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Big Lake 

kayaking Big Lake 
Photo Credit Jim Snyder

Big Lake Canoe, Kayak, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

This beautiful mid-elevation lake located in Shasta County, is set in a golden pastoral setting with spectacular foothills in the distance. The winding waterway flows through tall reeds, veering towards the west, which eventually turns into Horr Pond. Big Lake is an ideal retreat if you want to avoid crowds and boat congestion.

Paddlers can launch at Big Lake, at a PG & E public boat launch known as "Rat Farm". It is reached from McArthur by turning north off Highway 299 on to Main Street, continuing past the Intermountain Fairgrounds, crossing over a canal and proceeding 3-miles north on a dirt road. Boat-in Kayaking Big Lake

The lake access road is a relatively flat drive through a grassy prairie on a dirt road, which would be extremely difficult to drive on after a recent rain. There is a small parking lot with vault toilet facilities by the launch access. Boats with propellers are not advised due to the thick water vegetation. There isn’t any running water, so be sure to bring plenty of your own because it can get extremely hot in this area during the summer months.

Due to its remote nature, I would highly recommend paddling and camping at Big Lake with a companion. Boat-in camping is available at Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, which can only be reached by boat from the hand launch access off of Rat Ranch Road, from Big Lake. There are no public roads to it and private motor vehicles are prohibited within Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park.   NOTE: There are an abundance of rattlesnakes, ticks and mosquitoes in this area.

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 One of the most frustrating things in the world is to see a huge fish swim under your kayak , and then be unable to snag one. Big Lake offers excellent trout and bass fishing and a breathtaking view of Mount Shasta. Fishing action is pretty good for rainbow and brown trout in the two to four pound class. Fishing is more rewarding at the break of day, and in the evening, but during the day you’re liable to come up empty handed.

Average
Temp
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 47 52 57 64 73 81 89 89 83 71 54 46
Low 22 25 29 32 38 44 47 44 38 310 26 22

Paddlers will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Mt Shasta, and Mt. Lassen and other nearby peaks, as they glide along the winding interconnecting waterways that flow towards the west, which eventually turns into Horr Pond. There isn’t any running water, so be sure to bring plenty of your own because it can get extremely hot in this area during the summer months.

Open: The boat speed limit is 10 m.p.h. The lake is open daily year-round for boating.The Best Places to Kayak in California Guide Book

Fees: There isn’t any day use or fee to launch but there is a fee to camp.

Lake Facilities: The facilities consist of power boating, swimming, and hiking trails. Car top launch boats only.

 


 

 
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