At Lake Sis I feel like a kid camping with family during the summer of 1951. It’s not that the resort is run down, it isn’t. I wasn’t even alive in 1951. It just “makes me nostalgic for a time that never was,” (said my wise friend Roseanne once, about Tom Waits ballads).
If you’re not into getting blind drunk on a Lake Shasta party barge (no shame in that), Lake Siskiyou Beach & Camp is the better alternative, only five miles from the town of Mount Shasta.
Shady, serene little hiking paths connect the campsites and shower houses. Ride your bike to the general store for an ice cream. Have a beer on the deck at the Grille. Rent a canoe or pedal boat and splash around the lake. Fish for bass, trout and catfish off the dock or a motorboat—available at the tackle shop, where picnic tables and adirondack chairs are set up outside to organize your fishing stuff and have a cold one (or cup of morning joe). Take a 7-mile hike around the lake and enjoy a dramatic view of Mount Shasta rising high above the trees.
Oh…the bathrooms are ghastly. (Just keeping it real.)
Tip: if the lakefront spaces are taken—and no one else needs it—ask for site #E29, a big concrete slab, perfectly level and wide, in nice loop in the park.