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Lewiston Lake - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Lewiston, CA
Difficulty: Easy

Description:

If a quiet, gorgeous setting is what you’re searching for, while trolling for trout, take a paddle around Lewiston Lake. It is guaranteed to provide you with eye-popping scenery and an abundance of honking size trout, bigger than you could ever imagine.

The diversity of topography from dense forests to marshlands provides commanding views of the surrounding terrain at this "must see", one-of-a-kind kayak fishing destination. The colorful low foothills in the backdrop and the consistent year-round fishing action make Lewiston Lake one of the prettiest all-season kayak fishing getaways in the state of California.

Lewiston Lake's shape reminds me of a river: long, narrow and winding. It is about five miles long and averages around one-half mile in width. The lake is known for its trophy size Rainbow and Eagle Lake trout and holds a healthy population of brook and brown trout, kokanee and chinook salmon, as well as a few largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Fishermen, who fly-fishing from their kayaks, have a field day at this paddling paradise. It is 65 feet deep where the lake ends, but the majority of the lake is 10 feet deep or less. The reason why fly-fishermen have a lot of success at this lake is due to the ideal water conditions and the hordes of aquatic insects that trout thrive upon. Trolling for trout is also another method frequently used at Lewiston Lake by kayak anglers.

The lake is stocked yearly with around 10,000 rainbows, (in the 10" to 12") class, 3000 brown, and 6000 brook trout by the Department of Fish and Game and fish are also planted by the local marina and resort. The best location for trout fishing is from Lakeview Terrace Resort on upstream or for larger size Eagle Lake trout, at the base of Trinity Dam where the water enters into Lewiston Lake.

Kayak fishing is permitted year-round from sunrise to sunset. There is a 10 m.p.h. boat speed limit on the entire lake which cuts down on the noise, boat wake and crowds since jet and water-skiing are not allowed. Boat rentals are available at the marina as well as fuel, bait and tackle.


Lewiston Lake lays nestled just beneath Trinity Lake. The water temperature is ice-cold year-round because it comes from the bottom of Trinity Lake. The lake's water level rarely fluctuates more than a foot and a half even in drought years. The mild 50 to 60 degree daytime high air temperature in the spring, winter and fall, allows paddling throughout the entire year. The daytime high air temperature averages a comfortable 85 degrees during the summer with breezy afternoon wind conditions.

There are plenty of camping facilities located around the lake that accommodate tents and RV's. Four United States Forest Service campgrounds, situated on the western shore, provide panoramic views from wilderness campsite settings and hand launch accesses. They all are available on a first-come, first-served basis and have a maximum stay of 14 days. Some of the campgrounds are open all year.

Lewiston Lake is located approximately forty miles west of the city of Redding, in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The winding highway with hairpin turns, out of the city of Redding may test your nerves, but it sure helps cut down on the crowds.

Accommodations:

There are plenty of camping facilities located around the lake that accommodate tents and RV's. Four United States Forest Service campgrounds, situated on the western shore, provide panoramic views from wilderness campsite settings and hand launch accesses. They all are available on a first-come, first-served basis and have a maximum stay of 14 days. Some of the campgrounds are open all year.
  • Mary Smith:
    There are 18 tent sites with flush toilets, and running water. There's a fee to camp. Pets are permitted. The campground is open May 1st to December 1st.
  • Tunnel Rock:
    There are 4 tent and 2 RV sites with vault toilets, but no water. Reservations are not accepted. The campground is open all year.
  • Cooper Gulch:
    There are 5 tent or RV sites with vault toilets. No fee to camp. Bring your own water. Reservations are not accepted. The campground is open from May 1st to October 31st.
  • Ackerman:
    There are 66 tent or RV sites with flush toilets, water, and a fee to camp. Reservations are not accepted. The campground is open all year.
  • Lakeview Terrace Resort has seven campsites for RVs 24 feet and longer and six sites for RVs shorter than 24 feet with bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Lakeview Terrace also offers cabins with kitchens, equipped with a refrigerator, stove and cooking and eating utensils, and a barbeque. A heated swimming pool is also available for your pleasure since the lake's cold water temperature discourages most people from swimming in the lake.

Directions:

From the city of Redding off of Interstate 5, exit on Highway 299 traveling west for about thirty miles toward the town of Lewiston. Turn right on Trinity Dam Boulevard and drive five-point-five miles to reach the campgrounds and boat launches.
NOTE: Once you exit off of Highway 299 onto Trinity Dam Boulevard, there aren't any service stations until you reach the town of Lewiston.


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