A boy and girl swimming in a mountain lake. Behind them, people site on a grassy shore.
Swimming and picnic area on the north shore of Summit Lake.

The park is home to more than 200 lakes and ponds and several creeks. Several lakes are accessible from park roads with most scattered throughout the park interior. Swimming and wading is allowed in park lakes and creeks, except park hydrothermal areas.

Swim Safely

Save Your Skin - Stay out of Hot Water

The hot water in park hydrothermal areas is acidic. Even if it is not hot enough to burn you, prolonged exposure to sulfuric acid can cause damage to your skin and lungs.

Water is Cold at High Elevation

The park ranges from 5,500 to over 10,000 feet elevation. Lakes and creek are cold, even in the summer. Immersion in cold water can cause hypothermia.

No Lifeguards

There are no lifeguards in the park. Emergency response in remote areas is often limited and/or delayed compared to developed areas.

Nearby Whiskeytown National Recreation Area near the town of Redding and Lake Almanor near the town of Chester both offer beach access at designated swimming areas.

Leave No Trace - Protect Park Waters and Shorelines

Pack out What you Pack in

Protect the park and respect other visitors by taking everything with you when you leave, including natural food waste.

Know the Risks

Most waters have obstacles that may not be visible such as logs, rocks, and water plants. Leeches, fish, river otters, and muskrat are present in park waters.

Stay with or Store Your Scented Stuff

Do not leave food or scented items unattended while swimming. Help keep wildlife wild by never feeding wild animals.

Choose Durable Surfaces

Stay on hard surfaces such as rocks, gravel, or dry grass whenever possible. Dragging and placing items on less durable surfaces can harm sensitive habitats and the animals that rely on them.

Last updated: March 30, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063


530 595-4480

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