National Recreation Area California

Ranger-Led Programs

Whiskeytown park rangers lead a variety of programs throughout the year. On most Saturdays in fall, winter, and spring, a ranger-led hike is conducted, and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, daily kayak tours and paddleboard tours of Whiskeytown Lake are available. Additionally, education programs are also available for classes and other organized groups.

Park ranger, visitor, and dog laughing during ranger-led hike.
A park ranger and visitor are all laughs while a Whiskeytown B.A.R.K. Ranger awkwardly looks on during a ranger-led B.A.R.K. in the Park Hike. Photo courtesy of Victoria Johnson.

Ranger-Led Hikes including B.A.R.K. in the Park Hikes

On most Saturdays in fall, winter, and spring, park rangers lead hikes of varying lengths. These hikes are a great way to get healthy exercise in the great outdoors, learn more about the park's natural and cultural history, and explore the park's trail system. While all ranger-led hikes at Whiskeytown allow dogs on leash, B.A.R.K. in the Park Hikes have a specific focus on proper dog etiquette; you and your pooch can even become official Whiskeytown B.A.R.K. Rangers at the end of the program! To see when the next ranger-led hike or B.A.R.K. in the Park Hike is occuring, check the park's Facebook page or email us at whis_information@nps.gov.

Ranger-led kayak tour
Ranger-led kayak tour on Whiskeytown Lake.

Rise & Shine Morning Kayak

Hop on a tandem kayak with a friend and explore the quiet coves around Whiskeytown Lake. Children must be at least six years old. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance for these 2.5-hour tours. To reserve your spot and to review the "Need to Know" information for your tour, go to recreation.gov. Kayak Tours start at Oak Bottom Marina. In 2021, this kayak program is conducted from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend at 9:00 am on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Kayaking on Whiskeytown Lake at Sunset
Kayaking Whiskeytown Lake at sunset.

Moonlight Kayak

Experience the dramatic changes in the landscape as you explore Whiskeytown Lake at sunset and under the light of the moon. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. To reserve your spot, and to review the "Need to Know" information, go to recreation.gov. These programs last around 2.5 hours. Starting location is Oak Bottom Marina. In 2021, the Moonlight Kayak program takes the place of the Rise & Shine Morning Kayak program on the following dates (the weeks coinciding with the full moon): June 23, 24, 26, and 27; July 21, 22, 24, and 25; and August 18, 19, 21, and 22.

Whiskeytown SUP program
SUPing, Whiskeytown style.

Afternoon Paddleboard

Join Whiskeytown rangers at Brandy Creek Beach to learn a new skill and experience the lake from a fresh perspective. Designed as an introduction to the trendy new sport of SUP, or stand-up paddleboard, this one and-a-half hour program introduce the basics while encouraging healthy activity on Whiskeytown Lake. Paddleboards, paddles, and life jackets provided. Children must be at least 10 years old and must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. To reserve your spot, and to review the "Need to Know" information for your tour go to recreation.gov. In 2021, Afternoon Paddleboard programs are offered between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Thursdays and Fridays at 1:30 pm.
A young child explores nature during the Junior Ranger Program
The park's Junior Ranger program in action. NPS Photo

Junior Rangers

This children's program is not being offered in 2021 due to COVID-19, but children can pick up a Whiskeytown Junior Ranger book at the park Visitor Center. Calling all kids and families: join a ranger and learn about some special natural and cultural features of the park. This informal, interactive program is specifically geared to children ages six to 12. Afterwards, be sure and have your child grab a Whiskeytown Junior Ranger book. They can complete the activities in the booklet and then get an official badge.

If you are looking to do some Junior Ranger activities from home follow this link for
Junior Rangers Online.

Junior Firefighters learning about Whiskeytown's fire engine.
The park's Junior Firefighter program in action. NPS Photo

Junior Firefighters

This children's program is not being offered in 2021 due to COVID-19. Children and families are invited to join National Park Service (NPS) 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. Youngsters who complete the program will earn a Junior Firefighter Badge. Meet at the NPS Fire Station located next to the Oak Bottom Campground Store. The program is primarily geared for ages six to 12.

CMS Cory Poole 4
Milky Way over Whiskeytown Lake. Photo by Cory Poole.

Star Party

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. Whiskeytown visitors are able to see deep into space aided by powerful telescopes provided by the passionate and knowledgeable volunteers of the Shasta Astronomy Club. Star Parties are held at the Oak Bottom Marina 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.
Touring the historic Camden House. NPS Photo

History Hike

This program is not being offered in summer 2021 due to COVID-19. 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.


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Last updated: October 22, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095


530 242-3400

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