Summer Ranger-led Activities at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Whiskeytown offers a variety of free, family friendly activities throughout the summer.  From kayaking to stargazing, there is something for everyone!  Programs begin June 13 and run through Labor Day weekend.  Reservations are required for the park kayak programs and can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling (530) 242-3462.  While programs are free, visitors must display a valid entrance pass on all vehicles in the park.  For the most current program information visit our website at, or call the park visitor center at 530-246-1225.
Kayak Program
Daily tours at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm (except Friday evening) (2 ½ hours)
Hop on a tandem kayak with a friend and explore the quiet coves around Whiskeytown Lake while you learn more about the natural and cultural values of the park.  Children must be at least six years old.  Reservations are up to two weeks in advance, call (530) 242-3462.
Moonlight Kayak Program 
June 27-11 at 8:00 pm, July 26-30 at 8:00 pm, and August 24-28 at 7:00 pm (2 ½ hours)
Experience dramatic changes in the landscape as you explore Whiskeytown Lake under the light of the moon. Reservations slots fill up fast for this program, calling (530) 242-3462 in the morning two weeks in advance will give the best opportunity of securing a slot.
Special Access Kayak Program
Friday evenings during July and August (2 hours)
This program has been developed for individuals with special needs so they can enjoy a kayaking adventure.  Visitors who have limited mobility, disabilities, developmental issues, or restrictions due to age or illness are encouraged to give kayaking a try.  Visitors with special needs are paired with an experienced kayak volunteer.  Please call (530) 242-3421 for more information.
Junior Ranger Kayak Program
Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm (1.5 hours)
Join us for a special program that pairs parents and their children in kayaks so they can discover and share the joy of nature with each other as they paddle and play. The Monday program is geared for children three to six years of age and the Thursday program is geared toward children seven to twelve years of age. Please call (530) 242-3462 to make a reservation.
Junior Ranger
Saturdays at 10:00 am (1 hour)
Children along with their parents can learn about preserving and protecting park resources while making new friends during a special one-hour activity that explores the wonders of Whiskeytown.  Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater.  Ask the ranger about earning your Whiskeytown Junior Ranger badge and patch.
Junior Firefighter
Saturdays at 11:00 am (1 hour)
Join Whiskeytown NPS firefighters to learn how they manage fire to promote forest health and protect lives and property.  Children will learn about the important role that fire plays in the ecosystems of our national parks during this hands-on activity. Children who complete the program will earn a Junior Firefighter Badge.  Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater.
Walk In Time 
Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1:00 pm (2 hours)
Discover how pioneers/prospectors Charles Camden and Levi Tower reshaped the landscape to create a home for their families and an “oasis” for many travelers during and after the California Gold Rush.  Visit the historic orchard and find apple trees over 150 years old that still bear fruit!  After a tour of the Camden house, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the area, then try your hand at finding gold the old-fashioned way—with a gold pan in the creek!  Meet the ranger at the Tower House Historic District parking lot bulletin board.

.Evening Astronomy Program

Friday evenings at 9 pm. During August and September, start time is at 8:30 pm (1 hour)
Spend the evening with a Sky Ranger and discover the stories of how ancient cultures used the sky to navigate and mark important seasonal changes. Learn about the challenges we face today as urban light pollution threatens the dark night sky and find out what you can do to help. After a 20 minute presentation, the Shasta Astronomy Club will share their powerful telescopes to assist visitors with their celestial gazing. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater for the first half of the program and the second half at the Oak Bottom Beach parking lot.
Contact Ranger Matt Switzer for more information about park astronomy programs at (530) 242-3454.
Free Movie Night Under the Starlight
Saturday evenings at 8:30 pm starting June 13 through Labor Day weekend at Oak Bottom Amphitheater.
Presented by the Oak Bottom Marina, family friendly movies are offered to anyone who would like to join. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. Bring a cozy pillow and sit under the stars while enjoying a movie next to the lake! For questions please contact the Oak Bottom Beach Store at (530) 359-2675.
Star Party
Saturday 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm on 6/13, 6/20, 7/11, 8/8, 8/15 and 9/5 (weather permitting).  For up to date information call the visitor center (530) 246-1225 or visit the park web site or
Experience the splendor of the dark night sky!  Because of its unique position nestled within mountain ranges, Whiskeytown is a great place to explore the heavens.  The night constellations often elude urban dwellers, but at Whiskeytown, visitors are able to see deep into space aided by powerful telescopes provided by the passionate and knowledgeable Shasta Astronomy Club.  Take Paige Bar Road and meet at the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail parking lot.
Perseid Meteor Shower Special Event
Friday evening August 14, 2015
Brandy Creek parking lot B, start time is after sunset 
Whiskeytown, in partnership with the Shasta Astronomy club, will be holding a special star party for the Perseid Meteor Shower.  These very knowledgeable and passionate amateur astronomers will be providing powerful telescopes to view what is considered to be the most brilliant meteor shower of the year.  The lights will be turned off to minimize light pollution and the beach will remain open for the event.  Visitors are encouraged to bring red light flashlights, lounge chairs, food, drinks and extra clothing for the nighttime star party.  Meet at Brandy Creek Beach Lot B.
Remembering Whiskeytown- A Historical Cemetery Tour of Whiskeytown’s Pioneers and Past
Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm (1 hour)
Visit Whiskeytown’s historic gravestones and learn about some of the individuals and families who settled here during the Gold Rush through the time of the Central Valley Project and Whiskeytown Lake. Along the way, learn about the iconography/ symbolism of headstones and its significance in telling a larger story. Following the tour, visitors will be encouraged to share their stories about this intriguing and unique cemetery as well as historic cemeteries in general and their preservation. Meet at the Whiskeytown Cemetery.
Be on the Lookout!
During the summer months rangers will be offering additional programs including: ranger led hikes, art workshops and more! Contact the visitor center for information (530) 246-1225 or check out Whiskeytown’s park website:
Whiskeytown Perseid Meteor Shower Event, Junior Night Explorers being sworn in by Ranger Bre. Photo by Paul Young via NPS website
Crescent Moonset over the trees on Shasta Bally,  photo by Cory Poole via NPS website

Press Release

-from press release