Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort
By Kerri Regan
Lake LifeJune 2015
By Kerri Regan
Photos: Taryn Burkleo
By day, guests splash away in the cool waters of Lake Siskiyou under a backdrop of Mount Shasta so majestic that it looks like it couldn’t possibly be real. By night, they enjoy ice cream cones while watching movies under the stars.
This little patch of heaven is Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort, an unpretentious retreat where families frolic and worries seem to melt away.
Managers Yvette and Bob Tuggle are in the midst of their eighth season at the resort, after moving here from Salinas/Monterey KOA, also part of Reynolds Resorts. “We started climbing the hill, and I was like, ‘Oh my stars, this might be the place,’” Yvette Tuggle says.
Many North State residents flock there because it’s a quick drive, while others use it as a central meeting spot between the Bay Area and Oregon. Some 90,000 people visit each year (about 6,000 over Independence Day alone), and they’re booking into 2018.
“We’re like our own little island,” Tuggle says of the facility, situated in the shadow of Douglas Firs, pines and cedar trees. “We offer so much for them to keep themselves busy and to enjoy the nature that we’ve got to offer."
Accommodations include about 250 tent sites, 200 RV sites with hookups and 42 lodging units, which range from one large room to three-bedroom cabins. The rustic cabins have kitchens, bathrooms and decks with lake access.
An outdoor amphitheater next to the general store hosts movies every night. Other amenities include a playground, arcade and volleyball court.
The Splash Zone includes an array of floating toys and obstacles, including “Rock It,” a floating, climbable rock. This year, they’re adding a 40-by-60-foot challenge course on the water. Paddle boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent on the beach, and fishing and patio boats can be rented at the marina. A seven-mile trail circumnavigates the 430-acre lake.
The resort hosts a Beach Blast event on the Saturday after July 4, with watermelon-eating contests, sack races and “whatever kind of craziness we can come up with,” Tuggle says. “It’s quite, quite fun watching the kids devour those watermelons. We order all kinds of crazy trophies and giveaways, and they get to be a hero for the day.” Shoppers can pick up groceries, local craft beers and wines, ice cream, sandwiches and souvenirs (fishing lure earrings, anyone?) at the General Store.
Fishing is allowed (licenses are required). “The lake is constantly being fed new fish by the fish hatchery down the street,” Tuggle says. “There’s bass, trout – even some catfish.”
Full-service dining is available from Memorial Day through Labor Day at Lake Sis Grille and Brew (be sure to say “hi” to the talking tree inside). A snack shack takes care of mid-day cravings on the beach.
For those who don’t wish to spend the night, day passes are $1 for everyone over age 5. “It’s a really cheap way to come out and have a gorgeous view and spend the day,” Tuggle says. “It’s an incredibly gorgeous place, and it’s always 10-15 degrees cooler here in the summertime than it is in Redding. It’s such a pleasure when you start climbing back up the hill, you can feel the air cooling off.”
All of the amenities are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, “depending on the water temperature – if I can get my water toys in without giving my employees blue fingers and toes,” Tuggle says.
And the Tuggles are tickled to play an integral role in some sweet family traditions.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have people call to make their reservations and tell me why they have to have that particular site on that particular day – it’s their anniversary, or their husband proposed to them there. It’s wonderful memories for the people to come in and tell us about,” she says. “Then we get the new families who come in and start their new family traditions.
Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort 4239 W.A. Barr Road,
(888) 926-2618 for reservations
Day use: $1 per person over age 5
Splash Zone: $8 per hour, $15 for four hours
Accommodations: Range from $20 (tent sites)
to $250 (three-bedroom mobile home) per night;
group camps welcome