McCloud Reservior, Shasta County, CA
Posted by: Damn_True on Apr-30-12 5:53 PM (EST)
Things have been pretty hectic of late. Work has been particularly onerous, and there have been a number of sources of stress that combined to create a nearly overwhelming need to disconnect. To go somewhere away from an appointment calendar, Outlook inbox and most of all, a cell phone. Kathy was to be out of town on business for a conference so I jumped at the chance to get away for a few days. The challenge in finding a location was to select a suitably remote location that was accessible this early in the year. Most everything above 3000' in the Sierra range is still inaccessible due to snow or subject to seasonal closure.
After no small amount of wide-eyed staring at Google Earth I settled on McCloud Reservoir at the Southern end of the Cascade Range in Shasta County.
McCloud reservoir was created when PG&E erected an earthen dam over the McCloud river in 1965. The lake sits at 3000' elevation about 15mi SE of Mt. Shasta. There are 10 miles of shoreline and the lake is about 520 surface acres. The lake is within the Shasta/Trinity National Forest, but most of the land around the lake itself is privately owned by the Hearst Corporation. In fact, William Randolph Hearst built a rather substantial getaway at the Northernmost end of the lake. Called "Wyntoon", it's the other Hearst Castle. Hearst lived here for most of the early part of WWII as he feared the Japanese would target his San Simeon home if they attacked the Western US. The structure was designed by famed San Francisco Architect Julia Morgan who also designed the more widely known Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
The McCloud river which feeds the lake offers excellent whitewater kayaking in the class III-IV range. The "lower" McCloud river (below the dam) is one of the most legendary trout fisheries in California. The lake itself is home to Rainbow and Brown Trout often taken well in excess of 18". Though my efforts didn't yield anything in the trophy range, I was able to catch 5 nice sized wild Rainbow trout without really having any idea how to properly fish a lake such as this.
I set out from Mountain View early (4am) on a Friday Morning and headed north. I reached the town of McCloud in about 5-3/4 hrs and made the short trip south from town to the lake and I was loaded up and on the water by 11:30am. The view looking north from McCloud Valley.
Read more here.... http://thedamntrueexperiment.blogspot.com/2012/04/canoeing-mccloud-reservoir-shasta.html