Ranger Programs

The 2015 FREE summer ranger-led programs season begins on June 13th and will last until September 7th (Labor day). Attending a ranger-led program is a great way for families and friends to learn about nature and cultural history while participating in fun and exciting outdoor activities. Please call the visitor center at (530) 246-1225 or Ranger Jeff Gerbic at (530) 242-3421 for the latest information on ranger-led programs. For upcoming special park events, click on Schedule of Events.

Kayak Program Junior Ranger Kayak Program Walk In Time
Moonlight Kayak Program Junior Ranger Evening Astronomy Program
Special Access Kayak Program Junior Firefighter Star Party

General Kayak Information: Reservations are required and can be made up to two weeks in advance of a tour date by calling (530) 242-3462. Volunteers are usually available to take your call from 9 am to 1 pm on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. Reservation can only be made by talking directly to a kayak volunteer. However, due to the popularity of the kayak programs, you may not always be able to get through and unfortunately left messages will not secure a spot on a kayak tour. Please keep trying or call back at a less busy time. Your patience towards the park volunteers is greatly appreciated.


A visitor thoroughly enjoying a kayak tour on Whiskeytown Lake

Kayak Program departing from Brandy Creek Beach (2.5 hours)
Daily tours at 9:30 am Monday through Sunday, and 5:30 pm tours are offered on Saturday through Thursday (2 ½ hours), from June 13 through September 7.
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 can be made up to two weeks in advance beginning Monday, June 1st. To reserve your spot, call (530) 242-3462.


Visitors enjoying the sunset on moonlight tour

NPS photo

Moonlight Kayak Programs departing from Brandy Creek Beach (2.5 hours)
Several tours dates are offered each month: June 27-July 1 at 8:00 pm; July 26-30 at 8:00 pm; and August 24-28 at 7:30 pm (2 ½ hours)
Experience the dramatic changes in the landscape as you explore Whiskeytown Lake under the light of the moon. Reservations slots fill up fast for this ranger-led program, calling in the morning two weeks in advance will give the best opportunity of securing a slot. If tour is full, remember this is a FREE program and people often cancel so ask the volunteer phone reservationist to put you on the waiting list!


Visitors stop for a group photo with their "kayak buddies"

NPS photo

Special Access Kayak Program departing from Brandy Creek Beach (2 hours)
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 volunteer. Please call ranger Jeffrey Gerbic at (530) 242-3421 for more information.

JR Kayak

Junior Kayaker exploring the lake.

NPS Photo

Junior Ranger Kayak Program departing from Brandy Creek Beach
Monday and Thursday at 1:30 pm (1.5 hours) Beginning June 15 for the summer season
Join us for a special program that pairs parents and their children in a kayak 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 old.

A young child explores nature during the Junior Ranger Program

A young child explores nature during the Junior Ranger Program

NPS photo

Junior Ranger (1 hour) Saturdays at 10:00 am. Beginning June 13 for the summer season. A self led program is offered at the Visitor Center year round.

Children and adults of all ages (geared for ages 6 to 12) can learn about preserving and protecting park resources while making new friends during a special one-hour activity that explores the wonders of Whiskeytown. Download a Junior Ranger card before you come to Whiskeytown or stop by the visitor center to pick one up and ask how you can become a Whiskeytown Junior Ranger. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater.

Junior Firefighters learning about Whiskeytown's fire engine.

Junior Firefighters operating a fire engine

NPS photo

Junior Firefighter (1 hour)
Saturdays at 11:00 am Beginning June 13 for the summer season
Join National Park Service firefighters to learn how they manage fire to promote forest health and protect lives and property. Visitors will learn about the important role that fire plays in the ecosystems of our national parks during this hands-on activity. Participants who complete the program will earn a Junior Firefighter Badge. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater.

CMS Cory Poole 2

The Andromeda galaxy.

Cory Poole

Evening Astronomy Programs (1 hour)
Friday evening at 9:00 pm (1 hour); during August and September, start time is 8:30 pm
Spend the evening with a Sky Ranger and learn about wonders of the night sky. Discover the stories of the 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 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, star gazing will take place at the Oak Bottom Beach parking lot.

CMS Cory Poole 4

Milkyway over Whiskeytown Lake.

Cory Poole

Star Party
Saturday sunset to midnight on 5/16, 5/23, 6/13, 6/20, 7/11, 8/8, 8/15, 9/5 and 9/12 (weather permitting).
For up to date information call the visitor center (530) 246-1225 or visit park web site or
Experience the splendor of the dark night sky! Because of its unique position nestled within mountain ranges and miles from urban light pollution, 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. NPS Sky Rangers provide engaging activities and share epic tales of heroes and demigods immortalized in the constellations. Take Paige Bar Road and meet at the Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail parking lot. As a courtesy, please dim your headlights on arrival if it is safe to do so.

Visitors on a tour of the historic home of Charles Camden.

Visitors on a tour of the historic home of Charles Camden

NPS photo

Walk In Time (2 hours)
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 1:00 pm on Memorial Day Weekend. Wednesday and Saturday at 1:00 pm beginning June 13 for the summer season
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. After a tour of the Camden house, built in 1852, 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! Please bring a bottle of water and extra clothing if you choose to get wet. Meet the ranger at the Tower House Historic District parking lot in front of the bulletin board kiosk.


Remembering Whiskeytown - A Historical Cemetery Tour of Whiskeytown's Pioneers and Past, Sunday evenings 6:30 pm (1.5 hrs) May 24 on Memorial Day Weekend and beginning June 14 through September 6 for the summer season

The tour will visit gravesites 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.

To reach the Whiskeytown Cemetery from Redding, turn left onto J.F. Kennedy Memorial Drive. Proceed past the Visitor Center about 1.5 miles then turn left on Paige Bar Road (do not cross the dam). Continue south on the Paige Bar Road approximately 1.5miles. Whiskeytown Cemetery is located on the left, just south of the large Mount Shasta Mine Trailhead parking lot. The Whiskeytown day use pass is not required to visit Whiskeytown Cemetery. Please call Jeffrey Gerbic at (530) 242-3421 for more information about this program.

Did You Know?