Whiskeytown offers a variety of free, family friendly ranger-led activities throughout the summer. From kayaking to stargazing, there is something for everyone! Programs begin June 14 and run through Labor Day weekend. Reservations are required for the park kayak programs and can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling (530) 242-3462. The park will begin taking reservations for the season on Monday, June 9. While programs are free, visitors must display a valid day use pass or other park pass on all vehicles in the park. For the most current program information visit our website at www.nps.gov/whis, or call the park visitor center at 530-246-1225.
Daily tours at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm are offered on Sunday through Saturday except Friday (2 ½ hours)
Hop on a tandem kayak with a friend and explore the quiet coves around Whiskeytown Lake while you learn more about the natural and cultural values of the park. Children must be at least six years old and must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are up to two weeks in advance, call (530) 242-3462.
Moonlight Kayak Program
July 7-11 at 8:00 pm, August 5-9 at 7:30 pm, and September 3-7 at 7:00 pm (2 ½ hours)
Experience dramatic changes in the landscape as you explore Whiskeytown Lake under the light of the moon. Reservations slots fill up fast for this program, calling (530) 242-3462 in the morning two weeks in advance will give the best opportunity of securing a slot.
Special Access Kayak Program
Friday evenings during July and August (2 hours)
This program has been developed for individuals with special needs so they can enjoy a kayaking adventure. Visitors who have limited mobility, disabilities, developmental issues, or restrictions due to age or illness are encouraged to give kayaking a try. Visitors with special needs are paired with an experienced kayak volunteer. Please call (530) 242-3421 for more information.
Junior Ranger Kayak Program
Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm (1.5 hours)
Join us for a special program that pairs parents and their children in kayaks so they can discover and share the joy of nature with each other as they paddle and play. The Monday program is geared for children three to six years of age and the Thursday program is geared toward children seven to twelve years of age. Please call (530) 242-3462 to make a reservation.
Saturdays at 10:00 am (1 hour)
Children along with their parents can learn about preserving and protecting park resources while making new friends during a special one-hour activity that explores the wonders of Whiskeytown. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater. Ask the ranger about earning your Whiskeytown Junior Ranger badge and patch.
Saturdays at 11:00 am (1 hour)
Join Whiskeytown NPS firefighters to learn how they manage fire to promote forest health and protect lives and property. Children will learn about the important role that fire plays in the ecosystems of our national parks during this hands-on activity. Children who complete the program will earn a Junior Firefighter Badge. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater.
Walk In Time
Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3:00 pm (2 hours)
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. Visit the historic orchard and find apple trees over 150 years old that still bear fruit! After a tour of the Camden house, 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! Meet the ranger at the Tower House Historic District parking lot bulletin board.
Evening Astronomy Program
Friday evenings at 9 pm. During August and September, start time is at 8:30 pm (1 hour)
Spend the evening with a Sky Ranger and discover the stories of how ancient cultures used the sky to navigate and mark important seasonal changes. Learn about the challenges we face today as urban light pollution threatens the dark night sky and find out what you can do to help. After a 20 minute presentation, the Shasta Astronomy Club will share their powerful telescopes to assist visitors with their celestial gazing. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater for the first half of the program and the second half at the Oak Bottom Beach parking lot.
Contact Ranger Matt Switzer for more information about park astronomy programs at (530) 242-3454