Paradise Lake

Paradise Lake is located just above Paradise, Ca, and is a PGE reservoir, as well as the main source of drinking water for the town of Paradise. It is very easy to access as it is only a few miles from Paradise, and Magalia, being half way between the two. There are two entrances off of Coutolenc Rd, both having boat launches and parking, and a third boat launch that can be accessed from the second entrance. I recommend taking the second entrance if you are looking for a less populated space, and better fishing. However, if you are interested in a more family friendly location, the first parking spot does have picnic tables and more room for activities. All parking costs $3 for autos, and there is a $10 fee for use of the boat launch. Although I find it strange, even simply carrying a kayak down and entering from the ramp, constitutes a $10 fee, as I learned on this last trip. But if you ask me, it’s money well spent!

Incorporated in 1979, Paradise is a beautiful town spread among the pines in the Sierra Nevada foothills, at about 1800 ft elevation.  The history goes back to the mid to late 1800s, when the Butte County Railroad serviced mines and mills around the area. [1]  Paradise Lake offers many different outdoor activities such as, hiking, fishing, biking, and kayaking.  While motorized boats are not allowed on the lake, electric trolling motors are okay, as well as kayaks, aluminum boats, etc.

This trip to the lake, I decided to try out my new kayak that I purchased from Wal-Mart for about $150.  It is a beginner type kayak, and has a weight capacity of 250lbs.  It comes with oars and everything.  I was looking to get something that was inexpensive for my first kayak, but that would also be durable, and I have to say that the Sundolphin does the trick, although it is not the most comfortable seat, to say the least (being that there is no seat…just plastic.)

Here is a map from http://www.visitparadiselake.com/Directions.htm

 

A few years ago, I caught the biggest rainbow trout in my life!  It was a monster!  It took all my strength and stamina to hold on and reel it in, while it jumped and splashed.  Okay, maybe it didn’t take all my strength, but it did put up quite the fight.  And right as I pulled it out of the water, it rolled and snapped my line, falling onto the shore bank, and tumbled into shallows.  Not willing to lose such a mammoth catch, I slid down the bank and snatched the fish, which was trying to gather its wits about it and swim back to the deeper water.  I ended up feeding myself and four others that night!

Additional information.

References:
Durham, David L. (1998). California’s Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 290. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.

 

Mt. Lassen

 

Drought?  What drought?  With all the snowfall in the Sierras this year, it’s hard to believe that just a couple of years ago I was wondering if I would be able to leave the water running while brushing my teeth without feeling guilty, ever again.  Yet here it is in June and there is still about 14 feet or so of snow at the top of the mountain!

Having always associated snowshoeing with Canadians (I figured it was just how they got to work and stuff) I never really gave it much serious thought, until this year.  Looking for places to see, and things to do, and not having any snow parks open, I thought it would be a fun way to get out in nature and get some exercise; and boy did I get some!  The thing about hiking in the snow is that you feel like you’ve gone a hundred feet, but when when you turn around, you’ve probably gone half that!  It makes for a tedious trek, but is well worth the exertion, when you get view like these:002

001-e1497161615332.jpg

I parked at the sulfur pits, which was as far as the road was open, and hiked straight up towards Loomis Peak.  I wouldn’t recommend going straight up the middle like I chose to do, due to time constraints, but would suggest following the route that is on the map that you get when you pay to enter the park.

Here is an image from https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/snowshoeing.htm that shows the different trails.  You can find more info their about the levels of hiking trails.  I went off trail and made my own path.

 

SW-winter-trails_4

If you are looking for an AMAZING view of Nothern California, and some great exercise and outdoor experiences, I recommend you visit Lassen National Forrest.  There are guided snowshoe tours during the winter, as well as camping, fishing, and hiking trails.  I will definitely be going back once the snow melts, to partake in those activities.  When I was 21 I caught a decent sized trout in about 5 minutes of casting my reel, and look forward to seeing if I can do the same, over a decade later!

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUHvYlKmE7I&w=560&h=315]

Drought?  What drought?  With all the snowfall in the Sierras this year, it’s hard to believe that just a couple of years ago I was wondering if I would be able to leave the water running while brushing my teeth without feeling guilty, ever again.  Yet here it is in June and there is still about 14 feet or so of snow at the top of the mountain!

Having always associated snowshoeing with Canadians (I figured it was just how they got to work and stuff) I never really gave it much serious thought, until this year.  Looking for places to see, and things to do, and not having any snow parks open, I thought it would be a fun way to get out in nature and get some exercise; and boy did I get some!  The thing about hiking in the snow is that you feel like you’ve gone a hundred feet, but when when you turn around, you’ve probably gone half that!  It makes for a tedious trek, but is well worth the exertion, when you get view like these:

I parked at the sulfur pits, which was as far as the road was open, and hiked straight up towards Loomis Peak.  I wouldn’t recommend going straight up the middle like I chose to do, due to time constraints, but would suggest following the route that is on the map that you get when you pay to enter the park.

Here is an image from https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/snowshoeing.htm that shows the different trails.  You can find more info there about the levels of hiking trails.  I went off trail and made my own path.

If you are looking for an AMAZING view of Northern California, and some great exercise and outdoor experiences, I recommend you visit Lassen National Forrest.  There are guided snowshoe tours during the winter, as well as camping, fishing, and hiking trails.  I will definitely be going back once the snow melts, to partake in those activities.  When I was 21 I caught a decent sized trout in about 5 minutes of casting my reel, and look forward to seeing if I can do the same, over a decade later!