McCloud River from Ellery Creek CampgroundView All Sizes
McCloud River from the BridgeView All Sizes
JOURNAL : August 22, 2009
|Series||Exploring and Camping at Shasta Lake|
Shasta Lake is a great place for alot of activities like boating, fishing, hunting, waterskiing, hiking, camping and motorcycling. It was these last few that int'rested me the most.
Shasta Dam & Shasta LakeView All Sizes
Boating and Waterskiing on Shasta LakeView All Sizes
After camping at a series of lakes from Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear in the south to Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino in the North it was natural I'd spend a slew of days cruising Shasta Lake for that ideal campground.
The first night I checked out Salt Creek campground and found it to be shut to vehicular camping but open to walk-in campers. The grounds were dirt but equipped with tables and vault toilets in a nice forested area on the banks of a long-dry river. Ditto Oak Grove around the corner, so I ended up camping in a remote cul-de-sac for the night. Despite the fact that it wasn't a legitimate camp site, the area was still quite scenic. Nearby the Union Pacific howled across a high trestle over the dry river valley.
Swimming in McCloud RiverView All Sizes
The next day I cruised Gilman Road's abundance of campgrounds. Several were closed but the best ones were still open. Along the winding road are Hirz Bay (open), Moore Creek (closed), Ellery Creek (open), Pine Point (closed) and McCloud (open) campgrounds. Gilman Road is an exit off the 5 and all campground in the area are within 15 minutes of the freeway. It is also an excellent road for motorcycling!
Hirz Bay CampgroundView All Sizes
I was immediately smitten with the peaceful Ellery Creek Campground adjacent to McCloud River, which flows into Shasta Lake. The grounds are well-maintained and situated within the dense forest, providing excellent shade and privacy. Camp site #12 had the most awesome panoramic view at the top of this page. During the day I was usually able to find a good patch of sunlight to situate the 3'x5' solar panel which generates 10 amps at 12V to keep both deep-cycle marine batteries charged enough to accommodate daily loads like the laptop, lights, stereo and refrigerator. At night a cool breeze blew through camp.
My Campsite at Ellery CreekView All Sizes
In the morning the sun lit up the river valley and its magnificent scenery. I spent three nights and four days in this spot. The lush, beautiful campground was completely empty the whole time. A fisherman appeared along the river one day and sometimes the maintenance man showed up to check the restrooms.
The only downside was the lack of any cellular signal or internet access via Verizon' mobile broadband access. A hi-gain antenna might have remedied this. Otherwise it was an amazing spot.
Besides the aforementioned locations the only other site I spocked was Gregory Creek Campground, which was open. Nearby is a broad red rock recreation area adjacent to the Sacramento River. In the distance a long bridge supporting the 5 freeway can be seen.
Ellery Creek CampgroundView All Sizes
The Shasta Lake area has many other campgrounds and RV parks. Even in the peak of Summer they seemed quite empty, possibly due to the great expanse of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.
After Shasta Lake I headed north to Mt. Shasta...
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About this day
August 22, 2009
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