Guide to Lake Shasta | Northern California

Memorial Day Weekend 2015, found me on a dirt mountain in the middle of Lake Shasta in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California. A tradition since the 1960s, Memorial Day on Lake Shasta consists of legendary house-boat parties at which groups of students from California colleges rent houseboats and spend the weekend damaging their livers and burning their skin. It’s a fun time, filled with lots of drinking, loud music, and DJ-hosted parties, swimming, cruising on a beautiful lake enjoying the scenery of the forest.

If you want to experience this, I’d recommend renting a boat on Shasta Lake.

Instead of a houseboat, however, I found myself in a makeshift canoe-kayak contraption, paddling 3 miles to a campsite. And there was a slow leak in the bottom of the canoe. And it had to carry 6 of us. Needless to say, it was quite an adventure!


Trips like these remind me of how lucky I am to live in a world where leaders have taken the steps to make sure that vast spans of land are preserved. It is important to be reminded of their beauty and to continue to preserve them, providing the funding and care needed to be kept authentic and well-maintained.

It makes me want to visit more park reserves, forests and national parks this summer, so I included a list in this post of some on the top of my list, not only to inspire myself but all of my readers (see bottom of post).


In addition to the weekend in Shasta Lake, I also spent some quality time exploring Humboldt County with my friend Molly. She attended university there and was an awesome tour guide.

We saw the majority of Arcata and Eureka, went tide-pooling down by the ocean and drove through a significant portion of the Redwoods and northern California.

Things We Did in Arcata

1. Arcata Theater Lounge.  This establishment is known for cult films and is a staple of the historic area of the town. It was a super hippie crowd watching an absurd Japanese film. It was a very hipster experience. The theater has great beers on tap, and who doesn’t want a beer when sitting through a bizarre movie.

2. Visited the Humboldt State Marine Lab. Geeked out over Marine Biology stuff as usual, and saw the workings of this university program. I loved this campus – it was in such a beautiful area of California.

3. Visited Trinidad State Beach. It was the spot of lots of tide pools, hazy views, and nature trails for hiking around.

4. Ate at Cafe Brio and drank at Redwood Curtain Brewery. An awesome brewery with live music and great beer in a cool setting.



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