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Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake Kiteboarding Guide

Part of the State of Jefferson Kiteboarding Guide

Looking southwest toward Mt. Shasta (USGS photo)



Medicine Lake is an alpine lake located within the summit caldera of Medicine Lake Volcano, a dormant Quaternary shield volcano located 30 miles northeast of Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County. Although only 30 miles northest of Mt. Shasta, allow about 1.5 hours to get there from the city of Mt. Shasta.


July through October depending on snowpack. After labor day the crowds are gone. Surface water temperatures max out in the 60s F. Snowkiting may be a winter option although the only access is via snowmachine.

Interesting Lake Data:

Perimeter of Lake: 6213 m or 20,380 ft
Area of Lake: 1.65 square km = 408 acres
Elevation of lake surface: 2036m or 6680 feet
Greatest depth: 46.4 m or 152.2 feet
Mean depth: 7.3m or 23.9 feet


The southwest side of the lake just past the campground offers the safest kite launch options. This area is shallow and sandy for the most part.


Trees cover much of the shoreline. Stay away from the swimming beach. Tree stumps dot much of the southwest beaches and are usually exposed late in the season.

Wind Data:

Check the weather in Klamath Falls and Mt. shasta or use the NOAA Point Forecast below to get an idea of what may be happening in this remote area.

Mt. Shasta Weather Data
NOAA Point Forecast


Several small campgrounds located on the shores of Medicine Lake offer basic camping. Facilities include:

  • RV and tent units available with parking pull outs
  • Picnic tables and fire pits at each site.
  • Vault toilets
  • Potable water
  • 14 day stay limit
  • Fees: $7.00/vehicle





Local Attractions and Activities (USFS Info):

  • Fishing is usually very good in Medicine Lake
  • Boating: Boating is available.
  • Swimming beach: is available but no life guard is available.
  • Picnic Area: is located on the east shore of Medicine Lake
  • Water Skiing: is permitted during specified times.
  • Modoc Volcanic Scenic Byway: The campground is located adjacent to the Modoc Volcanic Scenic Byway.
  • Auto Tour Loop: Take a auto tour of the surrounding area to Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake, Newell, and Tionesta.
  • Modoc Backcountry Discovery Trail: If you have a sports utility vehicle take a trip along the Modoc Back Country Discovery Trail.
  • Lava Beds National Monument: is a great place to visit and learn about the local geology and history.
  • Little Mount Hoffman Lookout Tower: located west of medicine lake provides an excellent overview of the Medicine Lake Highlands and Mount Shasta.


The nearest convenience store and gasoline is located in Tionesta, California. The nearest town with services is Tulelake, California. The nearest 24 hour service and hospital are located in the town of Klamath Falls, Oregon.