine, Western Azalea, Leopard Lily and wild Bleeding Heart. Their brilliant color brightens the dense green of meadows and the pine and deciduous trees that grow thickly here.
The 8-mile Clikapudi Trail features free parking and a restroom at its trailhead at the Jones Valley Boat Ramp, and it's one of the most popular of Shasta's trails, ranging through shady, dense forest with furtastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
The Dry Fork Creek Trail begins on the west side of the dam, and features swimming, views of the lake and Mount Shasta. On the east side of the dam is the trailhead for Fisherman's Point Trail, a short hike to the Centimudi Boat Ramp. Or, for a challenge, climb the Greens Creek Trail to its ridgeline and across impressive limestone formations dotted with sparse trees, rocks and scree at the top. These are just a few of the more than a dozen lakes in the dam area.
The pawsome Shasta Dam is just the beginning of the adventures you can have with your pooch in this magnificent area!
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in which the Shasta Dam and Shasta Lake reside, is home to some shy, but fearsome wildlife: black bears, mountain lions and ringtail cats. Repellant spray may be helpful. This is also an area of abundant poison oak and ticks.